Environment

10 Animals That Are Omnivores

An omnivore is an animal that survives on both plant and animal matter.

Omnivores are animals that can consume and survive on both animal and plant matter. These animals obtain nutrients and energy from both animals and plants. Omnivores can also incorporate other food sources like bacteria, fungi, and algae in their diet. Omnivores can digest fibers, fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Omnivores are opportunist feeders that are not related anatomically. Omnivores are widespread across numerous taxonomic clades. Some of the animals that are omnivores include:

Pigs

Pigs are omnivores belonging to a family of even-toed ungulate known as Suidae and the genus Sus. Pigs are indigenous to the African and Eurasian continents. Pigs include all the domesticated pigs and the Eurasian wild swine together with other species. Some of the related creatures outside the genus Sus include warthogs, the babirusa, and the peccary. Pigs are intelligent and social animals that are biologically similar to human beings. Pigs evolved from the Artiodactyla (a herbivorous creature). Wild pigs are foraging creatures that feed on flowers, fruits, roots, and leaves, among others. Feral pigs also feed on fish and insects. As livestock, they feed on soybean and cornmeal, with a mixture of minerals and vitamins.

Dogs

Domesticated dogs (Canis familiaris when they are considered to be a distinct species or Canis lupus familiaris when they are classified as a subspecies of the gray wolves) belong to the genus Canis. The gray wolves and dogs are sister taxa. Genetic divergence between the wolves and dogs took place about 40,000years ago during or right before the Last Glacial Maximum. Dogs were the first animal species to be domesticated, and they have been selectively bred over the years for their physical attributes, sensory capabilities, and various behaviors. Dogs are omnivores and compared to other wolves; they have genes that help them digest starch. Many people consider dogs to be carnivorous; however, based on their nutrition and metabolism, they are omnivores.

Bears

Bears are grouped as doglike carnivorans or caniforms, and they belong to the family Ursidae. Even though there are only 8 extant bear species, bears can be found in a wide range of terrains all over the northern hemisphere. Bears are opportunistic omnivores that consume more plants than meat. Bears consume anything from berries, roots, and leaves to fish, fresh meat, carrion, and insects. Bears consume anything that is seasonally available. Bears don't feed on older leaves, sedges, and grasses. Bears consume plants when they are more digestible and nutritious. Asiatic black bears consume ungulates and a considerable number of acorns.

Coatis

A coati is a diurnal mammal that is indigenous to Mexico, the United States, Central America, and South America. Coatis, also referred to as hog-nosed coon or coatimundi, belongs to the family Procyonidae. Coatimundis are omnivores, and their diet is mainly composed of invertebrates like a tarantula, ground litter, and fruits. Coatimundis also consume smaller vertebrates like small birds, rodents, and lizards.

Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are spiny mammals that belong to the subfamily Erinaceinae. There are 17 hedgehog species in 5 genera found in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures that protect themselves using the spines on their bodies. Hedgehogs feed on watermelon, berries, grassroots, mushrooms, bird eggs, snakes, toads, snails, and insects.

Opossum

Opossums are marsupials that are indigenous to the Americas. Opossums belong to the order Didelphimorphia with the only species found in the United States and Canada being the Virginia opossums. Their unique reproductive habit, flexible diet, and unspecialized biology make them successful survivors in diverse conditions and places. Opossums are omnivores that feed on dead animals, birds, rodents, and insects. They also consume grains, frogs, plants, fruits, and eggs.

Chimpanzees

Chimpanzees are great ape species that are native to the savannas and forests of tropical Africa. All hominids, including chimpanzees, are omnivorous. Chimpanzees prefer fruits over all the other foods, but they can also consume stems, blossoms, seeds, leaf buds, and leaves. Even though chimpanzees are mostly herbivorous, they can also eat birds, insects, small-to-medium-sized animals, and honey. Some of the insects consumed by chimpanzees include honey bees, termites, and weaver ants. Other preys include common warthogs, yellow baboons, blue duikers, and red-tailed monkeys.

Squirrels

Squirrels belong to the family Sciuridae, and they are native to Africa, Eurasia, and the Americas. Squirrels were introduced in Australia by human beings. Some of the members of the squirrel family include prairie dogs, ground squirrels, flying squirrels, chipmunks, and marmots, among others. Squirrels prefer foods rich in fats, carbohydrates, and proteins since their bodies cannot digest cellulose. Squirrels consume conifer cones, seeds, fruits, nuts, green vegetables, fungi, small rodents, young snakes, insects, and small birds, together with bird eggs.

Raccoons

Raccoons also referred to as northern raccoons, or coon, are medium-sized mammals that can be found in North America. Raccoons are the largest members of the procyonid family with a bodyweight of about 57pounds and a maximum body length of approximately 28inches. Raccoons are nocturnal creatures that are sometimes active during the daytime. The Raccoon's diet is composed of vertebrates (27%), plant material (33%), and invertebrates (40%). Raccoon's diet, during early summer and spring, is made up of worms, insects, and other animals. Raccoons consume various nuts, including walnuts and acorns, which thrive in autumn and late summer. Raccoons are known predators of hatchlings and eggs in reptile and bird nests.

Chipmunks

A chipmunk is a small striped rodent belonging to the Sciuridae family. All Chipmunks are native to North America except the Siberian chipmunks that can be found in Asia. Chipmunks are omnivores, and their diet is made up of nuts, seeds, buds, grass, and shoots, among other plants. Chipmunks also feed on bird eggs, worms, small frogs, insects, and fungi. Chipmunks are considered to be pests since they consume cultivated vegetables and grains among other plants in the gardens and farms.

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