Different Modes of Nutrition among Animals

Animals cannot manufacture their own food as plants do. They depend either on other animals or on plants for the acquisition of necessary nutrients for growth and survival. Animals are said to have Holozioc nutrition because of their inability to manufacture their own food and dependency on their environment for obtaining organic molecules. Animals depend on different organisms therefore, their mode of nutrition is known as heterotrophic nutrition.

Depending upon the type of organism and way of having it, there are following modes of nutrition among animals:

  • Carnivores
  • Herbivores
  • Omnivores
  • Frugivores
  • Insectivores
  • Parasites
  • Saprobes


  • Carnivores:

Those animals which depend upon other animals and feed upon them are known as carnivores, and this mode of acquiring nutrients is known as carnivorous nutrition. Cat, dog, etc are carnivores.

  • Herbivores:

Those animals, which attain their nutrients from plants, are known as herbivores and this mode of nutrition is known as herbivorous nutrition. Cow, goat, sheep, etc, are herbivores.

  • Omnivores:

Those animals, which feed upon flash of animals as well as on plants and herbs, are known as omnivores. This mode of nutrition is known as omnivorous nutrition. Human beings, cockroach, crow, etc are omnivores.

  • Frugivores:

Those animals which depend upon fruits and acquire nutrients from them are known as frugivores and this type of nutrition is called frugivorous nutrition. Animals like parrots are frugivores.

  • Insectivores:

Insectivore animals feed up on insects for acquiring nutrients. Lizard, frog and other animals like them are called insectivores. Their mode of nutrition is known as insectivorous nutrition.

  • Parasites:

Parasites live in close association with the body of the host or inside its body. This symbiotic relationship between host and parasite is beneficial for the parasite and harmful for the host. This mode of acquiring nutrition is known as parasitic nutrition. Mosquito, lice, tapeworms, round worms, etc are parasites.

  • Saprobes:

Those organisms that obtain their food for survival from the bodies of dead organisms are known as saprobes and this mode of nutrition is called saprozoic nutrition. These organisms secrete special enzymes which decompose the dead body and change it into edible fluid. Fungi and different bacteria fall into this category.

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