Image: Omnivore


Omnivore, an animal that eats both animal flesh and vegetable matter. The term "omnivore" indicates similarities in the behavior and physiology of many unrelated animals; for example, many small birds and mammals are omnivorous.

Because of their wide food preferences

Because of their wide food preferences, omnivores are usually less specialized in their food gathering habits than either carnivores or herbivores. Depending on food supply, the spotted skunk feeds mainly on mice and rats during the winter, and on seeds and insects in the summer months. Similarly the mockingbird varies its diet between berries and insects, depending on the time of year. Many animals that are described as being carnivorous are actually omnivorous; the grizzly bear supplements its diet of flesh with grasses, herbs, nuts, and berries, and the red fox feeds on fruits and berries as well as animal flesh. Omnivores can be both primary and secondary consumers within the food web.

The digestive systems of omnivores are

The digestive systems of omnivores are adapted to greater variety within the diet. The teeth of omnivorous mammals possess special features common to the teeth of both herbivores and carnivores. Human beings are an example; their teeth can tear off flesh and grind up tough plant material.

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