How do animals eat their food?


Quick Answer

Animals eat their food through sipping it up through a proboscis; taking it in bite-sized bits, then chewing and swallowing; tearing great chunks from the food and swallowing; tearing smaller bits from the food and swallowing; swallowing the food whole; or lapping it up with sticky tongues. Baleen whales, basking sharks and whale sharks simply open their mouths and suck in great volumes of krill, plankton or small fish.

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Full Answer

Snakes eat their prey whole. Their jawbones can disengage temporarily and allow them to swallow prey larger than their head. Venomous snakes kill their prey with venom before eating it, while constrictors squeeze their prey to death. Other snakes grab their prey and swallow it.

Anteaters use their long, sticky tongues to capture ants, termites and grubs which they then swallow. The tongue of an anteater can be longer than the animal's body, as can that of a pangolin.

Butterflies and moths have a proboscis that's curled up at the front of their heads. To eat nectar or other liquids, they unfurl the proboscis and use it to suck up the liquid.

Crocodiles and alligators grab onto their prey and go into what's called a death roll. This tears the prey to pieces, which the reptile is then able to swallow.

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