Herbivores are animals that eat plant foods: fruits, vegetables, leaves, shoots of plants, roots. This class is a lot of animal species: rodents, hoofed animals, some bats, some reptiles, various species of birds. The list is quite long.
Many herbivorous animals were domesticated by man in the process of evolution. The most famous of them, domesticated man, ungulates such as cows, sheep, goats, horses. These animals are used extensively in agriculture as the production of meat and milk, and for work. The basis of the diet of domesticated ungulates are plant food – is a fresh summer grass, winter hay and straw, which the farmers harvest the summer in advance. Additionally, ungulate feeding vegetables – beets, carrots, and added to the diet of grain feed, grain, cake, and specialized kibble.
The smallholder representatives, the most famous domesticated small herbivore is, of course, rabbit. Their main diet is grass and hay. Given that rabbits are rodents, they need solid food for grinding teeth. To do this, many owners spoil their Pets to the shoots and twigs of trees. Rabbits love fresh vegetables – carrots, beets and, of course, grain.
When we talk about herbivorous animals, we immediately imagine a harmless rabbits, calm cows, skittish goats. But not all herbivores are safe.
The elephant is a peaceful herbivore. But many people forget that the elephant has a strong trunk, dangerous tusks, and thick powerful legs with which he could tread down the enemy. Behemoth is also herbivorous, it feeds mainly on terrestrial and semi-aquatic grass. Calm, phlegmatic and clumsy beast. The more – herbivore – why be afraid? But at the same time, the Hippo is related to one of the most dangerous animals in Africa. The length of the tusks of the hippopotamus more than half. In a fit of rage, a Hippo can easily bite a crocodile. Therefore, even with the predator I try to stay away from him. But hippos only attack in case of danger or if it is near their calf.
If to continue the conversation about the dangerous herbivores, we can recall
- bison – a hoofed weighing up to a ton, that person is not purposefully attacks, but if you go to their territory – the consequences can be deplorable;
- the gorilla is the closest relative of man, the male gorilla will attack as soon as they feel threatened;
- the Buffalo is a powerful hooves and huge horns of the Buffalo sets in motion against the enemy.
Herbivorous to include not only representatives of mammals and birds. Food herbivorous birds is very varied – it is not only seeds and fruits of plants and trees, and grass, and pine needles, and buds on the trees, and even flowers. Some tropical species of birds feed on nectar.
Wild geese graze in the meadows and fields, so they have a highly developed jaw muscles and serrated beak securely grips food. Rooks dig up seedlings and eat them with grains. Bullfinches, blue Tits, lentils and some other types of birds feed on flowers of garden and meadow plants. It is worth noting that even herbivorous birds can sometimes eat insects – for example, in the fledging period. But given that their main diet is still plant food – they can be called herbivorous.
In addition to mammals and birds, there are some species of reptiles, which are also herbivorous. These include iguanas and some turtles. They feed on shoots, flowers, leaves and fruits of tropical plants. Iguanas are not able to chew food, so tear off pieces of leaves with their small teeth and immediately swallow them.
The main diet of tortoises are:
- vegetables – cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, carrots;
- any plants – sorrel, plantain, lawn grass;
- dandelion – is a favorite delicacy tortoise.
- fruits: apples, bananas, peaches, plums.
Herbivorous animals have a special structure of the stomach, because to digest plant foods more difficult. Plant foods contain cellulose, which is very hard to digest. To digest cellulose stomach of herbivores on multi-camera and contains special bacteria and protozoa. These organisms live in the stomachs of herbivores and help digest the crushed plant food.
Herbivores spread across the planet. On any continent, in any natural area you’ll find herbivores. In the desert, despite the high temperature and small amount of vegetation in the tundra, where most of the year vegetation hidden under snow. Herbivorous animals occupy an important place in the food chain – eat or predators.
The lack of herbivores will destroy the whole world fauna of our planet, so many species of herbivorous animals are protected by man and listed in the Red book. A list of them you can find on the Internet, here are a few examples: bison, Przewalski’s horse, bison, bighorn sheep and many other species that are important to keep.