The Animal World
Concept: Classification of Animals
Plants can make their food by the process of photosynthesis utilising carbon dioxide, water and minerals in the presence of sunlight, and chlorophyll. Hence, they are termed autotrophs.
On the other hand, animals are heterotrophs and depend on plants for their food directly or indirectly.
Here, we are classifying animals based on their feeding habits, i.e., on the type of food they eat.
- The animals which depend directly on plants and their different parts for food are called herbivores.
- They have well-developed molars and premolars for chewing their food.
- They have an additional chamber in their stomach for digesting foods rich in cellulose.
Example: Horse, deer, cow, goat, buffalo, giraffe, etc.
- The animals which depend on other animals for their food are called carnivores.
- They have well-developed canines for tearing the flesh.
Example: Lion, tiger, leopard, fox, etc.
- The animals which depend on both plants and animals for food are called omnivores.
- They have well-defined molars for grinding and incisors and canines for tearing meat.
Example: Humans, bear, dogs, crows, etc.
- Parasites are animals that live in a host body and derive their nutrition from it, causing
- They live either inside or outside the host body, based on which they are further classified into endoparasites and ectoparasites.
- They can be very small or very long in size.
Example: Lice, leech, tapeworm.
- Scavengers are animals who feed on the flesh of dead animals. They do not hunt. They depend on the foods left by carnivores.
Example: Vulture, raccoon, crow, fox, etc.
- Organisms that break down animal and plant waste into simple nutrients are called decomposers. They play an essential role in the nutrient cycle in the environment.
- Both scavengers and carnivores are predators—
Fungi: A group of microscopic and macroscopic organisms that depend on dead and decaying matter for nourishment.
Bacteria: A group of single-celled microscopic organisms found almost everywhere in the environment.
Canines: The type of tooth that helps to tear food.
Photosynthesis: The process by which autotrophs synthesize their food.
Cellulose:A fibre found in plant-based foods that is hard to digest.
Did You Know?
Though scavengers and carnivores are flesh-eating animals, they are not predators. Predators are animals that hunt on prey. Carnivores hunt for their food, whereas scavengers do not hunt; they eat the food left by carnivores.