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What is a herbivore?

An herbivore is a type of animal who eats only plants and does not eat any meat.

Some herbivores you're familiar with include cows, deer, moose, rabbits, elephants, and more! Depending on the animal, certain herbivores will eat only one type of plant-food, such as nectar, grain, fruit, or pollen.

Because eating plants does not always provide them with a lot of energy, herbivores have to eat a lot -- in fact, many of them spend all day munching! (Have you ever seen animals grazing in a field?)

Certain herbivores known as ruminants (like cows and sheep) also get extra energy from the way they digest. These animals regurgitate (think “spit up”) their food and then chew it a second time. This helps them to break it down even more and get more out of it! Just like their stomachs and digestive systems can be made to help them maximize their plant-grub, herbivores’ teeth help out too. Big molars help herbivores to crush twigs, seeds, and leaves. – Neat!!

by Mya Kagan (Whyzz writer)


Name that herbivore! Different types of herbivores each have their own special names. For example, an animal who eats only fruit is a frugivore! Those who only eat seeds or grains are granivores, while those who only eat pollen are polynivores! Can you guess what a nectar-only critter is called?? If you guessed "nectivore," then you're right!If you were able to eat only your favorite food, what would you be called? An apple-ivore? An chocolate-ivore? A pb&j-ivore??!


Binns, Corey. What Is an Herbivore?Herbivores. NatureWorks. New Hampshire Public Television.