|Carnivore | Deposit feeder | Herbivore | Omnivore | Parasite | Scavenger | Suspension feeder|
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Herbivores can be classified into various sub-groups, including
- browser - selectively feeds on leaves; (also called a folivore)
- grazer - unselectively feeds on grass or other vegetation (in the past it may have been ferns)
- Epifaunal browser - invertebrate (e.g. gastropod) that feeds on leaf-like vegetation (e.g. large algae)
- Epifaunal grazer - aquatic invertebrate that rasps algae from the surface of the substrate (e.g. Archaeogastropoda)
- Frugivore - feeds mainly or only on fruit
- Nectivore - feeds on nectar or pollen - e.g. hummingbird, although pollen-eating insects could be called "palynivores"
Other specialisations, among herbivorous insects and other arthropods, include seed-eaters ("granivores"), plant fluid-feeders ("mucivores"), and those specialized to feed on wood ("xylophages") or roots ("rhizophages").
In larger animals, the degree of specialization is not so advanced, however, and many fruit- and leaf-eating animals also eat other parts of plants, notably roots and seeds. The diets of some herbivorous animals vary with the seasons, especially in the temperate zones, where different plant foods are most available at different times of year.
Herbivores form an important link in the food chain as they transform the sun's energy stored in the plants to food that can be consumable by carnivores and omnivores up the food chain. As such, they are termed the primary consumers in the food chain.
|Browser | Epifaunal browser | Epifaunal grazer | Folivore | Frugivore | Granivore | Grazer | Megaherbivore | Mucivore | Nectivore | Omnivore | Palynivore | Rhizovore | Xylovore|
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