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Nutrients of the plants they eat

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  • What is an herbivore?

  • Herbivores vary in size from small, like bugs, to large, like giraffes. An animal鈥檚 diet determines where it falls on the food chain, a sequence of organisms that provide energy and nutrients for other organisms.

  • How do carnivores get their energy?

  • Carnivores will get some of this energy from the nutrients in the meat of their prey. Ectothermic animals will bask in the sunshine to slow down the energy loss, allowing some reptiles to go for weeks without food. Humans are the most evolved animals on the planet, with various ways to produce energy sources.

  • How do herbivores make use of leafy foods?

  • Other herbivores make efficient use of leafy foods through hindgut fermentation. In animal species generally, the main breakdown of foods by enzymes and absorption into the bloodstream occurs in the small intestine.

  • How do animals gain energy from the Sun?

  • In addition to gaining energy via food consumption, some species also gain energy directly from the sun. Endothermic (warm-blooded) animals such as mammals and birds regulate their body temperature using metabolic heat, which requires a lot of energy. Amphibians and reptiles are ectothermic (cold-blooded).

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