Herbivores, Carnivores, Omnivores For Kids

Animals Eating Habits

Have you seen a deer or a giraffe in a zoo, movie or in real life? Did you notice that they eat leaves and plants?

On the other hand, a lion does not eat plants or leaves, it only eats meat.

And there are few animals who eat plants as well as meat. For example, bears, racoon and pigs can eat fruits as well as meat by killing other animals.

Three Categories:

Based on eating habits, all the animals have been divided into 3 categories. These categories are :

a) Herbivore

b) Carnivore

c) Omnivore


Let’s understand the meaning and definition of each of these categories:

Herbivore: A herbivore is an animal who is completely dependent on plants for living. These kinds of animals eat grass, leaves, fruits. Rabbits, elephants, cows, deer are examples of herbivore animals.

Carnivore: The animals who eat only meat are known as carnivores. Most of the time these animals hunt other animals or insects for their food. But few of the animals are dependent on other carnivore animals and they eat the meat that’s left behind by other animals. Lions, tigers, eagles and crocodiles are examples of carnivore animals and they hunt by themselves. Hyena is an animal who does not kill other animals by himself. It either eats dead animals or steals food from other carnivores.

Omnivores: These animals can eat plants as well as meat. Humans are omnivores as we eat plant-based food as well as meat. Bear is another example of omnivore as it can eat both- berries as well as meat.

Other Differences in Herbivores and Carnivores

Apart from eating habits, there are some difference in body features among these animals.

In most of the cases, you can identify the category of an animal based on their teeth. Herbivores have flatter teeth for grinding up plant. Carnivores have sharp teeth for tearing up meat.

Many omnivores, like you and me, have some combination of the two (flat as well as sharp teeth), that allows grinding as well as tearing.

Another difference is the nails. Herbivores have flattened nails. Carnivores have razor sharp claws. The difference between the nails depends upon the type of food that these animals eat. For carnivores, these sharp nails help them to cause maximum injury on their prey while hunting.

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