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true carnivores[edit]

Umm. This page is very confusing. It speaks of "true carnivores" but doesn't define what a true carnivore is, compared to, say, all the other carnivores. Are dogs true carnivores? They aren't listed in the (very short) list of "true carnivores." So confusing. PhiloVivero 03:56, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)


Domestic dogs are not carnivores. What about wild dogs - such as wolves, hyenas and dingoes, are their diets solely carnivorous?--ZayZayEM 02:23, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Classification of animals by diet is tricky, ZayZayEM, even misleading. This order has only been called so because most of these animals are carnivorous and because their jaws and teeth are especially adapted to devouring animals, and their digestive canal is short. Indeed domestic dogs eat almost anything you give them, but that doesn't change their carnivorous nature. I'll tell you something, my parents have a cat that fancies eating cumcumber skins! Yet all cats are carnivorous. Caesarion 19:04, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

And, by the way, Hyenas are not dogs...MFuture 03:49, 31 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Baleen whales[edit]

Are not some baleen whales (e.g. blue whales) carnivores also? I would agree that they are not really predators, but they eat primarily krill, which are undoubtably animals.

Some people might argue that carnivores eat specificly meat, and not animals in general, but the definition of meat varies from culture to culture (sometimes mostly religous). Perhaps this ambiguity should be noted. Are you that dumb¿i mean it isn’t that hard to just learn all of this shit.

--DavidEdwards 02:03, 24 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I will delete 'toothed'. Pukkie (talk) 13:30, 28 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Really necessary to name all carnivores?[edit]

A bit excessive, no? --Banana04131 04:06, 3 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, especially when their kingdom-phylum-class-order-family-species pages contain all that information anyway. Blast 08.11.06 2220 (UTC -5)

Piece of tail[edit]

I've heard the kinkajou is one of only 2 carnivores with a prehensile tail. Can anybody confirm? And what's the other? Trekphiler 00:57, 10 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Binturong. Dora Nichov 13:17, 2 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Some information on how carnivores evolved would be interesting - certain animals must, at some stage, adapted to be able to consume other animals as well as plants. A shortage of plant food would be a recurring problem for species, so natural selection would favour those with the ability to digest other animals as well, eventually leading to species that were entirely carnivorous. The balance carnivores provide to ecosystems, creating a stable equilibrium, is another factor. If anyone can find some material on their evolution it would make a great addition to the content of the article. Richard001 05:12, 4 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There were animals before "plants".

-G —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 03:05, 14 February 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]

Idea for discussion[edit]

I've an idea... Howsabout we roll herbivore, ominvore, carnivore and insectivore into one article with redirects from those terms? One article, animal feeding. Might be better than trying to pad out these terms seperately. If the sections fill out properly then they can be split off at a later date. This will also allow comparisons to be drawn between different feeding groups.AlanD 11:40, 21 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Wording of Opening Paragraph[edit]

The intro paragraph has confusing wording. In some cases, it indicates that carnivorous animals eat other animal matter, whereas in other instances, it takes a more restricted approach; i.e. implying that "carnivores" usually mean animals that eat other vertebrate meat. Would someone who has been around this Wikipedia entry more than me try to shore up the wording a bit? Tomwithanh 04:09, 25 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Plant Material" - Need verifiable sources[edit]

"some plant material is essential for adequate nutrition" -- This statment needs to either have some verifiable sources or it needs to be removed. My first hand experiance holds that this statment is false most of the time, but I don't have sources to cite. Someone please look into correcting this. Jamie Dolan —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:24, 26 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply] (talk) 01:22, 15 February 2010 (UTC)I agree. And the onus of proof is on whoever wants to add that. You can't add a fact and then leave it for someone else to cite, that's misleading. Otherwise I may as well go to the JFK page and add that "NASA may have killed JFK with earthquakes." [citation needed]Reply[reply]

Meat = mammalian flesh?[edit]

"In the strictest sense, meat may refer to the flesh of mammalian species, but in a broader sense the term might be used to refer to any animal tissue considered food."

Who defines meat as meaning mammalian flesh? I've quite often heard people coloquially make a distinction between "meat" and "fish", and sometimes also between meat and poultry, but I don't think I've ever heard anyone exclude reptile/amphibian flesh from a definition of "meat". (Admittedly not many people in the West eat reptiles or amphibians, but some do, and in those cases I have usually heard the flesh described as meat, and never heared it described as "not meat").

Similarly, all the dinosaur books I had as a child (maybe not a particularly good "scientific" source, but probably a good indication of colloquial use) described carnivorous dinosaurs as "meat eaters". (Although I suppose based on current understanding of the relationship between birds and (other) dinosaurs, you could make a case that at least some dinosaur meat would be poultry ;)

I suppose this could be compared to the word "animal", which older times was sometimes used to mean mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, but not fish or birds. (Or in scientific terms, "non-avian tetrapods"). Wardog (talk) 20:09, 18 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That's certainly the "strictest sense", but since it has no citation, feel free to change it.--Curtis Clark (talk) 00:22, 19 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think they may have been one of my contributions. I think we can agree you can't get much stricter... per Curtis feel free to modify as you please - replacing with citable material would be great.--ZayZayEM (talk) 02:42, 19 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Crown Clade[edit]

"Prehistoric mammals of the crown-clade Carnivoramorpha (Carnivora and Miacoidea without Creodonta)" - according to the article on crown clades, Carnivoramorpha is not a crown clade because it is not delimited by living species. In other words, Carnivora might be a crown clade, but Carnivoramorpha(ie including miacids) is *not*. Should I change this or is the crown clade article wrong? ErikHaugen (talk) 16:46, 22 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ah, I see I was wrong, there are in fact miacids in the carnivore crown clade. Nothing to see here. ErikHaugen (talk) 20:17, 22 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

T rex[edit]

So according to this T Rex had a diet consisting of less than 70% meat, thats what it takes to be a Hypercarnivore, but T rex is said on both pages not to be that kind. So now T Rex ate a maximum of 31% plants!? Spinodontosaurus (talk) 17:21, 15 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Vitamin C biosynthesis[edit]

Should we add that carnivores can synthesize the nutrients that many herbivores and omnivores must obtain from their diet? HyborianRanger (talk) 04:09, 21 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Obligate carnivores[edit]

What's the significance of the term obligate carnivore? Are hypercarnivores not obligate carnivores, because some of their diet may consist of non-animal food? I think that section needs to be made clearer.-- (talk) 20:54, 18 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • They are two distinct classification. "Obligate" indicates whether carnivory is an 'obligation' of the organism - they must eat meat (or they won't get required nutrients) - hyper-, meso-, hypo- refers to the level of carnivory (what % of diet is meat).ZayZayEM (talk) 00:41, 19 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Insectivorous Birds[edit]

If you're keeping insectivores in the definition of carnivores, the list of carnivorous birds will need to be greatly expanded. Many songbirds subsist almost solely on insects (Wood Warblers, Old World Warblers, Flycatchers, Swallows, Parids, Antbirds, Nuthatches, Creepers... the list goes on and on. In fact, I think it's gotta be over half of the songbirds out there consume mostly insects). In addition, many other non-Passerines are also largely insectivorous (Woodpeckers, Swifts, etc.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:58, 5 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Prehistoric carnivores[edit]

Need carnivore dinosaurs. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:23, 14 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What do you call?[edit]

Under the section “Classification”, it says, “The diet of a hypercarnivore consists of more than 70% meat, that of a mesocarnivore 50-70%, and that of a hypocarnivore less than 30%....” What do you call something that eats 30-50% meat?--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 09:56, 16 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Of Pandas and Bears[edit]

"...most species of bears are actually omnivorous, except for the giant panda, which is..." not a bear. This makes a pretty poor example. Huw Powell (talk) 02:05, 21 June 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"strict" carnivore vs "obligate" carnivore?[edit]

Today I read that "ferrets are strict carnivores, not obligate carnivores".

What is the difference, if any, between "strict" carnivore" and "obligate" carnivore?

I couldn't seem to find this in the article or outside Wikipedia.

Thank you for your time!! :) Zeniff (talk) 07:22, 15 February 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What exactly is a carnivore?[edit]

"Animals that depend solely on animal flesh for their nutrient requirements are called obligate carnivores while those that also consume non-animal food are called facultative carnivores."

So an obligate carnivore only eats meat, but a facultative carnivore eats both. Later on it has:

"Carnivores may alternatively be classified according to the percentage of meat in their diet. The diet of a hypercarnivore consists of more than 70% meat, that of a mesocarnivore 50–70%, and that of a hypocarnivore less than 30%, with the balance consisting of non-animal foods such as fruits, other plant material, or fungi."

I notice it does not list 100% of the meat, so even hypercarnivres are facultative carnivores by the previous definition.

"For instance, felids including the domestic cat are obligate carnivores requiring a diet of primarily animal flesh and organs."

But carnivores must only eat meat. Also, I know cat food isn't pure meat. And there's vegan cat food, which has some synthetic ingredients, but I'm pretty sure it's mostly plant matter.

From what I can understand, obligate carnivores are those who must eat meat to get all their nutrients, facultative carnivores are those that are optimized for meat-eating, but can theoretically get all the nutrients the need without it, and omnivores are those that evolved to eat meat, but also are perfectly capable of going without. Can we fix this? Also, maybe add it to the list of common misconceptions? — DanielLC 00:54, 17 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree, see my comment about domestic cat diet. It’s more about the inability to synthesize taurine then it is about solely eating meat. Renewablesearch (talk) 02:54, 8 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


In the article, axolotls are presented as an example of obligate carnivores. However, the statement goes on to say: 'The amphibian axolotl consumes mainly worms and larvae in its environment, but if necessary will consume algae.' If the axolotl can consume algae, and receive nutritional benefits from it, wouldn't that disqualify axolotls as obligate carnivores? — Preceding unsigned comment added by RobotBoy66 (talkcontribs) 02:39, 28 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I just changed the repetition of the phrase nutrition requirements. Great article btw!-Thanks Ooh Saad (talk) 13:39, 3 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi-protected edit request[edit]

In § Obligate carnivores sentence starting "In fact, some obligate carnivorous mammals will only ingest vegetation"

  1. delete "In fact, " per MOS:NOTED
  2. Move "only" and cut "to use", to read "Some obligate carnivores will ingest vegetation only as an emetic" (false scent, they don't only ingest vegetation)
  3. cut the end of the sentence after "emetic" (redundant)

Thanks (talk) 17:11, 16 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 Done, but kept some of after emetic as readers could use help with this lesser-used word.  Ganbaruby! (Say hi!) 02:04, 19 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 4 December 2021[edit]

Change and the giant panda is exclusively herbivorous to and the giant panda is primarily herbivorous 2603:9000:CA02:CACC:5898:F08A:271A:3F50 (talk) 14:04, 4 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. ScottishFinnishRadish (talk) 14:13, 4 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply] — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2603:9000:CA02:CACC:5898:F08A:271A:3F50 (talk) 18:09, 4 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 Done PianoDan (talk) 18:44, 6 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The discussion on this page indicates flesh as the "sole" nutrient source for obligate or hypercarnivores. The article on hypercarnivores indicates that 70% or more of diet is from flesh with a requirement for additional nutrients from "fungi, fruit and other vegetables."

Please resolve the conflict in the texts. WriterCPA (talk) 07:49, 17 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Domestic Cat Diet[edit]

Domestic cats are considered oblique carnivores partially because they cannot synthesize the amino acid taurine; however, this does not mean they solely eat meat. In the wild, their counterparts eat the stomachs of their prey, often herbivores and omnivores, filled with grasses, fruits and vegetables. Domestic and feral cats will eat grass, not to throw up as the article suggests, but because it is a part of their diet. For domestic cats, small portions of fruits like cantelope, and vegetables like peas, and wheat grass are considered a healthy part of a well balanced diet. The article as written may give the impression that oblique carnivore means only meat is eaten versus the distinction about amino protein synthesis. Renewablesearch (talk) 02:52, 8 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How to introduce the two main meanings[edit]

There are two main and different meanings: composition of diet and taxonomic. Without a sentence at the top explaining this the article doesn't flow sensibly. At the time of writing precedence is given to the former and the immediately following section on Taxonomy, the latter meaning, doesn't make sense. S C Cheese (talk) 10:29, 19 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]