Frugivorous animals


The  frugivorous animals  are those who eat fruit, partially or exclusively.


What are frugivorous animals?

Frugivorous animals are understood to be all animals whose food base is in the fruits . They function as one of the main means or channels of nature’s reproduction. As the fruits are its source of nutrition, the animal transports the seeds of the fruits it eats to other sectors. This facilitates the seed dispersal process . Generally, most frugivores are mammals.

  • Definition
  • Characteristics of frugivorous animals
  • What do frugivorous animals eat
  • Where they live
  • Frugivorous animals by country
  • Examples


The relationship between the animal and plant kingdom is very old . It is no secret to anyone that animals and plants are in constant interaction. One can see small animals build their burrow between the roots of a tree to protect themselves. The tree, of course, gives you the protection it can give you, and what does the animal do in return?


Although it sounds exploitative, many times what it does is eat its fruits .

This, believe it or not, is of great benefit to the plant kingdom . For their existence and propagation, plants need different means to reproduce. Remember that plants (most of them) do not move . They have no way of leaving the place from which they are rooted. Therefore, it is common to see that for that purpose, that of reproducing, they depend on animals, for example.

The fruits are a very attractive element for many species. They contain many nutritional elements that are not very difficult to obtain and consume. This encourages many animals to seek them out for their nutrition. In the same way, this helps these animals carry the seeds within them. They are something like the carriers of future trees that will grow elsewhere .

These animals already mentioned are what we know as frugivores . They are all animals whose source of food is in the fruits they find. They can be mammals and insects , as well as fish , reptiles, and birds .

Let’s see a little more about the characteristics of these specimens.

Characteristics of frugivorous animals

By antonomasia, they are all specimens or animals that feed on the fruits .

They occupy between 20% and 25% of the animal population.

Frugivorous animals have a very important role in the reproductive system of many plants . This is because, when consuming their fruits, their seeds are stored within their organisms. These, sooner or later, and intact, will be expelled by the excretory system. The expelled feces contain the seeds that sooner or later will become new plants.

The mouths of frugivorous animals have teeth according to nutritional needs . They have fangs to tear fruit skin, and molars to crush the pulp. A similar thing happens with the case of birds and insects. Many birds have specially designed beaks to open fruits easily. On the other hand, insects (such as fruit flies) have mechanisms to suck the fruits they are going to consume.

They have a digestive system capable of benefiting from the nutrients in the fruit . However, the latter does not damage the seed that, later on, will have to be expelled via the excretory system.

What do frugivorous animals eat

In general , we can say that these animals consume all kinds of fruits . However, the latter falls under the weight of relativity. Not all fruits are edible for all frugivores . Some animals do not benefit the plant in its reproduction plan; they usually damage the seed when it is digested. For this, many plants made their fruits bitter or poisonous for consumption before some species.

Where they live

Normally frugivorous animals inhabit tropical and temperate zones . In the former, it is common for their diet to be almost exclusively fruit. This is due to the ease with which you can get almost all kinds of fruits. In temperate zones, on the other hand, the frugivorous diet is stationary. This means that it is not entirely fruit-based, but varies depending on the season in which the climate is found.

Frugivorous animals by country

  • Mexico : the Aztec country has specimens such as some types of toucans, the hairy fruit bat and the fruit fly.
  • Argentina : this country presents, among its best known cases, the toco toucan. This is particularly widespread in almost the entire south of the continent. Their diet is usually based mainly on apples, pears, strawberries, and melons.
  • Spain : the case of the Iberian country has specimens such as: bed bugs and flies among insects. And in the case of mammals, some classes and bat.
  • Chile : in the case of the coastal country, we have frugivorous animals such as the Chilean parrot. This is a very particular case of Chile, since it is among the most persecuted animals in the country.


Some of the best known specimens among frugivorous animals are:

  • Toucans, parrots and parakeets . These are creatures that we can usually find in the American continent.
  • Flying fox, tapirs and bonobos.
  • Fruit fly and bed bugs.

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