Just like you and me, the animals of the wild need to constantly eat in order to keep themselves alive. Because they don’t have supermarkets and grocery stores in the wild, many animals need to hunt in order to find food. These animals are called carnivores, which are defined as creatures that that feed on flesh. There are lots of interesting facts about carnivores, and these fun facts should give you a better idea regarding this amazing group of animals.
1. Two Major Groups
Taxonomists divided carnivores into two major groups in order to make it easier for people to identify the different animals in the category. Under carnivores, there are two major groups, namely dog-like carnivores and cat-like carnivores. The first group is made up of animals with anatomic features that are more like dogs, including wolves, bears, and racoons. Cat-like carnivores on the other hand are animals that are more like cats, including lions, hyenas, and civets.
2. The Biggest Carnivore
There are lots of different kinds of carnivores, and the biggest one known to man today is the brown bear. Found in northern Eurasia and North America, the brown bear is the largest terrestrial carnivoran in existence. The bear’s diet consists of berries, plants, roots, and fruit, but when they get too hungry, they could feast on salmon and small woodland creatures. This means the brown bear doesn’t have an exclusively carnivorous diet.
3. The Smallest Carnivore
Today, the smallest carnivore recognized by modern taxonomy is the weasel. This particular creature can measure up to 260 millimeters, with a weight of around 250 grams. Weasels are a common creature, found throughout the world. Because their metabolism is very fast, they need to consume at least 40% of their body weight on a daily basis. Their diet consists mostly of mice, rabbits, gophers, and even chipmunks.
4. Strength in Numbers
While some carnivores are solitary hunters, there are those that are more effective in groups. The lion, for example, prefers to hunt in groups of two or three, while the tiger is an exclusively solitary hunter. There are some occasions however, when a lion will hunt on its own, depending on the size of the prey it’s aiming kill.
Many flesh eating animals combine other non-flesh foods into their diet. The bear, fox, and even some birds combine flesh with other foods like berries, roots, fruits, vegetables, and leaves.