Skip to content

Which Animals Are Omnivores: Examples

Animals can be classified based on many factors. One of them is their type of diet, being able to distinguish between herbivorous animals, those that feed only on vegetables; carnivorous animals, those that eat only meat and, lastly, omnivorous animals. By elimination we could imagine that the latter are the ones that eat both vegetables and meat, right? If you have thought about this, you are not misguided. In AgroCorrn we take you further so that you know a little more about which animals are omnivores and some examples .

You may also be interested in: Herbivorous animals: what they are and examples
Index
  1. What are omnivorous animals
  2. Examples of omnivorous mammals
  3. Examples of omnivorous birds
  4. Examples of omnivorous fish
  5. Examples of omnivorous reptiles
  6. Examples of omnivorous invertebrate animals

What are omnivorous animals

The term “omnivore” comes from Latin ( omnis, “ everything” and vorare , “eat”), that is, it refers to those animals that “eat everything” ; both meat from other animals and plants, which makes it possible for them to be found in a multitude of environments, reaching into urban centers in search of garbage and debris.

Due to their wide range of foods, these animals are generalists and opportunists, since they are not adapted in a specific way to eat exclusively vegetables or meat, that is, their body is prepared to process all kinds of foods such as herbs, fruits, roots, etc. fungi, insects, meat, carrion or fish.

For this reason, they have intermediate characteristics between carnivores and herbivores , such as their jaws. These combine teeth capable of chewing plants through strong molars that provide a large surface area for it, and meat through molars and sharp canines to tear.

However, there are times when there are herbivorous or carnivorous animals that can appear omnivores, since sometimes the former eat meat and the latter eat large amounts of plants. Despite this, they are not considered omnivorous species since this distinctive refers to animals that combine meat and vegetables in their usual diet and not to animals that do so occasionally, as could result in the previous example.

There is a great variety of omnivorous animals, from insects to mammals, through birds, fish and reptiles. Here are some of them.

Examples of omnivorous mammals

Possibly the best known omnivorous animal is the pig . Pigs eat any type of food that they find in their path and it may be one of the best known because it is increasingly common to see them in homes, as pets.

However, although pigs may seem the most popular omnivores, bears are also great opportunists and the most representative omnivores, as they adapt and develop very easily in their habitat. Except for the polar bear, which due to its environment is only carnivorous, the rest of the ursid species are omnivores, which includes the large panda bear.

But within mammals we cannot forget ourselves: the human being . What other omnivorous species would we know better than ourselves. The archaeological evidence of the first species of the genus Homo determined that they were hunter-gatherers. Although the consumption of meat is not necessary for the human being, as defended by those people who eliminate it from their diet (but who consider themselves vegetarians or vegans, not herbivores, since they do not have the anatomical adaptations for it), the consumption of vegetable products, fruits and cereals to avoid nutritional deficiencies that can cause serious consequences.

There is a great variety of omnivorous mammalian animals . Other examples can be:

  • Primates like chimpanzees
  • Hedgehogs.
  • Raccoons, like the boreal raccoon.
  • Rodents such as rats, mice, or squirrels.
  • Coatíes.
  • Skunks
  • Zarigüeyas.

Examples of omnivorous birds

Within birds we also find very varied examples. One of them is the case of birds of the genus Rhea , such as ostriches or rhea . The former, like all birds, lack teeth and the mobility of their tongue is not excessive so they do not chew the food they eat directly. In addition to eating vegetables, they can ingest small arthropods and, due to their great voracity, stones or minerals that, when retained within their body, help grind food. In the case of the rhea, their diet includes even reptiles and small mammals, and their stomach contains highly efficient enzymes when it comes to digesting this type of food in their diet.

Another clear example is that of corvids. Crows are very opportunistic birds that can feed on carrion , insects, food scraps, cereals, fruits and even small animals. Within this group are also magpies, which can access any source of food thanks to the “maladjustment” of their beak (straight and strong) and specific diets. Its diet includes mainly insects and cereals, although like crows, they can also feed on carrion.

Other birds known for their omnivorous habits are:

  • Birds of the genus Larus , such as gulls.
  • Genus Gallus, like chickens.
  • Casuarios.
  • Finches, blackbirds, sparrows, robin.
  • Peacock.
  • Partridge.
  • Wild ducks and swans.
  • The Kea, from the parrot family.
  • Birds of the Rallidae family (coots, redfish, chicks).

Examples of omnivorous fish

One of the species with the worst reputation for its aggressiveness and its great voracity are the piranhas , considered one of the most dangerous fish in the world . However, these fish are not as ferocious as science fiction paints them, unless there is a shortage of food, at which point they attack any possible food source that falls into the water. Therefore, they are omnivorous fish since they eat both carrion and aquatic plants, as well as invertebrates, crustaceans, other fish, fruit …

Another great example is the well-known clownfish , which are found in marine reefs. In their diet they include small invertebrates and zooplankton, as well as the parasites found in the anemones where they live.

Other examples of omnivorous fish are common carp , cod, puffer fish, archer fish or moray eels.

Examples of omnivorous reptiles

Within this group of animals we find some species of turtles , with an abundance of aquatic omnivorous species on terrestrial ones, which tend to be more commonly herbivorous, although there are also carnivorous marine and terrestrial turtles . In the terrestrial environment, the feeding of omnivorous turtle species includes vegetables, fruits, insects and even small mammals and birds. On the other hand, the marinas, in addition to feeding on algae, eat mollusks, crustaceans and small fish. Some examples of this type of tortoise are the Florida tortoise, the leprous tortoise, or the red-footed tortoise.

Many species of the Lacertilia type are also omnivorous reptiles , which includes various species of lizards, such as the ocellated lizard or the Balearic lizard. The first one feeds mostly on insects, but also includes small fruits and berries in its diet, as well as small rodents, other reptiles and amphibians such as frogs, bird eggs, and even small mammals such as rabbits. The Balearic lizard , in a similar way, feeds on insects, but also does not reject the carrion of other vertebrate animals, although it also feeds on fruits, flowers, nectar, leaves and shoots.

Examples of omnivorous invertebrate animals

And finally, although you probably wouldn’t have stopped to think about it, there are also invertebrate animals that have an omnivorous diet . An example of them is that of the red ant , whose diet includes plants, seeds and other insects such as crickets.

Other examples of omnivorous invertebrates are wasps, hornets, cockroaches, flies, crickets, or the cemetery beetle.

If you want to read more articles similar to Which animals are omnivores: examples , we recommend that you enter our Wild Animals category .

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.