We explain what omnivorous animals are and the habitat where they live. Also, what are its characteristics, food and examples.
Omnivorous animals are those that can feed on food of both animal and plant origin . This includes not only the body of the plant or animal , but also the substances they produce such as honey, nectar, eggs, or blood . Its name comes from the Latin voices omnis , "all", and vor?re , "to devour."
Omnivores are opportunistic eaters, that is, they eat as opportunity presents itself . They are also generalists, that is, without being strictly governed by any preference. This means that their bodies are not adapted for an exclusively vegetarian or carnivorous diet.
Carnivorous animals that eventually eat plants are not exactly omnivores, nor are herbivores capable of consuming meat, since they have a well-defined nutritional profile, from which they can eventually escape. Omnivores, on the other hand, do not have any specific profile , or in any case it is extremely broad and versatile.
It is very difficult to determine why certain animal species specialized in the ingestion of organic plant or animal matter exclusively, while others are capable of eating everything.
It is estimated that it is due to a necessary diversification of the diet throughout periods of scarcity of certain foods and abundance of others.
As a result, those who adapted to eating everything maximized their chances of survival in any setting.
One of the distinctive features of omnivorous animals, at least the superior ones, is their teeth, which are a combination of the teeth of herbivorous and carnivorous animals. Each one is characterized by a type of teeth:
There are also omnivores without teeth, such as chickens . But in this case, the animal has a digestive sac that is filled with stones, known as a gizzard, in which the food is crushed before continuing its digestive path.
On the contrary, the branches, leaves and other vegetables can be quite resistant . For this reason, herbivores have a complicated digestive system , with several stomachs and that involves the regurgitation of food to be chewed again.
Omnivores have an intermediate digestive system : a simple and direct system ideal for digesting meat, but also capable of processing most of the plant parts, expelling the rest without much effort to reduce it.
They depend less than other species on the abundance of plants or other animals to consume. For this reason, they enjoy greater possibilities of subsistence than animals with a specialized diet.
On the other hand, they are much more adaptable to violent changes in the nutritional balance. However, they are often classified in the trophic pyramid alongside predators and carnivores.
In terms of survival, omnivores are animals more capable of adapting to scarcity than carnivores or herbivores. This is particularly true in ecosystems that show great seasonal variation, in which some species disappear during the winter and reappear during the summer, or vice versa.
Omnivores are a particularly broad and diversified category. It encompasses animals as big as a bear , or as small as an ant . It also includes birds such as the raven, mammals such as the pig and, of course, the human being .
The evidences that the human being is omnivorous can be found in our own anatomy . In addition, the evolution of our species allows us to appreciate traces of our varied and flexible diet, such as:
Some of the main omnivorous animals are: