noun, plural: herbivores

An animal that consumes herbaceous vegetation


A food chain is comprised of trophic levels. A trophic level refers to a level or a position in a food chain or ecological pyramid. It is occupied by a group of organisms that have a similar feeding mode. There are three fundamental groups of living things classified based on feeding mode. These are producers, consumers, and decomposers. The producers are the ones that obtain nourishment directly from inorganic sources. The consumers are the ones that feed on organic matter. Decomposers are those that break down dead organic material and wastes.

Consumers feed on the producers in the food chain. They are further classified into primary, secondary, and tertiary consumers. Primary consumers are those that feed directly on the producers. They are also referred to as herbivores. Thus, any animal that feed chiefly on grass and other plants are herbivores. Examples of herbivores include koalas (feed on leaves), butterfly (feed on nectar), aphids (feed on plant sap and fluids), termites (feed on wood), cow (feed on grass), ruffed lemurs (feed on fruits), etc.

Word origin: Latin herbivora ("grass-eaters")

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