Carnivores – Meat Eating Animals

The word carnivore is Latin and accurately means “meat eater.” A carnivore is an animal that feeds on other animals. Carnivores are in several shapes in sizes, but they habitually have some resemblances. Most carnivores have quite large brains and high levels of intellect.

A carnivore gets food from hunting, killing and eating other animals. At large, Carnivores normally eat herbivores, but can also eat omnivores and sometimes other carnivores. Animals that feed on other animals, for example carnivores and omnivores are vital to any environment as they keep other species from getting overpopulated in the ecosystem.

As carnivores rely on hunting and killing other faunas, they need a huge quantity of calories and this implies that they have to eat many other animals over time. The larger the carnivore, the more it has to consume. In God’s creation plan, there are many more herbivores and omnivores than carnivores which feeds on them.

Even though the species classified as carnivores are fundamentally meat feeders, a considerable number of them, mainly among bears and members of the raccoon family, also eat comprehensively on vegetation and are therefore really omnivorous.

Carnivore Families

The Carnivora comprises of 12 families, 9 of which live on land: Canidae (dogs and related species), Felidae (cats), Ursidae (bears), Procyonidae (raccoons and related species) and Mustelidae (weasels, badgers, otters, and related species). Others also include Mephitidae (skunks and stink badgers), Herpestidae (mongooses), Viverridae (civets, genets and related species), plus Hyaenidae (hyenas). There are three aquatic families including Otariidae (sea lions and fur seals), Phocidae (true, or earless, seals) and Odobenidae (the walrus) and these water families are referred to as pinnipeds.

Importance of Carnivora

There are two carnivores are perhaps most familiar to human beings and they include the domestic dog and cat. On the other hand, different bears, felines, canines and hyenas are amongst the uncommon animals that sometimes attack humans. These big, risky carnivores are often the objects of hunters, who kill them for display as trophies.

Being meat eaters, carnivores are topmost on the food chain and form the highest trophic level in the ecosystems. Thus, they are basic to preserving the “balance of nature” within the ecosystems. In parts of human settlement, this dangerous balance has regularly been distressed by the killing of many carnivores previously considered unwanted for their predacious ways. At present, though, meat-eaters are acknowledged to be needed fundamentals in natural systems as they improve the stability of prey numbers by keeping them within the carrying capacity of the food supply. Consequently, the remaining animals are well fed and less subject to sickness. Lots of the predators dig holes and offer hideaways in which other wildlife species can take as safe havens. Excavating grounds also results in the mingling of soils and the lessening of water overflow during rainfalls. The carnivores well known for their burrow building are badgers and skunks, but bears, canines and felines often participate in this behavior as well.

The Carnivore numbers are limited by food, bigger marauders or diseases. When human power eliminates larger predators, many of the minor carnivores become tremendously abundant, making a perfect environment for the blowout of infection. The illness of most worry to humans is rabies, which is transferred in saliva via bites. Rabies is most common in the red fox, striped skunk and raccoon, but it also happens in African hunting dogs and can poison almost all flesh-eaters. Other infectious diseases carried by carnivores and of concern to humans include canine distemper, parvovirus, toxoplasmosis and leptospirosis among others.