What Are Some Examples of Carnivorous Animals?

Examples of carnivorous animals include tigers, lions, cheetahs, hyenas, cougars, foxes, mountain lions, coyotes, hawks, polar bears, crocodiles, eagles and wolves. The word "carnivore" comes from the Latin words for "meat" and "devour." Carnivorous animals are animals that feed only on animal flesh for their nourishment.

Carnivores, particularly predators, have certain physical characteristics that enable them to be effective hunters and eaters. For one, they have powerful jaws, which allow them to bite and hold their prey. They also have teeth that are well-designed to tear meat from their prey, and they particularly have sharp incisors and canines.

In the animal kingdom, carnivores are secondary consumers. Those that kill their food are referred to as predators, whereas those that eat animals that have been killed by predators or have died naturally are called scavengers. Examples of scavengers include hyenas, vultures and raccoons.

Carnivorous animals that eat other carnivores are known as tertiary consumers. Killer whales are an example of tertiary consumers, as they feed on seals and sea lions. Seals and sea lions feed on octopus, squid and fish and are therefore carnivores.

Some carnivores survive on meat alone, as their digestive systems are not able to digest plants properly; these animals are known as obligate carnivores. All cats, including lions and tigers, are examples of obligate carnivores.