Difference Between Omnivore and Carnivore

Omnivore vs Carnivore

Feeding is amongst the most difficult challenges to win for animals, for which they allocate the longest time margin in the lifetime. Despite reproduction is the main objective, feeding is a great priority as it has to fuel the animal. In order to fulfil the requirements of feeding, animals could not share the same feeding habit as the available food sources are different in distribution, quantity, and quality. Therefore, they have developed different techniques to feed themselves. Carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores are the three main groups of animals classified based on feeding methods. This article discusses omnivores and carnivores with emphasizing some interesting differences between them.


Omnivores are heterotrophs that consume from a variety of food sources including both animal and plant matter as their main natural diet. Omnivores are carnivorous as well as herbivorous; in other words, they are a mixture of the two main food habits. Therefore, their digestive systems show adaptations to breakdown and absorb all kinds of food types including a range of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins, etc. The digestive anatomy of omnivores shows significant characteristics of both herbivores and carnivores. Mechanisms are present to digest both plant and animal matter, especially with protease enzymes to digest proteins. They have well developed canines in their oral cavities to tear off the flesh in the diet. Usually, the gut of the herbivores is longer than in carnivores, but omnivores have a long gut to capacitate both types of diets.

Omnivores play a great role in any ecosystem for the flow of energy. Their ecological role becomes very important since they can consume both animals and plants. Most of the mammals and birds are omnivorous. However, it would be interesting to know that there are algae and plants with omnivorous food habits. Omnivorous mammals, of course, have developed digestive systems, but the plants and algae do not contain alimentary tracts. Instead, there are digesting mechanisms through secretion of enzymes in plants and algae.


Carnivores are the heterotrophic organisms that feed entirely on animal matter as their primary food source. Carnivores fulfil their nutritional requirements from the flesh of other animals. Before feed on their food sources, the target animals are hunted and killed; they are called predators. Predators are usually opportunistic feeders. However, some carnivores do not hunt but look out for dead animals and their decaying parts, and this type of carnivores being known as scavengers. Big cats, eagles, sharks, reptiles, amphibians, and many invertebrates are carnivores.

Carnivores gut is not as long as the herbivores and omnivores. Therefore, they get hungry and thirsty more often than herbivores. Carnivores do have large mouths with sharp and pointed teeth so that they can tear off the flesh while feeding. All the teeth are developed into carnassial teeth, which are pointed and sharp. The jaws are highly muscular and strong, which ensure a firm grip on the captured prey. They do not usually chew their food in the oral cavity yet those are swallowed, and the digestion starts in the stomach. The stomach has protease enzymes to digest protein effectively.

Carnivores are responsible for maintenance of the density of herbivores and other lower animals in the ecological food webs. If there were no carnivores, the balance of the ecosystem would never be there, and organisms would not be able to come this far in the environment. In addition, carnivores ensure the energy flow through the ecosystem.

What is the difference between Omnivore and Carnivore?

• Carnivores eat only animal matter, whereas omnivores eat both animal and plant matter.

• Carnivores are strict meat eaters, but omnivorous are opportunistic

• The carnivorous diet has a high amount of proteins while omnivorous diet is a mixture of both carbohydrates and proteins.

• Carnivores have stronger jaws than omnivores.

• All the teeth are sharp and pointed in carnivores but not in omnivores.

• Carnivores have a shorter gut than omnivores.

  • http://www.facebook.com/evelyn.avalos.39 Evelyn Avalos

    this writing is awesome and very helpful on writing my report about omnivores and carnivores .juan

  • domnique albakurkey

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  • domnique albakurkey

    jk brah
    It’s all good