The omnivorous animals are animals that are fed both plants and meat from other animals. For ex. ostrich , bear , mouse .Omnivorous animals are all those animals that can feed on plants as well as other animals. Being able to ingest these types of food indiscriminately. In this sense, the name given to these animals corresponds to the very meaning of the word omnivore, whose adjective comes from the Latin word conformed by the word: omnivŏrus, which combines the terms omnis (meaning everything and vorāre (meaning, eat).
The characteristics of omnivores
Depending on the species, they will have sharp claws such as carnivores (bears) or less robust claws like those of chimpanzees.
The digestive system of the omnivores is designed as a mixture of the carnivorous digestive system and the herbivore , we find long intestines (not as extensive as those of the herbivores but longer than that of the carnivores) and in some species the saliva has substances that initiate the digestion of carbohydrates.
The eyes of the omnivorous species with preference for the meat are towards the front, like those of the carnivores, this allows to sight any possible prey more easily. Those with a diet focused on vegetables have eyes on the sides of the head.
On our planet there is a large number of species that have different characteristics. Undoubtedly, within this variety of species, omnivorous animals are of particular interest. Of which we have been learning every day, which are how they live and how they maintain their habitat.
Omnivorous animals have the great advantage of adapting to different environments; which is given by the ease of eating and obtaining various types of food. Humans by their type of feeding are part of the family of omnivorous animals.
These animals can, thanks to this quality, change the environment more easily, since they can find multiple sources of food. We find omnivores among mammals , birds and even fish and reptiles .
The most general classification according to the type of feeding of the animals includes, in addition to omnivores, herbivores and carnivores:
- Herbivores : They eat vegetables. Since they should not tear the meat, there are no canines between their teeth but there are incisors and molars that allow them to cut and grind the vegetables. For this also their jaws have a lateral movement or from front to back. For ex. cow , rabbit .
- Carnivores : They feed on other animals. They can be scavengers (they feed on dead animals) or hunters (they catch live animals and after killing them eat them). They tend to be more aggressive, especially hunters (also called predators). Fangs (canines) are found in its teeth that allow to catch the prey. For ex. lion , tiger .
Examples of omnivorous animals
Mammals that are omnivorous
- Bears : They can hunt animals such as fish, insects and even other mammals, but they also eat fruits and roots. There are also purely carnivorous species of bears, such as polar bears.
- Human being : Human beings can digest both animals and vegetables. However, some people choose to eliminate animals from their diet. For this they need to correctly plan the meals, in such a way to consume all the proteins and vitamins and minerals that the meat contributes in great quantity.
- Pigs : The pig can feed on practically anything. However, it is wild state they are usually herbivores, because their jaw is better prepared to consume vegetables.
- Dog : Although the dog is naturally carnivorous, domestication has adapted it to a variety of foods, especially those that include starch.
- Foxes : Although they are hunters, unlike other canids (wolves, dogs, etc.) they do not usually move in packs. They hunt rodents and grasshoppers but they can also feed on fruits and berries.
- Hedgehogs : They are small animals with spines covered with spines, which live in Europe, Asia and Africa. However, in some countries it is allowed to adopt them as pets. The barbs serve to defend themselves, since when threatened they form a ball, hiding their defenseless parts and exposing only the barbs. They tend to feed on insects and small invertebrates, but also occasionally eat fruits and vegetables.
- Mice : Although they are naturally herbivorous, mice that live in urban areas have adapted to consume wastes, including those of animal origin. They consume 15% of their weight in food daily.
- Squirrels : Rodents that can measure between 20 and 45 cm, where a significant part of the body is occupied by the tail. While they eat mainly fruits, flowers, nuts and seeds, they also eat insects and spiders.
- Coaties : Small mammals that live in America, in warm and temperate climates with dense afforestation. They adapt to the food available in their environment, being able to choose insects, fruits, eggs and chicks.
- Opossums are an order of mammals that groups most of the marsupials that populate the American continent today These woolly bushy-tailed woolly is an animal omnivore and diet consists of fruit, nectars, seeds, vegetables, insects and vertebrate animals and other small invertebrates.
- Some rodents that are omnivorous are, such as mice , rats and squirrels .
Birds that are omnivorous
- Ostrich : A large bird that does not fly, which is found in Africa. It can reach 3 meters in height and 180 kg in weight, making it the largest and heaviest bird that exists. It has no teeth and has little mobility in the tongue, so it does not chew food. Although it feeds mainly on flowers and fruits, it also consumes small animals and arthropods.
- Seagulls : They feed on all kinds of marine animals, vegetables, insects, small birds, bird eggs, rats and many other foods, including carrion. Although they are naturally inhabitants of the marine coasts, they are currently found flying over garbage dumps in cities.
- Hens : Chickens can eat leftovers of meat, vegetables, fruits, vegetables, insects. However, there are differences about adequate feeding for chickens. While some recommend giving them flours, others say that corn decreases the amount of eggs they put. On the other hand, it is recommended to limit the amount of animal protein that they consume, to avoid the appearance of diseases.
- Cassowaries is a genus of Casuariiformes birdsof the Casuariidae family known ascassowaries . It is composed of three speciesthat are distributed in Australia and New Guinea . They are non-flying solitary birds that live in the jungle rainy tropical, where they feed on fallen fruits, some mushrooms and small animals.
- Some corvids , like the crow has coexisted with humans for thousands of years and in some regions it is so abundant that it is considered a noxious species. Part of its success is due to its omnivorous regime ; the big crow is extremely opportunistic, feeding on carrion , insects , food waste , cereals , fruits and small animals rook and the magpie .
- The kea has a omnivorous diet, composed of berries and sprouts, but also feed on insects, nectar and eggs. They have also learned to feed on landfills and carrion . They developed very bad reputation as assassins of sheep , but although they feed on dead sheep, or can kill some sick, there are very few cases of attacks on healthy sheep.
Some other birds are:
Fishes that are omnivorous
- Piranhas : They live in rivers of South America, mainly in the zone of Amazonia. They measure between 20 and 60 cm in length. In addition to the omnivorous piranha species, there are also exclusively carnivorous and other herbivorous species. There may even be cases of attacking their own species. They can have different colors, ranging from silvery to black or reddish. Some species live in groups, forming banks of thousands of individuals, while others are solitary.
- Carp: It is a freshwater fish native to Asia and Europe. It measures up to 1.2 m and feeds on crustaceans, insects, zooplankton, benthos and aquatic plants.
- Guppy: It is a fish of great adaptability and ovovivíparo that lives in South America. Consume aquatic plants, larvae of insects, insects, carrion and even their own young. The appetite of this fish is voracious.
Reptiles that are omnivorous
- Ocellated lizard : They are reptiles over 50 cm long, green or brown. They have thick legs and strong claws, which allow them to hunt rodents and other reptiles, but also obtain fruits and berries. They live in the south west of Europe and in the north of Africa.
- Land turtles : Some species of turtles, in addition to feeding on vegetables such as carrots, lettuce, chard or broccoli, and fruits such as apples, pears or watermelons, are capable of eating crickets or worms.
Invertebrates that are omnivorous
- Wasp: They are found all over the world although they prefer sunny and temperate climates. It feeds on nectar, larvae, fruits, carrion and small insects.
- Cockroach: It is distributed practically all over the world, particularly in urban areas, it feeds on human waste , carrion. Nectar, fruits, leaves and vegetables.
- Scorpion fly: This animal taken out of our most terrible nightmares (yes, ithas a scorpion tail and flies) is totally harmless. It feeds on decomposing biological material such as leaves and carrion, hunting insects and spiders.