Exotic Edibles

What does a chimpanzee munch
when it’s time for a chimpanzee’s lunch?
And what would a tiger mom pack
in a tiger cub’s school lunch sack?
When ostriches go out to dine
are their dinners like yours and mine?
And a vulture’s idea of a treat
is something that I’d never eat!
Each animal has its own tastes
And in nature, nothing goes to waste.
So let’s learn more about meals
For gibbons and leopards and seals
We’ll find out which food is liked best
by bats, and baboons, and the rest
So come on, get started–you’ll see
there’s one thing that I guarantee–
It’s always an exotic feast
when you have breakfast with the beasts!

How Much Do You Know?
We all know what kinds of foods we like best. Some of us just can’t get by without our good old pb&j, and some people will do almost ANYTHING for a little chocolate.
 
We also have a pretty good idea what our pets and some other animals like to eat. We know that snakes eat mice, and horses eat grass and hay, and mostly we could guess what a lion might like for dinner! 

But what does a sloth eat? Or a coati? How can we look at an animal we don’t know very well yet and make a good guess about what it might find tasty?

Look for Clues
Actually, an animal’s body shape, teeth, behavior, and other features give us some pretty good clues as to what’s on its menu. You can even learn a bit from looking at scientific names and the categories scientists put animals into.

For example, when you see a word that ends in -vore or -vorous, that’s a clue that the word is telling you what something eats. -Vore comes from a Latin word, vorare, that means to DEVOUR! So, if all you ever ate were potato chips, you’d be chipivorous (and you’d have a bad stomach ache!)

Scientists use words like herbivorous, carnivorous, and omnivorous to describe some groups of animals based on the kinds of foods they eat.

Click on a link below to find out what’s on the menu for some of your favorite animals!

Carnivore    Herbivore    Omnivore    Specialist

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