Animals That Eat Plants (10 Herbivores Examples)

Animals that eat plants are called herbivores. Some herbivores feed primarily on grasses and leafy plants, while others also feed on bark, roots, and fruits. Elephants, cows, zebras, kangaroos, and many other species are examples of animals that eat plants.

There are herbivores whose diet is limited to only one type of plant, while others may forage on an assortment of plant life.

Typically, herbivores eat in accordance with their physical weight. One might expect that the larger the animal, the more it will eat. However, there are people who eat large amounts of food due to the nutritional limitations of their diet.

Furthermore, not all are herbivores. Monogastric herbivores have a caecum at the end of their small intestine, which is used to ferment a large amount of fiber in certain plants that they eat.

So, stick with herbivores and read on to learn some interesting facts about herbivores and a brief outline of the top 10 animals that eat plants.

Why do animals eat plants?

This is a major area of debate as to why nature has adapted herbivores to eat only green matter.

Just as humans feel sluggish for most of their day, animals avoid tasks that use up a lot of their energy, such as catching prey. So the easiest way for these animals to get by is to eat whatever is available in abundance without having to work for it.

Also, if there were no herbivorous animals on this planet, we would be surrounded by piles of unruly herbivores. Likewise, if there were no carnivores on Earth, there would be plenty of herbivores to prey on its plant world.

So, nature’s way of maintaining a balanced ecosystem is essentially the reason why we have equal proportions of herbivores and carnivores on earth.

Read Also: Animals That Eat Bamboo

How do herbivores digest their food?

If you’re thinking that an herbivore’s digestive system is the same as that of a normal carnivore with a simple digestive system, you’re sorely mistaken!

Some herbivores, such as camels, giraffes and antelopes, have a complex digestive system with multiple stomach cavities and a long digestive system.

Moreover, all herbivores have large and flat teeth that help them effectively grind green matter and break down the cellulose cell walls of plant cells. The stomach’s unique liquids and bacteria aid in food digestion.

In the case of animals with multiple stomach chambers, they continuously chew food from one stomach chamber to another until it has passed through all of them. It aids in efficient meal digestion without producing surplus digestible waste.

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Animals That Eat Plants

Animals that eat plants are an interesting species of the animal kingdom. It is very interesting to study their unique lifestyle and behavior that helps them to survive in this developing world.

So, stay tuned to learn some of the most amazing facts about animals that depend on plants to survive!

African Buffalos

Animals That Eat Plants (10 Herbivores Examples)

First on our list of animals that eat plants is the African buffalo, which is found throughout the African continent. It mainly feeds on various types of grass. They occur in 4 subspecies, and the Cape buffalo is the largest and most common among them. It eats anywhere between 18-45 kg (40-100 lbs) a day.

Buffaloes are a very large species, weighing 425–870 kg (936–1918 lbs). Therefore, they have high nutritional requirements. They don’t eat much other than grass, so they need a lot of it to meet these nutritional needs.

Being herbivorous also means that they are animals that chew their cud, which is a very important part of meeting their nutritional needs, so the more they can forage, the more they chew. can. Buffalo belongs to the same family as cattle and live in community groups called herds.

Zebras

Animals That Eat Plants (10 Herbivores Examples)

Another herbivore found in Africa, especially in the eastern and southern parts, is the zebra. Although zebras are herbivores, they are not ruminants, and this provides them with a wide variety of plants to eat, such as bark, leaves, buds, roots, and a variety of grasses.

Zebras weigh between 352–450 kg (776–992 lb) and spend most of their time, 60%–80%, grazing. Their digestive system relies on the cecum (a pouch at the end of the small intestine that contains symbiotic bacteria) to break down compounds such as cellulose. This digestive system is not as efficient as that of ruminants.

Although their digestive system is not efficient, zebras have a high metabolic rate and can use up much more when they forage. Additionally, zebras can survive droughts more easily than other species because they are able to consume a variety of plants, even those with low nutritional value.

Kangaroos

Kangaroos are almost synonymous with Australia as the largest population is found there. They are animals that eat mainly grass but also eat other plants such as flowers, leaves, moss and ferns. They will occasionally chew, although this is rare as they are not ruminants.

Kangaroos weigh between 35-90 kg (77-198 lbs) depending on their sex. They can feed up to 10 hours per day depending on species and weight. Other factors affect their nutritional needs such as the fact that kangaroos grow continuously throughout their lives.

Another unique influence on their diet, especially for women, is based on breastfeeding. They produce different types of milk to feed their babies at different stages of their development. Female kangaroos are always in some stage of reproduction because they are in heat shortly after birth, and pregnancy occurs shortly after mating.

Read Also: Animals With Pouches

Elephants

Animals That Eat Plants (10 Herbivores Examples)

Elephants are the heaviest and big feet animals on earth. The African bush breed is the largest of them all and weighs between 2,500-7,000 kg (5,512-15,432 lbs)! They are gentle herd animals led by the largest cow. As a strictly herbivorous species, their diet consists of grasses, leaves and fruits.

Elephants both forage and search for their food. They also migrate from place to place in search of food. They maintain their bulk by eating up to 300 lbs of food per day. Elephants eat almost like humans using their trunks, grabbing their food and putting it in their mouths.

Elephants are a very important part of the African ecosystem. As they migrate, they fall trees and push the fallen trees, resulting in savannah grasslands. When water is scarce, they use their trunks to dig water holes in dry streams.

Read Also: Animals With Big Feet

Pandas

Giant pandas are a very unique species of bear, not only because of their physical appearance but also because of their diet. Many people don’t know that pandas, despite being herbivores, have the digestive system of carnivores.

These fluffy-looking bears, on the other hand, are actually bamboo-eating animals. In fact, 99 percent of a panda’s diet is based on bamboo leaves and twigs. And to meet their nutritional needs, they typically eat 20 to 40 pounds of bamboo per day.

Also, due to their carnivore digestive system, pandas’ guts are not as efficient as other herbivores. So they spend at least 6 hours eating, and when they’re not eating, pandas usually rest to conserve energy.

Read Also: Are Pandas Dangerous?

Sloths

Animals That Eat Plants (10 Herbivores Examples)

The sloth is an unusual three-living animal found in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America. Today, there are six different sloth species, divided into two genera. Three- and two-toed sloths.

Both species chew on twigs, leaves, buds and tender shoots as the bulk of their diet. The interesting thing about these slow creatures is that they need very little food to survive. Sloths typically consume no more than 0.35 kilogram (0.77 lbs) of food per day.

This is because of their slow metabolism. Sloths have the slowest metabolism of all animals on the planet, and unlike other herbivores, they need a few days to process their food.

Read Also: Cutest Animals in The World

Beavers

There are two distinct species of beaver. One is from North America, and the other is found in Europe. Both species prefer similar foods depending on the season, including willows, buds, roots, grasses, and aquatic herbivores.

When plenty of plants are available (during the summer), beavers eat up to 2 kg (4.4 lbs) of food per day. However, when plants are scarce (during winter), these rodents reduce their food intake to less than 1 kg (2.2 lbs).

Besides being animals that eat plants, beavers are known for their construction skills. A combination of soil, tree branches, rocks and grass form a dam. The main reason behind building a dam is to build a house and protect oneself from predators.

Koalas

Are Koalas Dangerous? Do Koalas Bite? (Explained!)

Although they are often called koala bears, they are not actually koala bears. They originate from Australia, where they inhabit eucalyptus forests and consume eucalyptus leaves.

Koalas have pouches in their cheeks where they can store food before chewing. They will occasionally regurgitate food for a second chew, although they are not ruminants.

Koalas weigh between 4-15 kg (9-33 lb) and eat about 1.3 kg (3 lb) of leaves per day. Eucalyptus leaves are highly toxic, and the koala’s digestive system is adapted to process them. They are hindgut fermenters and have a very long caecum, and according to Wikipedia, they can maintain their digestion for 100-200 hours.

Interestingly, they can choose what they want to extract while passing along what to keep inside the caecum for further fermentation. Although koalas can live up to 18 years in the wild, they often starve to death due to loss of their chewing teeth.

Rhinoceros

Animals That Eat Plants (10 Herbivores Examples)

The rhinoceros is the second largest mammal on earth. It is found in East and South Africa as well as South and Southeast Asia. Rhinos weigh an astonishing 850-3,200 kg and are found in 5 different species.

They consume about 2.5% of their body weight per day, and this amounts to about 21–80 kg (46–176 lb) of forage.

However, different species’ diets are adapted to their environment and habitats, varying from a strict diet of grasses to aquatic plant life.

A rhino’s diet consists mainly of leafy plants, although when these are not available, rhinos may graze on other plants such as grasses, roots, bark, twigs and roots. They are hindgut fermenters and this enables them to forage on plants high in fibrous material.

Read Also: Evil Animals in The World

Cows

Animals That Eat Plants (10 Herbivores Examples)

When we talk about animals that eat plants, we must not forget the cow. They are the most important domestic animals kept as livestock, especially for milk and meat.

The majority of the cow’s diet is grass-based (60%). However, apart from grass, they will also feed on hay, forage, grains and other plant foods depending on the season and availability.

The interesting thing about cows is that they chew their cud more than 50 times a minute, and they also spend about 6 hours a day eating, in addition to another 8 hours chewing their cud. As a result, cows will consume 2% of their total body weight in feed per day.

Final Words On Animals That Eat Plants

Animals are an important part of our ecosystem, without which the world would be a strange place to live.

Nature has endowed animals with the ability to maintain balance in their environment. Herbivores control the amount of greenery in the world, while carnivores ensure that herbivores don’t rob the Earth of its natural green charm.

Therefore, it is the duty of man to protect the wildlife around him and make the world a safe haven for them.

Animals That Eat Plants (10 Herbivores Examples)
Animals That Eat Plants (10 Herbivores Examples)

Title: Animals That Eat Plants (10 Herbivores Examples)

Description: Animals that eat plants are called herbivores. Some herbivores feed primarily on grasses and leafy plants, while others also feed on bark, roots, and fruits. Elephants, cows, zebras, kangaroos, and many other species are examples of animals that eat plants.

Start date: December 30, 2022

Author: Muhammad Ali

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Summary

Animals are an important part of our ecosystem, without which the world would be a strange place to live.
Nature has endowed animals with the ability to maintain balance in their environment. Herbivores control the amount of greenery in the world, while carnivores ensure that herbivores don’t rob the Earth of its natural green charm.
Therefore, it is the duty of man to protect the wildlife around him and make the world a safe haven for them.

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