We have just studied the nutrition in plants. We have learnt that plants are autotrophic organisms which can manufacture their own food. So, plants don’t have to look to others for getting their food. They are food producers themselves. But this is not so in the case of animals. Animals are heterotrophs and hence they depend on other organisms for their food. Thus, animals need an external source of food. We will now discuss how animals obtain their food.

Animals Obtain their Food from Plants or Other Animals

Since animals cannot make their own food, they depend on readymade food. This readymade food comes either Trom ‘plants’ or from ‘other animals’, Thus, animals animals (which they eat). We (human beings) are also animals. We obtain the foods like wheat, rice, pulses (dal), fruits and vegetables from plants. And the foods like milk, curd, cheese and eggs are obtained from. animals. Some people also eat meat, chicken and fish as fonod. These foods are also obtained from animals.

Many other animals obtain their food by eating the flesh of other animals. For example, the fish, birds, snakes and insects, all obtlain their food from other animals. The big fish cats small fish; the birds eat worms and insects; the snake eats frogs and the insects cat dead boxlies of animals. The non-green plants (which cannot make their own food by photonSynthesis) also obtain their food from other plants and animals.

Herbivores, carnivorcs and omnivores.

Yeast plant is one such example. Even the plants can eat insects. For example, the pitcher plant and the venus fly-trap are the two plants which eat insects All the animals can be divided into three groups on the basis of their food habits (or cating habits).

These are :

(i) Herbivores,.

(ii) Carnivores, and

(iii) Omnivores..

We will now discuss herbivores, carnivores and omnivores in somewhat detail. Let us start with the herbivores.

1. Herbivores

Some animals eat only plants (or their products). Those animals which eat only plants are called herbivores. The herbivores may eat grasses, leaves, grains, fruits or the bark of trees. Some of the examples of herbivores are : Goat, Cow, Buffalo, Sheep, Horse, Deer, Camel, Ass, Ox, Elephant, Monkey, Squirrel, Rabbit, Grasshopper and Hippopotamus. Cow is called a herbivore because it cats only plante Thus, herbivores are plant eaters. Herbivores are also called herbivorous animals.

(a) Cow cats only plant food (like grass), so it is à herbivore

(b) Lion eats only meat (or tlesh) of other animals, so it i’s u carnivore

(c) Humans cat plunt food as well meat, so they are omnivores

2. Carnivores

Some animals cat only other animals. They do not eat plant food at all. Those animals which eat only other animals as food are called carnivores. Carnivores eat only the meat (or flesh) of other animals So we can also say that : Those animals which eat only the meat (or fleshh) of other animals are called carnivores, Same of the examples of carnivores are : Lion, Tiger, Frog, Vulture, Kingfisher, Lizard, Wolf, Snake and Hand.

Lion is called a carnivore because it eats only the meat (or flesh) of other animals like deer, rabbit, goat, etc. Thus, carnivores are meat eaters. Carnivores are alsa called carnivorous animals.

3. Omnivores

Some animals cat both, plants as well as other animals as food. Those animals which eat both, plants and animals, are called omnivores. In other words, the omnivores cat plant food as well as the meat (or flesh) of other animals. Some of the examples of omnivores are : Man (Human beings), Dog, Crow, Sparrow, Bear, Mynah, and Ant. Man is called an omnivore because he eats the plant food (such as grains, pulses fruits and vegetables) as well as the meat of animals (such as goat, chicken and fish), Thus, omnivores are plant eaters as well as meat eaters. Omnivores are also called omnivorous animals.


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