The kingdom of animals is not as small as it seems. There are different categories that classify the animals depending on certain matters such as the food they consume, habitat, way of living, and other else. Also, animals have their own unique characteristics that differentiate them from one another. Despite these differences, each has its own role in the ecosystem to make it sustainable and effective for the living of both animals and human beings.

Moreover, one of these categories in the kingdom of animals is the herbivore. Have you heard of this before? Well, if not yet, this is the perfect opportunity for you to discover how amazing and helpful the herbivore animals are.

Defining Herbivore

Defining Herbivore

Herbivores are the animals physiologically and anatomically adapted to consuming different plant materials such as marine algae and foliage as their diet’s main component. In simple words, herbivores are animals that consume only plant materials. This results to having typical mouthparts adapted to the grinding and rasping of plant foods. One example of that is a horse that has the firm and wide flat teeth enabling it to grin grass, the bark of a tree, and other edible plant materials.

Another thing, in the herbivore category, there is a huge percentage of animals that have mutualistic gut flora. This helps them for easier and effective digestion of different plant matter that they need as sources of energy and nutrients. This flora is made of cellulose, a digesting protozoan, or bacteria. Without this, herbivores can find it hard to consume their plant foods easily and effectively.

Moving on, let us proceed to the impacts of herbivores in the ecosystem.

Impacts

  • Land

Most of the herbivores are found living on land. They are the animals responsible for consuming different plant matters in competition with human beings. This includes rabbits, horses, guinea pigs, kangaroos, cows, goats, shepherd, bulls, zebras, giraffes, gazelles, and so many more. They strive mostly on savannah and prairies, which are lands filled with grasses consumed by these mentioned animals and others. Here, there is competition when it comes to the food source. Different herbivores scavenge for food to sustain their health and growth despite other fellow herbivores to compete with the source.

 

  • Underwater

Aside from the land herbivores, there are also from under the rich seas and other bodies of water. Herbivorous marine animals and fishes are considered as indispensable parts of the ecosystem of the coral reef. Seaweeds and algae are the primary food source of herbivore creatures underwater that can grow faster than corals. Also, both of these can occupy a place wherein corals have already settled. This leads to outgrow of both seaweeds and algae, giving no shade of light to sustain the growth of corals. Another thing, when there is an absence of any plant-eating sea creature such as fishes and turtles, it isn’t possible for seaweeds and algae to strive on a particular sea area.

Herbivore is an interesting category of animals that has its own role in the function of the ecosystem. It has its own contribution to how the chains within the ecosystem work, and giving a threat to it can bring a domino effect both to the animals and human beings.