Definition of Carnivorous Animals: Types, and 4 Examples

Definition of Carnivorous Animals – To sustain life, every living thing requires nutrition to be distributed throughout the body according to its needs. These nutrients are obtained from food intake that enters the mouth, then digested by the stomach with the help of enzymes.

Judging from the type of food, kingdom animalia is divided into three groups of animals, namely herbivores, carnivores and omnivores. All three have their respective roles in the food chain. This time we will thoroughly examine everything about carnivorous animals, the definition of carnivorous animals, their characteristics and examples. Keep following, Readers review this time. Always activate your Gramedia Digital application, so you don’t miss other exciting information.

Definition of carnivorous animals

In simple terms, carnivores are meat-eating animals. In broad terms, carnivores, meat eaters, or food animals are living things that get the energy and nutrients they need from a food source in the form of animal tissue, either as a predator of other animals, or from animals that have died and decayed. From another source

The definition of carnivore is taken from the Latin word caro which means meat and the word vorare which means food, thus it can be concluded that carnivores are meat-eating animals.

Because the food source is meat, it is not uncommon for carnivorous animals to get their food by hunting other carnivorous animals around them, so carnivorous animals get the nickname as predators. Is it evil? Of course not, this is an important aspect in its role as an ecosystem balancer that prevents animal populations. Carnivorous animals are at the top of the food chain But not only animals, it turns out that there are also plants that catch insects, even other small animals, these plants are called carnivorous plants, as well as fungi that eat microscopic animals, also known as carnivore fungi .

Characteristics of carnivorous animals

Characteristically in the digestive system of carnivorous animals. The digestive system of carnivorous animals is shorter than herbivorous animals. The reason is that carnivorous animals have food that can be easily destroyed, in contrast to the cellulose component present in herbivores.

Carnivorous animals have sharp and strong teeth. As a meat eater, the strong teeth of carnivorous animals help carnivorous animals to kill their prey and tear their prey’s flesh. This process is supported by a set of sharp and pointed canines and incisors, which are owned by carnivorous animals.

The presence of sharp and pointy canines is not an indication that this animal is a carnivorous animal. This only provides information about dietary patterns that contain animal meat. After food is digested and broken down into a form ready for absorption, it is absorbed in the small intestine. Meanwhile, water, nutrients, a small amount of fat, and small amounts of other proteins are absorbed in the large intestine. Carnivorous animals do not have cellulose digestive enzymes.

In the animal kingdom, each animal has its own characteristics. What other characteristics of carnivorous animals? What also distinguishes carnivorous animals from other animals? It’s good, we learn more about the characteristics of this carnivorous animal, so that we can more easily recognize its characteristics.

  1. The digestive system of carnivorous animals is the digestive system of carnivorous animals.
  2. The digestive system of carnivorous animals digests material of animal origin
  3. The digestive system in carnivorous animals has a single stomach with a shorter digestive tract.
  4. Have sharp and strong teeth to tear meat or prey
  5. Have sharp nails or claws to immobilize their prey
  6. Has the ability to run very fast to hunt and attack its prey
  7. Most are mammals that have mammary glands

Types of carnivorous animals

Readers, it turns out that carnivorous animals have many types. What kind?

1. Obligate carnivores

Some carnivorous animals, are referred to as obligate carnivores. In other terms, obligate carnivores are referred to as true carnivores, ie animals that only depend on nutrients from animal flesh to survive. Obligate carnivores do not have an adequate digestive system to digest plant matter. The body of an obligate carnivore cannot digest plants properly, and it seems as if it just goes through the process of emesis, which is forcibly expelling the contents of the stomach through the mouth or nose, so that the plant cannot provide sufficient nutrition for the obligate carnivore.

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 2. Hypercarnivores

Hypercarnivora is a group of animals where 70% of their food source is meat. Hypercarnivora includes carnivorous animals that are not obligatory carnivores. The characteristic of this carnivorous animal is that it has a strong skull and facial muscles, which function to hold prey, cut meat, and break bones. Oh yes, animals that are included in the hypercarnivora type, cannot digest plants, therefore, most of their food is meat.

3. Mesocarnivores

This type of carnivore is called a mesocarnivore, because 50% of its food for survival comes from meat. Why only 50%? Then, the other 50% is what? Apart from meat, this type of carnivorous animal can eat fruits, vegetables, and also mushrooms. The physique of this type of carnivorous animal is usually smaller than that of a hypercarnivore. What you need to know, Readers, carnivorous animals belonging to this type, usually live in an environment close to humans.

4. Hypocarnivores

Hypocarnivora is a carnivorous animal whose need for meat is only about 30% of all types of food. This type of carnivorous animal can eat meat, but most of this type of carnivorous animal eats fish, fruits, roots, and nuts. Because there are many types of food, this type of carnivorous animal can be classified as an omnivore. Wow, it’s amazing, Readers, it turns out that carnivorous animals are still classified into many other types of carnivorous animals.

Examples of carnivorous animals

Readers, what comes to your mind when you hear carnivorous animals? There must have been animal names like tigers, lions or crocodiles. Even though there are many examples of other carnivorous animals on this earth. What are some examples? Let’s see!

1. Snake

This group of legless, long-bodied reptiles is widely distributed throughout the world. According to scientific records, all types of snakes belong to the sub-order Serpentes and are members of the order Squamata or scaly reptiles, along with lizards. However, snakes (Serpentes) themselves are classified in the Ophidia clade branch or creeping reptiles, which are a group of reptiles with or without legs, have a long body, and have a completely different physiology from lizards.

Snake prey is a variety of animals that are smaller than the body. Tree snakes and land snakes will prey on birds, mammals, frogs, other types of reptiles and their eggs.

Large snakes like reticulated pythons can prey on animals the size of goats, antelopes, deer, and even humans. This type of snake will coil around its prey, then crush the bones, after which it swallows its prey. Snakes in the waters will prey on fish, frogs, tadpoles, and fish eggs.

Snakes crush all of their prey without the slightest trace and are able to consume prey that is three times the diameter of the snake’s head. This is due to their lower jaw and can separate from the upper jaw. So that prey does not escape, snakes are able to hold their prey in their mouths, because snakes have teeth that face backwards.

2. Komodo

Komodo has the Latin name Varanus Komodoensis is a species of large monitor lizard found in the eastern region of Indonesia, namely on the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang and Gili Dasami in East Nusa Tenggara Province.

The Komodo dragon, which the natives of Komodo Island call the local name Ora, is the largest species of the Varanidae family , also the largest lizard in the world, having an average length of 2-3 meters and weighing up to 100 kg. Komodo dragons are the top predators in their habitat, because so far no other large carnivorous animals have been known in their geographical environment.

Komodo has the ability to see up to 300 meters. However, these animals cannot see well in the dark at night, because their retinas only have cone cells. Like the other Squamata, the Komodo dragon uses its tongue to smell its prey.

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The Komodo dragon’s tongue captures odor particles in the air, then attaches them to an organ in the roof of its mouth, called the Jacobson’s organ, which detects signs of this odor.

Komodo dragons are able to detect the presence of carrion as far as 4-9.5 km only through their habit of turning their heads to the right and left with the help of the wind. Komodo has nostrils that only function for breathing, not capturing smells, because the Komodo dragon does not have a scent-receiving membrane in its nose.

Komodo dragons will hunt their live prey by sneaking and then following it with a sudden attack on their victim. When the prey is within reach, the Komodo dragon immediately attacks by biting on the lower body milk or throat of its prey.

The way the Komodo dragon finds its prey is by using its tongue which can sense the smell of prey, carrion or dying animals at a distance of up to 9.5 kilometers. Meanwhile, the Komodo dragon eats its prey by tearing large chunks of its prey’s flesh, then swallowing it whole, while its forelimbs hold its prey’s body. For prey up to the size of a goat, the Komodo dragon is able to finish it in one swallow.

3. Owl

Owls have large, forward-facing eyes, unlike other types of birds whose eyes face sideways. The owl’s beak is bent sharply downwards, and the arrangement of the head feathers is coiled to form a circle of the face.

The owl’s facial features are impressive, but sometimes creepy. This phenomenon is the origin of the name owl. Uniquely, the owl’s neck is flexible, so that its face can rotate 180 degrees backwards.

Owls are hunting birds that mostly hunt at night. With the texture of the eyes facing forward, it will allow the owl to be able to accurately measure the range of its prey.

Its sharp and strong beak and nimble legs are able to firmly grip its prey. Owls also have the ability to fly without making noise, this is the basis for owls to hunt at night.

In the agricultural sector, owls are used by farmers to eradicate rats, because owls are the rat’s main enemy. Exterminating rats using owls is considered the most effective among other methods such as using rat poison, or by gropyokan (rat hunting involving many people together and simultaneously).

Owls are natural predators, the Javanese Serak owl is a very reliable rat-hunting owl. A pair of owls, able to protect 25 hectares of rice farming land from rat attacks. Within one year, the owl is capable of 1300 mice. Control of rats using owls is more effective and efficient than using chemicals.

4. Seals

Seals are large mammals from the carnivore order that live in cool areas. Seals are generally smooth and quite large. Seal is the common name for pinnipeds, which comes from the Latin word pinna which means mammal with fins. Its body is well adapted to its aquatic habitat, where this seal spends most of its life.

Seals are carnivores that eat fish, shellfish, squid, penguins and other sea creatures. In general, seals will eat common foods such as fish or squid. But there is a type of seal that has a special favorite food. Call the Ross seal and the southern elephant seal, whose main diet is squid. Crab-eating seals mostly eat krill, and ringed seals are especially fond of crustaceans.

There are also seals that are predatory. Leopard seals are cold-blooded carnivorous animals. The leopard seals prey on penguins, crab-eating seals and Ross seals.

Well, Readers. That’s a little story about carnivorous animals. It turns out that the way these animals survive is very unique. However, even though most of these carnivorous animals are wild animals, we must not hunt these animals, so that the natural ecosystem is maintained.