Herbivore

White-tailed deer browsing on leaves. Note the juvenile's different coat pattern.

Herbivores are animals that only eat plants. They are herbivorous animals including humans.

Humans are believed to be omnivores, because they eat meat as well as vegetable matter. However, research has shown that humans are more suited to a herbivore or frugivore diet because of the shape and make up of our hands, feet and teeth. People who eat mostly plants are usually called vegetarians or vegans.

Herbivores (such as deer, elephants, horses) have teeth that are adapted to grind vegetable tissue. Many animals that eat fruit and leaves sometimes eat other parts of plants, for example roots and seeds. Usually, such animals cannot chew or digest meat. But some herbivorous animals will eat eggs and occasionally other animal protein.

Some herbivores can be classified as "frugivores", because they eat mainly fruit; or "browsers", which eat mostly leaves. Animals that eat mostly grass are "grazing" animals.

The diets of some herbivorous animals change with the seasons. In the temperate zones of the Earth, some seasons are hot and some are cold, so different plants are available at different times of the year.

Digesting cellulose

Plant cell walls are mostly made up of cellulose. No herbivore can digest cellulose by itself. They all make use of gut flora, some of which produce an enzyme called cellulase. This is an example of symbiosis.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Herbivoor
aragonés: Herbivorismo
asturianu: Herbívoru
azərbaycanca: Fitofaqlar
беларуская: Фітафагія
bosanski: Biljožderi
brezhoneg: Geotdebrer
català: Herbivorisme
čeština: Býložravec
Cymraeg: Llysysydd
eesti: Herbivoor
Ελληνικά: Φυτοφάγο
English: Herbivore
español: Herbívoro
Esperanto: Herbovorulo
euskara: Belarjale
føroyskt: Plantuátar
français: Herbivore
Frysk: Herbivoar
Gaeilge: Luibhiteoir
galego: Herbívoro
한국어: 초식성
hrvatski: Biljožderi
Bahasa Indonesia: Herbivor
íslenska: Jurtaæta
italiano: Erbivoro
Basa Jawa: Hèrbivor
қазақша: Фитофаг
kernowek: Gwelsdebrer
Kreyòl ayisyen: Èbivò
Latina: Herbivora
latviešu: Zālēdāji
magyar: Növényevő
മലയാളം: സസ്യഭുക്ക്
Malti: Erbivoru
मराठी: शाकाहारी
Bahasa Melayu: Maun
Nederlands: Herbivoor
नेपाली: साकाहारी
日本語: 草食動物
norsk nynorsk: Planteetar
occitan: Erbivòr
پنجابی: پتے کھانے
polski: Fitofag
português: Herbívoro
română: Erbivore
Runa Simi: Yura mikhuq
русский: Фитофагия
Scots: Yerbivore
slovenčina: Bylinožravec
slovenščina: Rastlinojedec
Soomaaliga: Dhircun
српски / srpski: Биљојед
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Herbivor
Basa Sunda: Hérbivora
svenska: Växtätare
Tagalog: Erbiboro
Türkçe: Otoburlar
українська: Рослиноїдні
Tiếng Việt: Động vật ăn cỏ
Winaray: Erbiboro
中文: 食草动物