What is an omnivore?

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Different creatures are all made in their own unique way. Some animals, known as carnivores, are made to only eat meat. Other animals, known as herbivores, are made to only eat plants. A third group, known as omnivores, are made to eat either (or both!) meat and plants.

Omnivores include animals such as monkeys, bears, raccoons, skunks, foxes, and even insect-eating birds. Another omnivore you might be familiar with is (can you guess??) humans! Most omnivores can and will eat a combination of meat and plants, which is helpful because it allows them to survive in a larger variety of conditions and environments than animals with more restricted diets.

Animals who are omnivores are built to accommodate their wide range of food choices. For example, look in the mirror and check out your teeth. Notice the difference in shape between your front teeth, which help to bite into meat, fruits, and vegetables, and your back teeth, which help to grind up nuts and seeds! The digestive system also plays a roll – even though we can’t digest all plant matter (like grass), we and other omnivores are able to eat both plants and meat thanks to our intestines!

by   (whyzz writer)
  • Further information

    Being an omnivore, especially as a human, gives us a lot of choices. For example, some omnivores eat meat only if or when they want to (like vegetarians).
  • Exploration

    Making the most of your menu!

    What are some things that are beneficial to being an omnivore who can (or does) eat both meat and plants? For an animal surviving in the wild, do you think that being able to eat either meat or plants is helpful to survival?

    What might be some advantages that herbivores have over omnivores? There are certain plants which only herbivores are able to digest. Do you think this is helpful to these animals?? What are some advantages to the carnivores? Do you think a diet of only meat is easy to come by? If you ate only meat, do you think you'd get bored and start to miss fruits, vegetables, and peanut-butter sandwiches??
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