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Herbivores are primary consumers, which means they occupy the second trophic level and eat producers. For each trophic level, only about 10 percent of energy passes from one level to the next. This is called the10 percent rule. Because of this rule, herbivores only absorb around 10 percent of the energy stored by the plants they eat.

People also ask


  • 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 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.

  • Why do herbivores have multiple stomachs?

  • Many herbivores have large, flat molars for grinding tough plant matter. Additionally, herbivores often have multiple stomach chambers and a specialized digestive system. For example, cows have a stomach with four chambers. The food a cow consumes first passes through two stomach chambers before returning to the mouth for additional chewing.

  • What trophic level do herbivores occupy?

  • Herbivores are primary consumers, which means they occupy the second trophic level and eat producers. For each trophic level, only about 10 percent of energy passes from one level to the next. This is called the 10 percent rule.

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