Our ecosystem consists of varieties of animals. Within their natural communities, the animals even have their particular diet that makes them the participants of the food chain as well. Thus, we can that these living creatures gain their energy directly or from other living things such as plants or animals and hence categorized as the consumers. As they consume energy from other sources.
The three broad categories of the consumers include the animals that feed only on plants are herbivores, while animals that exclusively eat only meat are carnivores and such animals that eat both plants and animals are known as omnivores. To maintain the balance in the ecosystem and each type of consumer is important. If the number of any one type of species rises or falls, it will ultimately affect the ecosystem.
About the Herbivores
Such animals, where the diet strictly comprises only plants are known as herbivores. Such animals can be large ones like cows, buffalo, and elk or medium-sized like sheep, goats. They feed upon grasses, shrubby growth, trees bark, aquatic vegetations. In the case of small-sized herbivores like mice, squirrels, rabbits, and chipmunks, that feed on shrubs, seeds, grasses, and nuts.
The demand of their (herbivores) diet is fulfilled by the ecosystem only where they live, which is enough for sustainability as the majority of them spend their most time eating to stay alive. Herbivores completely depend on plants, and if the number of plants gets declines, herbivores may not get the ample amount of food to eat, leading to declining in their numbers from the food chain and thus affecting the carnivores.
About the Carnivores
Carnivores will feed upon the herbivores, other carnivores and omnivores of an ecosystem. To maintain the populations of other animals, the presence of this natural community of carnivores becomes a mandate. These large carnivores are mountain lions and wolves. These large carnivores hunt down the populations of deer and elk.
Medium-sized carnivores like snakes and hawks, usually feed on birds, rodents, frogs, eggs, and insects. Whereas, small-sized carnivores like toads and small birds feed on worms and insects.
Carnivores have sharp teeth and strong jaws that help the tear and rip prey, additionally with the sharp and long claws they are able to hold and tear the prey. The hunger of the carnivores is fulfilled by the prey (herbivores and others), that participate in the food chain.
About the Omnivores
Omnivores have lots of options for their diet, and therefore they have the advantage of feeding on a different kind of food. This diverse diet is helpful in getting food easily. Herbivores have different digestive systems than omnivores, so omnivores usually cannot eat all of the plants that an herbivore can. Generally, omnivores eat fruits and vegetables freely, but they can’t eat grasses and some grains due to digestive limitations.
Omnivores will also hunt both carnivores and herbivores for meat, including small mammals, reptiles, and insects. Large omnivores include bears and humans. Examples of medium-sized omnivores include raccoons and pigs. Small omnivores include some fish and insects such as flies. Omnivore teeth often resemble carnivore teeth because of the need for tearing meat. Omnivores also have flat molars for grinding up food.