Herbivorous animals – Examples and curiosities
Want to know some examples of herbivorous animals? Figure out your rating? In this article of YourCatCareguide we explain to you which are the herbivorous animals with examples and curiosities more frequent, its characteristics and some details on its behavior.
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Remember that herbivorous or phytophagous animals are those that feed primarily on plants, not just grass, and which consider themselves the “primary consumers”.
How do you define a herbivorous animal?
A herbivorous animal would be one whose diet is exclusively vegetable , with plants and herbs being the main ingredients of it. The fundamental component of vegetables is cellulose, a very complex carbohydrate or carbohydrate. This carbohydrate or carbohydrate is very difficult to digest, however the nature, over millions of years of evolution, has developed several strategies for its use.
How is the cellulose digested?
The herbivorous animals can take advantage of the cellulose thanks to two actions or digestions: the mechanical digestion , due to a special dentition, with flat form, that consists of chewing the plants; and another due to the action of the microorganisms that they have in their digestive tract. These microorganisms, through fermentations, are able to transform cellulose into simpler products, the main one being glucose.
What kinds of herbivorous animals are there?
There are two major groups: the polygassic and the monogastric . As the name implies, the first are those who have several stomachs (in reality it is just a stomach with several compartments that communicate with each other). In some of the compartments there is a high concentration of microorganisms capable of fermenting the cellulose. The teeth are also very special, since they have a flat shape and in the upper jaw there are no incisors. An example of these animals are those that have two hooves, also known as ruminants . They also have the peculiarity of regurgitating part of the gastric contents in order to re-chew or ruminate. An example of such animals are cattle, goats and sheep .
Monogastrics are those that only have one stomach, so the fermentations happen elsewhere in the digestive system. This is the case with the horse and the rabbit. In this case, there is a great development of the blind. It is found between the end of the small intestine and the beginning of the large intestine, achieving a considerable development. In monogastric herbivorous animals there is no possibility of rumination and, in the case of horses , only have a hoof and have incisors in the upper jaw.
In the case of rabbits (lagomorphs), products resulting from the fermentations of the blind are expelled through the faeces. These “special” feces are known as cecotrophs and are ingested by rabbits to take advantage of all the nutrients they contain. These, on the other hand, have a very special dental apparatus, with the presence of teeth of continuous growth (the inferior and superior incisors).
What are the most important herbivores?
Most of these animals like to live in groups or herds (they are gregarious) and are considered prey. which is why the position of their eyes is much lateralized (so you can see who haunts them without turning their heads) and, moreover, they tend to behave in a tendency to escape from frightening.
The most important are cattle (cows), sheep (sheep) and goats (goats). In the case of the monogastric we have equines , rodents and lagomorphs (rabbits).
List of herbivorous animals: monogastric
Within the monogastricos we have:
- Guinea pig
- Battered Mouse
List of herbivorous animals: polygrastric
Within the polygrastric we have:
- Asian buffalos
- Kaffir buffalo
- Domestic goats
- Iberian goats
- Mountain goats
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