Animal Kingdom: The Eating Machines

Gluttony is frowned upon in the human world. Is it the same for animals?

With the current influx of information campaigns against the danger of obesity, many are now aware and started to be conscious of their health. But how about the gluttons in the animal world? Sad to say, its just a way of life for these “eating machines”.

Tiger Shark

Tiger sharks are aggressive night hunter, they patrol the ocean devouring whatever come their way. Gifted with excellent eyesight, a sharp sense of smell and sickle-shaped teeth, tiger sharks usually prey on: fishes, squid, dolphins, sea turtles, seals, other sharks, sea turtles, seabirds, mollusks, and other sharks.

But did you know that tiger sharks are scavengers and are often called “the garbage can of the sea”. Why? Documented facts revealed that various kinds of foreign objects are found in their stomach, including old tires, license plates, tires, gasoline cans, shoes and baseballs. However, tiger shark’s nasty eating habit help keep the ocean clean.

Pig

This list will be incomplete if we will exclude the domestic pig. Pigs are known gluttonous omnivores, meaning they are plant and meat eaters. A greedy scavengers, pigs eat anything from plants, tree barks leaves, flowers, fruits, dead insects, rotting carcasses, garbage and even their young ones when kept in captivity. However, one awful thing pigs do… they love to sleep in its own excrement. Could you take that!

Vulture

This bald-headed bird of prey is the ultimate carnivore. Vultures are picky eaters, they will settle for nothing less– and only eat meat whether it”s fresh or rotten. These birds tend to pounce in and gobble as much as they can. Normally, vultures will overeat themselves until their digestive cavities bulges. They can eat as much as 25% more than their body weight. Vultures usually seek its prey by smell though they have an excellent eye vision. Vultures have no problem digesting rotten meat since special acids are present in their digestive system.

Tasmanian Devil

The size of a small dog, the Tasmanian Devil is a carnivorous marsupial native to the Australian island state of Tasmania. A ferocious hunter at night, Tasmanian devil has an outstanding sense of hearing and an excellent sense of smell. It both scavenge carcasses of dead animals and hunt prey such as; wombats, sheep, small mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, frogs and insects. On average, they can consume as much as 15% of their body weight each day. Published reports had it that in just 30 minutes, Tasmanian Devil can gobble up carrion as much as 40 % of their body weight. This animal will likely eat anything that smells like flesh.

Vampire Bat

Common vampire bats are known to have a dietary trait called hematophagy, meaning its food source is blood. Typically a night hunter, they feed mostly on the blood of mammals. Occasionally, vampire bats feed on human. Once a host is spotted, usually a sleeping mammal, vampire bats approach the target on the ground and land. They are able to locate where to bite by using their infrared sensors. In case the located host has fur, they use their razor sharp teeth in making a 7 mm long and 8 mm deep cut. Did you know that these little creatures can consume blood up to five teaspoons in one sitting! And for survival, vampire bats will eat other vampire bats as a food supply resource.

Python

Pythons are non venomous snakes that are found in Asia, Africa and Australia. Python generally ambushes and then kill its prey by means of constriction. It feeds on almost everything that comes its way using a set of organs that can detect heat and a tongue with sensor capable of detecting the animal”s scent. Its diet includes; rodents reptiles, amphibians, birds and other mammals.

Python can ingest prey bigger than its head by slowly squeezing the helpless victim. It usually swallows its meal starting with the victim’s head. A large meal will probably take days or even weeks to be totally digested since pythons have a slow digestive system. In this case, the snake may not need to eat again for months.

Argentinean wide-mouthed frog

Argentinean Wide-mouthed frogs or Horned frogs are famous for its fearless reputation. These animals are probably created for the purpose of eating anything that fit in their mouths. They can consume anything it wants, is it smaller or bigger than their size. The horned frogs staple diet includes; insects, spiders, small lizards, rodents, and snakes.

Typically, it hunt by waiting for prey while remaining motionless. However, horned frogs have the tendency to bite bigger animals, including human when provoke. Did you know that these animals don’t know when to say no to its meal that at times their tummies are literally bursting open due to overeating.

Hummingbird

We always thought that small animals eat less, but don’t say that to the hummingbirds. Considered the world’s smallest bird, hummingbirds have a very odd eating habit. They need to feed every 10-15 minutes, usually sipping the nectar of a flower or even preying on spiders and other insects when feeding young. The hummingbird’s heart beats 1,200 times/minute and flaps its wings 200 times in the same period. This tiny bird needs all nutrients it could get. Luckily, hummingbirds have an incredible metabolism.

Blue Whale

Blue whales are found throughout all the earth’s ocean inhabiting continental shelves and ice fronts. They are the largest animals on the planet. These sea behemoths mainly feed on krill (a type of small shrimp-like organisms). Yes! You read it right, blue whales diets are generally small marine invertebrates, but they consume can up to 7,715 pounds of krill a day! Blue whales get a respite from their eating endeavor during its eight-month breeding season and usually refrain from eating anything at all.

Caterpillar

We all know that butterflies and moths do come from caterpillars. But did you know that, this small creature tops our list of “eating machines.” Most caterpillars are known herbivores, and are voracious leaf eaters. Caterpillar grows very quickly, usually shedding their skin four or five times before it transform into an adult form.

As an example, Tobacco Hornworm can grow ten-thousand times its weight in about 20 days. It can consume 1,000 its bulk in less than three weeks. Caterpillar’s voracious eating habit is based more on biological adaptability.

31 thoughts on “Animal Kingdom: The Eating Machines

  1. Justin Buenagua

    the vampire bat is an interesting creature but with its virus it can kill a cow in a day… they are blood sucking so better stay away from them.. opps i forgot , they attack in almost stealth mode.!

  2. lovemindanao

    I knew about this because I love animals (in fact, i dreamed of becoming a wildlife biologist.lol),but I have to disagree with the Python. I don't think they're gluttons. I mean, they can really eat in big amounts, but when they're full they'd stop eating and sleep. Unlike all other animals mentioned, they keep eating even when full.

  3. Sarah

    I didn't know na may Tasmanian Devil pala talaga in real life! Naririning ko lang ang name niya when I was young. May cartoon tv show kasi na one of the characters was named Tasmanian Devil. 🙂

  4. Algene May C.

    I thought that all animals instinctively stopped eating after they satisfied their hunger. However, I was wrong because there are animals that are naturally glutton and devour anything that they can. Great post!

  5. Joseph Holguin

    yaikks with the vultures. When we were living in the country (middle of nowhere, I used to see them on the road eating dead animals. They are all over the woods, looking for dead rotten animals.

  6. Lady Patchy

    Although it seems nice that the tiger sharks are cleaning the ocean but it is also sad to learn that trash are making its way to their diet just because they love to munch on anything that happens to be close at hand :/

  7. joy

    I saw a Tazmanian Devil in Sydney and they are really very dynamin and keeps moving no wonder, they fall under the eating machines as they do build an appetite.

  8. Franc Ramon

    i dont wnt to see a python and a shark in realy life hahaha i mean right infront of me ready for a meal though i've seen them in most zoo's and huge aquariums. They looks scary but so amazing!

  9. MaryJane Tauyan

    I'm surprised that the hummingbird needed to eat frequently in just a few minutes between meals. This is great information about the eating habits of different animals.

  10. Cheryl Zamora

    Interesting facts. I wonder if they know what's delicious for them and what's not? 🙂 Anyway, that caterpillar photo scares me, I really don't like to see one but that piggy in boots is cute 😀

  11. Raine Pal

    Tasmanian Devil is true? Hahahaha. I thought its just a cartoon stuff. Well anyway, speaking of gluttony..hmp…lahat ata tayo merong ganun..matakaw as in di ma'kuntento sa kung anong meron. Hehehehehe..

  12. Pao Tolentino

    Just looking at the caterpillar gave me some weird itches. I just can't stand those critters. Anyway, those tiger sharks = always bad ass.

  13. Shugah Gonzales

    my nephew is such a fan of this animals. and he knows so much about python at 8! will let him read this.

  14. Jonas Labagala

    Thanks for this post! And I'm scared of what will the Vampire Bat do to me! haha! 😀

  15. Rochkirstin Santos

    It's my first time to see an actual picture of the tasmanian devil. I didn't know there's really such an animal. I know Taz but wow, it's a dog pala. 🙂

  16. jenn

    those tiger sharks and pythons look real scary. the pig with boots had me laughing out loud. cute!

  17. MC Calunsod

    I am always amazed with hummingbird and I like watching them from the window sipping from the bird bath at my SIL's house. I am actually planning to hang one by the window so we can also have hummingbirds to see.

  18. kulasa

    wow, interesting facts! the pig still has got to be my favorite haha..it seems to have been born to eat…sad thing is it is eaten in return..by us 🙂 the caterpillar photo here looks super cute!!! and wow I didn't know hummingbirds can eat that much! a post I would love the kids to read! thanks again for the wonderful information! 🙂

  19. lencilicious

    I thought panda belongs in the group. I can't believe as well that hummingbirds can eat much.

  20. riz

    i wonder if these animals ever get diabetes 🙂

    i have a small number of pigs here in our backyard, i would remember tiptoeing at night because just a small sound they hear, they will set a chorus of screams -too loud "oink, oink" ^_^

  21. Chubskulit Rose

    The photo of the pig make me smile hehehe. We used to raise hogs when I was growing up so this specific post reminds me of my childhood.

  22. betchai

    oh that pig is so cute, haha, glad to know about those information about the shark, thanks to them for cleaning the ocean 🙂

  23. Teresa Martinez

    That pig in boots is so funny and this is the first time I saw a really close-up picture of a caterpillar. Very interesting animal information here.

  24. cheerful

    very informative and interesting post…thanks for sharing! these eating machines are all scary, well, at least for me. 🙂

  25. mhie @ Travelentz

    Oh! the vampire bat is so cute. I love them. I really want to capture that bats in the zoo but I have a hard time to take those cute animals.

  26. Jessica Cassidy

    I did not know that hummingbird and caterpillar are eating machine as well 🙂 Vulture is always a scene in our area 🙁 always keep an eye in our pond 🙁 The pig is so stinking cute wearing rain boots 🙂 and yikes! for that big snakes sssssssssssssss

  27. rona

    I got so surprised with the tasmanian devil. i thought this was really just a cartoon character!

  28. mai

    What I found interesting are the info about the hummingbird and caterpillar. Yikes on the snakes and the Tasmanian devil.

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