Herbivorous animals


In the food chain in the animal world, everyone fulfills a specific role, after having reached this through evolution. The latter has reached such an extreme where many living beings take advantage of every small natural resource to complete the food chain, as is the case with herbivorous animals .


What are herbivorous animals?

In the animal kingdom, herbivorous animals are all creatures that feed on plants . They are the opposite equivalent of carnivores in the food chain. As a general rule, they are considered primary consumers . This classification is important, as this is how they are distinguished from secondary consumers; the latter feed on the primary ones.

  • Definition
  • Characteristics of herbivorous animals
  • What do they eat
  • Types of herbivorous animals
  • Where do herbivorous animals live?
  • Reproduction of herbivorous animals
  • How is your teeth
  • Herbivorous animals by country
  • Examples


We can find them throughout the animal kingdom . The food chain depends a lot on them. They are precisely those elements that regulate the growth of the plant world . Not only do they consume the beings of that world, but they facilitate their reproduction. It is no secret to anyone that, for example, bees are one of the most important animals. It is because of them that a large part of the world’s flora can be reproduced.


Of course, we are talking about herbivorous animals . What are they? The reader will ask. Ultimately, they are all specimens that find their food source in the plant world . They are the other end of the food chain. Species of all kinds can be found here. They can range from mammals like gazelles, rhinos, and buffalo, to birds like ducks and swans.

Let’s see a little more about these specimens. Some of its characteristics are …

Characteristics of herbivorous animals

The main characteristics of herbivorous animals are the following:

  • Its source of nutrition is in the vegetable kingdom . Although their diet is not limited to them, herbivores mostly feed on plants.
  • They are considered primary consumers . That is, they are placed in the first seat of the food chain.
  • Your diet should be plant- based . This implies that humans known as vegetarians are not herbivores . That is to say, by not doing without meat they make them herbivores .
  • They have an extensive classification, which varies according to what is consumed. They can range from fruit eaters to wood eaters .
  • Their diet may vary according to the season . This means that what some herbivores eat in summer is different from what they eat in winter.
  • Many mammals in this category are ruminants . That is, in its digestion process, the quasi-digested material is returned to the mouth to be chewed again .
  • They have a tooth system adjusted to your needs. They have flat molars that allow them to grind food.
  • The most important group of herbivores in the animal kingdom are insects .

What do they eat

In short, we can say that herbivorous animals eat ” everything that is not meat .” It should be understood that although his diet is primarily vegetarian , this does not imply that he is limited solely to it. Some species, without reaching omnivores, can feed on meats occasionally. They are distinguished from omnivores because their diet is primarily plant-based. These can be leaves, stems, woods, fruits, roots , etc.

Types of herbivorous animals

Extracting the typology of these animals is based on their diet . A classification of herbivores would be:

  • Frugivores : they are all the animals that feed on the fruits. We can see here the case of the toucan, the skunk and the duck.
  • Phytophagous : they are all animals that eat grass. We can see here cows and horses among mammals. Among the insects, to beetles and grasshoppers.
  • Folivores : they are all creatures that eat leaves. We have here caterpillars, rabbits, sloths.
  • Granivores : among which we have chickens, parrots and toucans. They are all grain and seed consumers.
  • Nectarivores : they are all pollinators and nectar consumers. We have here the famous case of bees.
  • Nilófagos : between which they are the consumers of wood. We have pandas and termites here.

Where do herbivorous animals live?

We can find these creatures in almost all environments. It is common to find them in areas where there is an abundance of plant life. We have here cases of forests, tropical jungles, savannas and some underwater areas.

Reproduction of herbivorous animals

Its reproduction is equally varied . It can range from viviparous (like many mammals) to oviparous . As the majority are insects, we can say that, statistically, their reproduction is oviparous .

How is your teeth

Due to their diet, the teeth of herbivorous animals have a different morphology. Unlike the carnivore, these creatures depend on a set of teeth made up of molars . This is because, by means of these, the crushing is much easier.

Herbivorous animals by country

  • Mexico : there are some cases such as the white-tailed deer, Mexican real duck and the monarch butterfly.
  • Argentina : There are cases such as the brown skunk, the toco toucan and some types of grasshoppers, among others.
  • Spain : In the Iberian country there are specimens such as the common deer, the Andalusian horse, the fallow deer and the roe deer.
  • Chile : in the latter country, we can come across specimens such as: choroy parrots, huemul and horse mackerel.


Let’s see, now, some cases of aquatic and terrestrial herbivorous animals:

  • Water : forrajera carp, Parrotfish, salpa and aquiles black stain.
  • Terrestrial : antelope, guinea pig, rabbit, cow, giraffe, hippopotamus, iguana, rhinoceros and caterpillar.

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