What do carnivores eat

What are carnivores?

Meat eaters (carnivores) are living things that mainly feed on meat and other animal tissue. The name comes from the Latin words: caro = meat and vorare = devour. Carnivores belong to the three major nutritional groups. In addition to the carnivores, there are also the herbivores (herbivores), which feed on plants, and the omnivores (omnivores), which feed on a mixed diet.

However, canivores are not to be confused with Carnivora. Because by that one understands the order of the predators. However, they do not always only eat meat. Many Carnivora also feed on plant foods. The bear, for example, belongs to this group. There is also a sub-category of carnivores, scavengers. These feed on carrion, i.e. meat from animals that are already dead.

Typical characteristics of carnivores

Unlike scavengers, pure carnivores have to hunt other animals in order to feed. The special dentition is particularly noticeable as a typical feature. Carnivores have particularly long and pointed canine teeth. These are important in order to hold onto the prey and kill it. The dangerous canines are also known as fangs.

Fangs represent the molars of the animals. These work against each other like scissors and have sharp-edged cusps. Their job is to chop bones and meat. The small and flat incisors have the task of scraping meat off the bones.

In comparison, herbivores do not have pointed teeth, but rather very broad molars with which they grind the plants. The omnivorous teeth, in turn, combine the characteristics of carnivorous and herbivorous teeth.

In addition to the bit, carnivorous animals are often characterized by special hunting skills. For example, they can see in the dark and / or have a strong and fast body with sharp claws to catch their prey. The stomach is also different from other nutritional groups. This allows canivores to digest raw and old meat quickly. If you cannot eat meat and therefore have to switch to a plant-based diet, this can lead to deficiency symptoms.

Examples of carnivorous animals

Animal species of almost all animal classes belong to the carnivores. Among the mammals, for example, the big cats should be mentioned. Here the lion, the tiger, the puma or the leopard feed on meat. But wolves and dogs also belong to this group.

In addition, many marine mammals such as sea lions and certain whales eat meat. Some fish are also carnivores. Above all, the predatory fish such as pike or perch should be mentioned here.

Numerous birds such as eagles and pelicans also feed on meat. The reptile group includes crocodiles, monitor lizards and snakes among the carnivores. Predatory bugs and ground beetles are considered examples of carnivorous insects.