As omnivores , omnivores (from Latin omnis “everything” and vorare “to eat”) or pantophage (from ancient Greek πᾶν pan “everything” [genitive παντός pantos ] and φαγεῖν phagein “eat”) are animals whose food consists of different types of food Composed of plants and animals. A more general definition of omnivory is that a species feeds on organisms at different trophic levels - for example, primary producers (plants) and consumers (animals). Omnivores are food generalists because they have no special requirements when it comes to food and can therefore utilize a large number of different organic substances such as meat or plants, which can give them advantages over species that specialize in a certain food.
The " omnivorous teeth " are characterized by bunodonte teeth, molars that are provided with cusps. If there are four cusps, the teeth are oligobunodont ( ὀλίγος olígos “little”), with more cusps they are polybunodont ( πολύς polýs “much”).
Omnivores are no taxonomic group, but include various non more closely related species . Typical representatives are, for example, rats , pigs and humans . Even bears , which belong to the order of predators (Carnivora), are predominantly omnivores.
Omnivory is not always intended. When cows eat grass, for example, they inevitably ingest herbivorous insects that graze in the grass . Strictly speaking, cows and other grazers are therefore not pure herbivores (herbivores), but omnivores. However, many herbivores also specifically supplement their diet with animal food, which is richer in protein than vegetable food. Some inherently herbivorous insects are cannibalistic in their early development .
In theoretical models, omnivory has long been seen as destabilizing for predator-prey population systems . The presence of omnivorous species in predator-prey models has a high probability of species becoming extinct . This contrasted with the frequency of omnivories in natural systems. However, if the models are correct, omnivory should rarely occur. More recent studies with more realistic models then also showed that omnivory does not necessarily lead to higher extinction rates.
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