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Mesocarnivorous diet

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Definition

noun

A type of carnivorous diet in which the diet of a carnivorous organism consists of about 50-70 % animal meat and organs


Supplement

A carnivorous diet is one in which the animal meat and organs are the prime component. Thus, a mesocarnivorous diet is a type of carnivorous diet; the other types include hypercarnivorous diet and hypocarnivorous diet.

A mesocarnivorous diet is one that is comprised of about 50-70 % animal tissues. The term is derived from the Greek mésos, which means middle. Thus, a mesocarnivorous diet would consist of about half or more (but not more than 70%) of animal meat and organs. The rest is a balance of non-animal foods, such as fruits, vegetation, and other plant materials.

Organisms that take mesocarnivorous diet are called mesocarnivores. Examples include coyotes, many foxes, civets, skunks, some mongooses, martens, and tayra. Being carnivores, these animals are not capable of efficiently digesting plant materials although they tend to consume them. That is because they are lacking in appropriate enzymes that are necessary for efficient plant digestion. Thus, this eating of non-animal food behavior in these animals is probably due to emetic or laxative purposes.


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