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Herbivore

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A herbivore is any animal that only feeds on plants. They are often prey for carnivores and omnivores. To counter this they have adapted various ways of either defending themselves, or escaping from the predator. These methods are listed below.


Herbivore defence/escape means

  • Run away from the attacking predator (notably Gallimimus and small dinosaurs such as Lesothosaurus)
  • Hide from the predator using camouflage (almost all dinosaurs had this)
  • Intimidate the predator with displays of colour/impressiveness (notably Stegosaurus flushing blood into its plates and swinging its tail spikes)
  • Use its own evolved body armour (notably Ankylosaurus and Euoplocephalus)
  • Fight the predator off (notably Ankylosaurus with its tail club, Stegosaurus with its spikes, Diplodocus with its whip tail and Iguanodon with its thumb spike)
  • Fly/swim away (pterosaurs and marine reptiles used this method)

Herbivore diet

 Herbivores ate whatever vegetation they could find. Most herbivores were more suited to one particular type of vegetation, but some were not that fussy. Many herbivores, such as the sauropods, grew incredibly large because their diet of leaves and ferns required an enormous amount of digestion, and therefore required an exceedingly long intestine, which could only fit in large animals. The animals also swallowed stones, called gastroliths, that moved around in their stomach and helped grind the food down. This process created a lot of excess gas... (OK, that's quite enough!) and most vegetation was quite rich in fibre, which made the dinosaurs produce lots of dung (which is now fossilised as coprolites). This fossilised dung is now providing paleontologists with a detailed look at exactly what these dinosaurs ate.


Well-known herbivores 

Here are some herbivores that you might have heard of:


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