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Ranger Stu's Virtual Zoo - Week 7 - Carnivores, Omnivores and Herbivores

Its Week 7 of Ranger Stu's Virtual Zoo. This week it is the turn of yet another common subject covered in schools... Animal diets!


Whether your school is learning about diets, food webs or food chains they will always involve the words carnivore, omnivore and herbivore!

When I am booked for an animal workshop at a school or an animal party, I always bring along a large variety of animals and this means we can cover diets in as much depth as the school wishes.



As usual on Wednesday I will be posting a video on my YouTube channel (subscribe here!). We will meet a carnivore, omnivore and herbivore and even break these down further such as a detritavore.


What is a carnivore, omnivore and herbivore?

One way that we can split animals into groups is by looking at their diets. The three main groups are carnivore, omnivore and herbivore but did you know that we can break down each group further ?

Say you are a snake that only eats other snakes ? What would that be called?

Ophiophagous - Sounds fancy! It means 'snake eater'!


Lets look at each group in more detail.

Carnivore - Carnivores ONLY eat meat.

Carnivores have features to hunt live prey such as speed, claws and sharp teeth!

Can you think of a carnivore? How about a lion or snake.

In a food chain we call them secondary or tertiary consumers.

Some carnivores only eat certain prey such as an anteater which eats... ants and termites.

We call carnivores that only eat insects, insectivores.


Herbivore - Herbivores ONLY eat plants

Herbivores generally have large flat teeth which helps break up plants and long intestines to absorb more energy from their food!

In a food chain we call them primary consumers.

Can you think of a herbivore? How about a zebra or butterfly.

Some herbivores only eat certain food such as a fruit bat which eats fruit. We call herbivores that only eat fruit, frugivores.


Omnivore - Omnivores eat both meat and plants.

Omnivores generally have a mix of carnivore and herbivore features!

In a food chain they can be primary, secondary or tertiary consumers.

Can you think of an omnivore? How about a brown bear or pig.

Some omnivores only eat certain food such as woodlice which eat rotting plants, meat and yes even poo!. We call omnivores that eat rotting food, detritivores.



Here are this weeks tasks!


EYFS - What do Ranger Stu's animals eat?

Head over to my "Our Animals" page which you can find HERE.


Choose an animal (you can choose as many as you wish) and find out what that animal eats in the wild. Is it a carnivore, omnivore or herbivore?

Draw a picture of the animal and its food!


It could be a barn owl hunting a mouse or a giant snail sliding over a leaf, have fun and you can share your photos below or through any of my social media channels!

KS1 and KS2 - Food chain fun!

Have you learnt about food chains at school?

A food chain always starts with a producer, this is usually a plant as it can create its own food (energy) using the sun.


The next step in a food chain are animals that eat producers. These are called consumers, as they are the first consumers we call them primary consumers. Primary consumers are herbivores.


Next is an animal that eats another animal, this is called a secondary consumer. Secondary consumers are carnivores or omnivores.


To help you out here are two food chains, one on land and one in water.




On to our task. This week it is a really fun one!


BBC Bitesize have created food chain challenges. I have used my eldest son to trial the games and he loved them!


You can find the link below.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zbnnb9q


You have to find the producer, primary consumer and secondary consumer in a certain habitat and it gives you lots of great info along the way!

I hope you have fun with them and learn more about food chains as well as carnivores, omnivores and herbivores.


You may need a computer to play them but I think they are also made for mobile devices to.

Enjoy and we will see you all on my YouTube channel on Wednesday!

You can post pictures of your work through my Facebook and Instagram or you can post them in the comments section below.


Ranger Stu's Virtual Zoo will always be free to use.

It’s difficult times for most of us in the animal industry with uncertainly about the future and our jobs. If you are a school using my blog as a resource for your students perhaps or would just like to donate. You can do so using paypal.me/rangerstu Your donations are massively appreciated

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