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Omnivores (from Latin: omne all, everything; vorare to devour) are species that eat both plants and animals as their primary food source. They are opportunistic, general feeders not specifically adapted to eat and digest either meat or plant material exclusively.[1] Pigs are one well-known example of an omnivore.[2] Crows are another example of an omnivore that many people see every day.[3] Humans themselves are omnivores.

Although there are reported cases of herbivores eating meat matter as well as examples of carnivores eating plants, the classification refers to the adaptations and main food source of the species in general so these exceptions do not make either individual animals nor the species as a whole omnivores.

Most bear species are considered omnivores, but individuals' diets can range from almost exclusively herbivorous to almost exclusively carnivorous depending on what food sources are available locally and seasonally. Polar bears can be classified as carnivores while pandas almost exclusively eat bamboo and are therefore herbivores.

Species considered omnivorous

See also


  1. Adapted from a talk by John McArdle, Ph.D. "Humans are Omnivores". Vegetarian Resource Group. Retrieved 2007-12-29.
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