As children we learn the very basic differences and similarities between herbivores and carnivores, however, there are many more in depth differences and similarities between them. The main differences between these two types of consumers are their digestive system and their jaws/teeth. Also the way they chew on their food is different. Even though there are many differences there are similarities between them like, that they all are heterotrophs. Heterotrophs are organisms that cannot produce their own food. Their digestive systems have few similarities. As you read this you will learn the main differences and similarities between herbivores and carnivores.
Obviously the standout difference between herbivores and carnivores is that they consume two different kinds of food. Carnivores eat only meat and herbivores eat only plants. Another difference is their teeth. Herbivores teeth are more flattened and wide so they can grind on the plants that they eat. With their teeth being like this it makes it much easier for them to eat nuts, seeds and grains. Also so they can chew on the fibers of the plants. Carnivores teeth, however, are completely different. Their teeth are more jagged and sharp. They are meant to rip and tear at flesh. Their teeth allow them to tear through the ligaments and muscle of the animals that they eat. Another main difference that they have are their “nails”. Herbivores have short and flat nails, or hooves. Carnivores have long sharp claws. The reason that their nails are like this is because of the kind of food they eat. Another difference between them is that the digestive tract of an herbivore is much longer than the carnivores. It is longer because it is a slower process for them to absorb the nutrients from the plants that they have eaten. Carnivores digestive tract is much quicker than the herbivores. The reason it is quicker is because they need to obtain energy quickly from the meat that they have just eaten.
The diets are alike by a few ways. One is that their diets will change periodically throughout their lives depending on their surroundings, just like any human does. Both herbivores and carnivores will eat whatever is available to them in their environment. Also their food choices might change by what types of changes they are going through. For example, if an organism is growing up and having physical changes, or if the organism is going through a pregnancy then they are very likely to have a change in their diets.
Through this I hope that you leave with a greater knowledge about herbivores and carnivores. Now you know a more wide set of differences between them other than just saying that they eat different food.
“Diet and Digestion.” http://www.earthlife.net/mammals/diet.html. Gordon Ramel, n.d.Web. 9 February 2012.
“Herbivores and Carnivores.”http://www.differencebetween.net/science/difference-between-herbivores-and-carnivores/. differencebetween.net, 19 May. 2011. Web. 9 February 2012.
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