Reference Terms
from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


A carnivore is an animal that eats a diet consisting mainly of meat, whether it comes from live animals or dead ones (scavenging).

Some animals are considered carnivores even if their diets contain very little meat (e.g., predatory arthropods such as spiders or mantids that may rarely consume small vertebrate prey).

Animals that subsist on a diet consisting only of meat are referred to as obligate carnivores.

The word also refers to the mammals of the Order Carnivora, many (but not all) of which fit the first definition.

Bears are an example of members of Carnivora that are not true carnivores.

Carnivores that eat insects primarily or exclusively are called insectivores, while those that eat fish primarily or exclusively are called piscivores.

There are also several species of carnivorous plants, though most are primarily insectivorous.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Carnivore", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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