Big Word of the Month is a regular feature that explores the sometimes challenging vocabulary of Biology.
All animals need basically the same things to survive: water, calories, vitamins and minerals. However, animals acquire these necessities from a wide variety of sources. Some eat only one type of food for their whole lives while others may have different food at every meal. Biologists can usually tell what kind of food an animal eats by looking at their and teeth and jaw musculature. The digestive tracts of animals are also reflect adaptations to the diets they consume.
Scientists generally put animals into one of three categories based on their diets:
Carnivores get nearly all their dietary needs from eating animals
Herbivores get nearly all their dietary needs from eating plants
Omnivores eat a varied diet including both plants and animals
Can you think of one animal that fits into each of these categories?