Carnivore

A carnivore /ˈkɑːrnɪvɔːr/, meaning "meat eater" (Latin, caro, genitive carnis, meaning "meat" or "flesh" and vorare meaning "to devour"), is an organism that derives its energy and nutrient requirements from a diet consisting mainly or exclusively of animal tissue, whether through predation or scavenging.[1][2] 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.[2] Omnivores also consume both animal and non-animal food, and, apart from the more general definition, there is no clearly defined ratio of plant to animal material that would distinguish a facultative carnivore from an omnivore.[3] A carnivore at the top of the food chain, not preyed upon by other animals, is termed an apex predator.

"Carnivore" also may refer to the mammalian order Carnivora, but this is somewhat misleading: many, but not all, Carnivora are meat eaters, and even fewer are true obligate carnivores (see below). For example, while the Arctic polar bear eats meat exclusively, most species of bears are actually omnivorous, and the giant panda is exclusively herbivorous. There are also many carnivorous species that are not members of Carnivora.

Outside the animal kingdom, there are several genera containing carnivorous plants (predominantly insectivores) and several phyla containing carnivorous fungi (preying mostly on microscopic invertebrates such as nematodes, amoebae and springtails).

Venus Flytrap showing trigger hairs
Members of the vegetable kingdom can live on meat too, such as the Venus flytrap, a carnivorous plant

Carnivores are sometimes characterized by their type of prey. For example, animals that eat mainly insects and similar invertebrates are called insectivores, while those that eat mainly fish are called piscivores. The first tetrapods, or land-dwelling vertebrates, were piscivorous amphibians known as labyrinthodonts. They gave rise to insectivorous vertebrates and, later, to predators of other tetrapods.[4]

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 30–70%, and that of a hypocarnivore less than 30%, with the balance consisting of non-animal foods such as fruits, other plant material, or fungi.

Carnivore-lion
Lions are obligate carnivores consuming only animal flesh for their nutritional requirements

Obligate carnivores

Tigre d'Asie à robe blanche
The Bengal tiger's large canines and strong jaws reveal its place as an apex predator
Male Lion and Cub Chitwa South Africa Luca Galuzzi 2004
Lions are voracious carnivores; they require more than 7 kilograms of meat daily. A major component of their diet is the meat of large mammals, such as this buffalo.

Obligate or "true" carnivores are those whose diet requires nutrients found only in animal flesh. While obligate carnivores might be able to ingest small amounts of plant matter, they lack the necessary physiology required to digest it. In fact, some obligate carnivorous mammals will only ingest vegetation for the sole purpose of its use as an emetic, to self-induce vomiting of the vegetation along with the other food it had ingested that upset its stomach.

Obligate carnivores include the axolotl, which consumes mainly worms and larvae in its environment, but if necessary will consume algae, as well as all felids (including the domestic cat) which require a diet of primarily animal flesh and organs.[5] Specifically, cats have high protein requirements and their metabolisms appear unable to synthesize essential nutrients such as retinol, arginine, taurine, and arachidonic acid; thus, in nature, they must consume flesh to supply these nutrients.[6][7]

Characteristics of carnivores

Characteristics commonly associated with carnivores include strength, speed, and keen senses for hunting, as well as teeth and claws for capturing and tearing prey. However, some carnivores do not hunt and are scavengers, lacking the physical characteristics to bring down prey; in addition, most hunting carnivores will scavenge when the opportunity arises. Carnivores have comparatively short digestive systems, as they are not required to break down the tough cellulose found in plants.

Many hunting animals have evolved eyes facing forward, enabling depth perception. This is almost universal among mammalian predators, while most reptile and amphibian predators have eyes facing sideways.

Prehistoric carnivores

Predation (the eating of one living creature by another for nutrition) predates the rise of commonly recognized carnivores by hundreds of millions (perhaps billions) of years. The earliest predators were microbial organisms, which engulfed or grazed on others. Because the fossil record is poor, these first predators could date back anywhere between 1 and over 2.7 Gya (billion years ago).[8] The rise of eukaryotic cells at around 2.7 Gya, the rise of multicellular organisms at about 2 Gya, and the rise of mobile predators (around 600 Mya – 2 Gya, probably around 1 Gya) have all been attributed to early predatory behavior,[8] and many very early remains show evidence of boreholes or other markings attributed to small predator species.[8]

Among more familiar species, the first vertebrate carnivores were fish, and then amphibians that moved on to land. Early tetrapods were large amphibious piscivores. Some scientists assert that Dimetrodon "was the first terrestrial vertebrate to develop the curved, serrated teeth that enable a predator to eat prey much larger than itself."[9] While amphibians continued to feed on fish and later insects, reptiles began exploring two new food types: tetrapods (carnivory) and then plants (herbivory). Carnivory was a natural transition from insectivory for medium and large tetrapods, requiring minimal adaptation; in contrast, a complex set of adaptations was necessary for feeding on highly fibrous plant materials.[4]

In the Mesozoic, some theropod dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus rex were probably obligate carnivores. Though the theropods were the larger carnivores, several carnivorous mammal groups were already present. Most notable are the gobiconodontids, the triconodontid Jugulator, the deltatheroideans and Cimolestes. Many of these, such as Repenomamus, Jugulator and Cimolestes, were among the largest mammals in their faunal assemblages, capable of attacking dinosaurs.[10][11][12]

In the early-to-mid-Cenozoic, the dominant predator forms were mammals: hyaenodonts, oxyaenids, entelodonts, ptolemaiidans, arctocyonids and mesonychians, representing a great diversity of eutherian carnivores in the northern continents and Africa. In South America, sparassodonts were dominant, while Australia saw the presence of several marsupial predators, such as the dasyuromorphs and thylacoleonids. From the Miocene to the present, the dominant carnivorous mammals have been carnivoramorphs.

Most carnivorous mammals, from dogs to Deltatheridium, share several dental adaptations, such as carnassialiforme teeth, long canines and even similar tooth replacement patterns.[13] Most aberrant are thylacoleonids, with a diprodontan dentition completely unlike that of any other mammal; and eutriconodonts like gobioconodontids and Jugulator, with a three-cusp anatomy which nevertheless functioned similarly to carnassials.[10][14]

See also

References

  1. ^ Nutrient Requirements: Carnivores. Duane E. Ullrey. Encyclopedia of Animal Science.
  2. ^ a b Mammals: carnivores. Duane E. Ullrey. Encyclopedia of Animal Science.
  3. ^ Mammals"' Omnivores. Duane E. Ullrey. Encyclopedia of Animal Science.
  4. ^ a b Sahney, S., Benton, M.J. & Falcon-Lang, H.J. (2010). "Rainforest collapse triggered Pennsylvanian tetrapod diversification in Euramerica" (PDF). Geology. 38 (12): 1079–1082. doi:10.1130/G31182.1.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Velegrand-Defretin, Veronique (1994). "Differences between cats and dogs: a nutritional view". Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 53: 15–24. doi:10.1079/pns19940004.
  6. ^ Ullrey, D. E. (2004). "Mammals: Carnivores". In Pond, Wilson. Encyclopedia of Animal Science. CRC Press. p. 591. ISBN 978-0-8247-5496-9.
  7. ^ Ullrey, D. E. (2004). "Nutrient Requirements: Carnivores". In Pond, Wilson. Encyclopedia of Animal Science. CRC Press. p. 670. ISBN 978-0-8247-5496-9.
  8. ^ a b c Origins and Early Evolution of Predation, 2002 (full paper)
  9. ^ Foley, James A. (February 7, 2014). "Carnivorous, Pre-Dinosaur Predator was First to Evolve Steak Knife-like Teeth". Nature World News. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  10. ^ a b Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska, Richard L. Cifelli, Zhe-Xi Luo (2004). "Chapter 12: Metatherians". Mammals from the Age of Dinosaurs: origins, evolution, and structure. New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 425–262. ISBN 0-231-11918-6.
  11. ^ Richard C. Fox (2015) A revision of the Late Cretaceous–Paleocene eutherian mammal Cimolestes Marsh, 1889. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences (advance online publication)
  12. ^ Cifelli, Richard L.; Madsen, Scott K. (1998). "Triconodont mammals from the medial Cretaceous of Utah". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 18 (2): 403–411. doi:10.1080/02724634.1998.10011068.
  13. ^ CHRISTIAN DE MUIZON and BRIGITTE LANGE-BADRÉ, Carnivorous dental adaptations in tribosphenic mammals and phylogenetic reconstruction, Article first published online: 29 MAR 2007 DOI: 10.1111/j.1502-3931.1997.tb00481
  14. ^ Eating Encyclopedia. Animales Carnivoros. Ejemplos, alimentacion y curiosidades. (in Spanish) 02-02-2017.

Further reading

  • Glen, Alistair & Dickman, Christopher (Eds) 2014, Carnivores of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, ISBN 978-0-643-10310-8.
Apex predator

An apex predator, also known as an alpha predator or top predator, is a predator at the top of a food chain, with no natural predators.Apex predators are usually defined in terms of trophic dynamics, meaning that they occupy the highest trophic levels. Food chains are often far shorter on land, usually limited to being secondary consumers – for example, wolves prey mostly upon large herbivores (primary consumers), which eat plants (primary producers). The apex predator concept is applied in wildlife management, conservation and ecotourism.

Apex predators have a long evolutionary history, dating at least to the Cambrian period when animals such as Anomalocaris dominated the seas.

Humans have for many centuries interacted with apex predators including the wolf, birds of prey and cormorants to hunt game animals, birds, and fish respectively. More recently, ecotourism such as with the tiger shark has become popular, and rewilding with predators such as the lynx has been proposed.

Bird of prey

Birds of prey, or raptors, include species of bird that primarily hunt and feed on vertebrates that are large relative to the hunter. Additionally, they have keen eyesight for detecting food at a distance or during flight, strong feet equipped with talons for grasping or killing prey, and powerful, curved beaks for tearing flesh. The term raptor is derived from the Latin word rapio, meaning to seize or take by force. In addition to hunting live prey, most also eat carrion, at least occasionally, and vultures and condors eat carrion as their main food source.Although the term bird of prey could theoretically be taken to include all birds that primarily consume animals, ornithologists typically use the narrower definition followed in this page. Examples of animal-eating birds not encompassed by the ornithological definition include storks, herons, gulls, skuas, penguins, kookaburras, and shrikes, as well as the many songbirds that are primarily insectivorous.

Body Count (band)

Body Count is an American metal band formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1990. The group is fronted by Ice-T, who co-founded the group with lead guitarist Ernie C out of their interest in heavy metal music. Ice-T took on the role of vocalist and writing the lyrics for most of the group's songs. Lead guitarist Ernie C has been responsible for writing the group's music. Their controversial self-titled debut album was released on Sire Records in 1992.

The song "Cop Killer" was the subject of much controversy. Although Sire Records' parent company, Warner Bros. Records, defended the single, Ice-T chose to remove the track from the album because he felt that the controversy had eclipsed the music itself. The group left Sire the following year. Since then, they have released five further albums on different labels, none of which have been received as commercially or critically well as their debut album.Three out of the band's original six members are deceased: D-Roc died from lymphoma, Beatmaster V from leukemia and Mooseman in a drive-by shooting.

Carnivore (band)

Carnivore is an American heavy metal band from Brooklyn, New York founded by singer and bassist Peter Steele, and was formed out of the breakup of the Brooklyn metal group Fallout in 1982.

Carnivore (software)

Carnivore, later renamed DCS1000, was a system implemented by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that was designed to monitor email and electronic communications. It used a customizable packet sniffer that can monitor all of a target user's Internet traffic. Carnivore was implemented in October 1997. By 2005 it had been replaced with improved commercial software.

Colombian weasel

Colombian weasel (Mustela felipei), also known as the Don Felipe's weasel, is a very rare species of weasel only known with certainty from the departments of Huila and Cauca in Colombia and nearby northern Ecuador (where only known from a single specimen). Both its scientific and alternative common name honours the mammalogist Philip "Don Felipe" Hershkovitz.It appears to be largely restricted to riparian habitats at an altitude of 1,100 to 2,700 m (3,600 to 8,900 ft). There is extensive deforestation within its limited distribution within the northern Andes of Colombia and Ecuador, and with less than ten known specimens, it is probably the rarest carnivoran in South America. It is considered vulnerable by the IUCN.It is the second smallest living carnivore on average, being only slightly larger than the least weasel (Mustela nivalis) and slightly smaller than the ermine or stoat (M. erminea). The upperparts and tail are blackish-brown, while the underparts are orange-buff.

Dasyuromorphia

The order Dasyuromorphia (meaning "hairy tail") comprises most of the Australian carnivorous marsupials, including quolls, dunnarts, the numbat, the Tasmanian devil, and the thylacine. In Australia, the exceptions include the omnivorous bandicoots (order Peramelemorphia) and the marsupial moles (which eat meat but are very different and are now accorded an order of their own, Notoryctemorphia). Numerous South American species of marsupials (orders Didelphimorphia, Paucituberculata, and Microbiotheria) are also carnivorous. Some extinct members of Diprotodontia order like extinct kangaroos such as Ekaltadeta and Propleopus and thylacoleonids were carnivorous too. Some members of partially extinct clade Metatheria and all members of extinct superorder Sparassodonta were carnivorous too.

There are four families: one with just a single living species (the numbat), two with only extinct species (including the thylacine and Malleodectes), and one, the Dasyuridae, with about 70 living members.

Eupleridae

Eupleridae is a family of carnivorans endemic to Madagascar and comprising 10 known living species in seven genera, commonly known as euplerids, or Malagasy mongooses. The best known species is the fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox), in the subfamily Euplerinae. All species of Euplerinae were formerly classified as viverrids, while all species in the subfamily Galidiinae were classified as herpestids.

Recent molecular studies indicate that the 10 living species of Madagascar carnivorans evolved from one ancestor that is thought to have rafted over from mainland Africa 18-24 million years ago. This makes Malagasy carnivorans a clade. They are closely allied with the true herpestid mongooses, their closest living relatives. The fossa and the Malagasy civet (Fossa fossana) are each evolutionarily quite distinct from each other and from the rest of the clade.

All Eupleridae are considered threatened species due to habitat destruction, as well as predation and competition from non-native species.

Exemplars (comics)

The Exemplars is a fictional group appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. It was made up of eight humans - Bedlam, Carnivore, Conquest, Decay, Inferno, Juggernaut, Stonecutter, and Tempest - who were empowered by the Octessence.

Feline panleukopenia

Feline panleukopenia virus (FPLV) is a species of parvovirus that can infect all wild and domestic members of the felid (cat) family worldwide. It is a highly contagious, severe infection that causes gastrointestinal, immune system, and nervous system disease. (“Panleukopenia” means a decrease in the number of white blood cells.)

It has been thought to be single variant of Carnivore protoparvovirus (CPV 1) , however, it has been confirmed that a feline panleukopenia illness can be caused by CPV 2a, 2b, and 2c.FPLV is commonly referred to as:

Feline Parvovirus (FPV or "feline parvo")

Feline Infectious Enteritis Virus

Feline Parvoviral Enteritis It is sometimes confusingly referred to as “cat plague” and “feline distemper."In addition to members of the felid family, it can also affect some members of related families (e.g. raccoon, mink).

Fleur Carnivore

Fleur Carnivore is a live album by American composer, bandleader and keyboardist Carla Bley recorded at the Jazzhus Montmartre in 1988 and released on the Watt/ECM label in 1989.

Food chain

A food chain is a linear network of links in a food web starting from producer organisms (such as grass or trees which use radiation from the Sun to make their food) and ending at apex predator species (like grizzly bears or killer whales), detritivores (like earthworms or woodlice), or decomposer species (such as fungi or bacteria). A food chain also shows how the organisms are related with each other by the food they eat. Each level of a food chain represents a different trophic level. A food chain differs from a food web, because the complex network of different animals' feeding relations are aggregated and the chain only follows a direct, linear pathway of one animal at a time. Natural interconnections between food chains make it a food web.

A common metric used to the quantify food web trophic structure is food chain length. In its simplest form, the length of a chain is the number of links between a trophic consumer and the base of the web and the mean chain length of an entire web is the arithmetic average of the lengths of all chains in a food web.Food chains were first introduced by the Arab scientist and philosopher Al-Jahiz in the 9th century and later popularized in a book published in 1927 by Charles Elton, which also introduced the food web concept.

Greta Morgan

Greta Morgan Salpeter (born February 12, 1988), better known as Greta Morgan, is an American singer-songwriter and musician based in Los Angeles, CA. Her career began in 2005 as singer/pianist of the Chicago-based band The Hush Sound. She later formed the band Gold Motel, whose debut album was released on June 1, 2010. Since 2014, she performs under the name Springtime Carnivore and has released two albums.

List of Asian dinosaurs

This is a list of dinosaurs whose remains have been recovered from Asia excluding the Indian Subcontinent, which was part of a separate landmass for much of the Mesozoic. This list does not include dinosaurs that live or lived after the Mesozoic era such as birds.

Man v. Food

Man v. Food is an American food reality television series. It premiered on December 3, 2008 on the Travel Channel. The program was originally hosted by actor and food enthusiast Adam Richman. In each episode, Richman explores the "big food" offerings of a different American city before facing off against a pre-existing eating challenge at a local restaurant. The program airs in syndication at various times during the week.

Travel Channel announced in May 2017 that the series would be revived, with actor, food lover, and restaurant business veteran Casey Webb replacing Richman as host. The fifth season premiered on August 7, 2017. Casey Webb's second season on Man v. Food has been renewed with new episodes beginning later this year.

Mesocyon

Mesocyon is an extinct genus of terrestrial carnivore within the family Canidae, subfamily Hesperocyoninae, which inhabited North America from the Early Oligocene to Early Miocene 38.9—20.6 Ma, existing for approximately 18 million years.Though a carnivore, dentition suggests this animal was a hypercarnivore or mesocarnivore.

Peter Steele

Petrus Thomas Ratajczyk (January 4, 1962 – April 14, 2010), known professionally as Peter Steele, was the lead singer, bassist and composer for the gothic metal band Type O Negative. Before forming Type O Negative, he had created the metal group Fallout and the thrash band Carnivore.As the frontman for Type O Negative, Steele was known for his vampiric affect, towering 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) stature, rich bass-baritone vocals, and a dark, often self-deprecating sense of humor. "His lyrics were often intensely personal, dealing with subjects including love, loss and addiction." Steele credited Black Sabbath and The Beatles as his key musical influences.

Small Indian civet

The small Indian civet (Viverricula indica) is a civet native to South and Southeast Asia. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List because of its widespread distribution, widespread habitat use and healthy populations living in agricultural and secondary landscapes of many range states.The small Indian civet is a monotypic genus.

Tyrannosaurus

Tyrannosaurus is a genus of coelurosaurian theropod dinosaur. The species Tyrannosaurus rex (rex meaning "king" in Latin), often called T. rex or colloquially T-Rex, is one of the most well-represented of the large theropods. Tyrannosaurus lived throughout what is now western North America, on what was then an island continent known as Laramidia. Tyrannosaurus had a much wider range than other tyrannosaurids. Fossils are found in a variety of rock formations dating to the Maastrichtian age of the upper Cretaceous Period, 68 to 66 million years ago. It was the last known member of the tyrannosaurids, and among the last non-avian dinosaurs to exist before the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event.

Like other tyrannosaurids, Tyrannosaurus was a bipedal carnivore with a massive skull balanced by a long, heavy tail. Relative to its large and powerful hindlimbs, Tyrannosaurus forelimbs were short but unusually powerful for their size and had two clawed digits. The most complete specimen measures up to 12.3 m (40 ft) in length though T. rex could grow to lengths of over 12.3 m (40 ft), up to 3.66 meters (12 ft) tall at the hips, and according to most modern estimates 8.4 metric tons (9.3 short tons) to 14 metric tons (15.4 short tons) in weight. Although other theropods rivaled or exceeded Tyrannosaurus rex in size, it is still among the largest known land predators and is estimated to have exerted the strongest bite force among all terrestrial animals. By far the largest carnivore in its environment, Tyrannosaurus rex was most likely an apex predator, preying upon hadrosaurs, armored herbivores like ceratopsians and ankylosaurs, and possibly sauropods. Some experts have suggested the dinosaur was primarily a scavenger. The question of whether Tyrannosaurus was an apex predator or a pure scavenger was among the longest debates in paleontology. Most paleontologists today accept that Tyrannosaurus was both an active predator and a scavenger.

More than 50 specimens of Tyrannosaurus rex have been identified, some of which are nearly complete skeletons. Soft tissue and proteins have been reported in at least one of these specimens. The abundance of fossil material has allowed significant research into many aspects of its biology, including its life history and biomechanics. The feeding habits, physiology and potential speed of Tyrannosaurus rex are a few subjects of debate. Its taxonomy is also controversial, as some scientists consider Tarbosaurus bataar from Asia to be a second Tyrannosaurus species while others maintain Tarbosaurus is a separate genus. Several other genera of North American tyrannosaurids have also been synonymized with Tyrannosaurus.

As the archetypal theropod, Tyrannosaurus is one of the best-known dinosaurs since the 20th century, and has been featured in film, advertising, postal stamps, and many other media.

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