What Do Animals Eat? (Herbivores)

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 11385

Would you enjoy eating grass, cactus, mold, and wood? Of course not! But there are some animals that eat stuff like that, and they love it! Learn about deer, giraffes, beavers, and other plant-eaters!


Life Science

learning style
Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Do you recognize this animal? What is it eating? Do you think it likes eating leaves? What else do you think it eats?

In this lesson, you will be learning all about herbivores!

The deer you saw in the picture above is eating leaves. Do you think a deer is a herbivore? Do you know what a herbivore is? Tell your parent or teacher.

giraffe eating

Did you know herbivores are animals that only eat plants? Can you think of an animal that only eats plants? Some common examples of herbivores are giraffes, deer, elephants, horses, and cows. There are lots of animals that only eat plants! Read on to learn how to identify herbivores.

cow eating

All herbivores eat plants. Some herbivores eat a wide variety of plants, while others only eat one type of plant.

Herbivores can be large or small and come in all shapes and sizes! The smallest herbivore on earth is the featherwing beetle. Featherwing beetles eat mold and fungus — yuck! Did you know molds and fungi are classified as plants? Any animal that eats grasses, fruits, vegetables, flowering plants, leaves, roots, bulbs, fungi, mold, or varieties of mosses is a herbivore.

Do you have anything a herbivore might like to snack on in your learning space? Take a walk around your learning space and find any plants that a herbivore may eat! What did you find? Show your parent or teacher.

What animal do you think would eat the plant you found? Tell your parent or teacher, then ask your parent or teacher to help you research that animal to see if you were correct.

Great job!

horse eating carrot

How do you think you could identify a herbivore in the wild? Share your ideas with your parent or teacher.

The first thing you could do to identify a herbivore is watch what it eats. If you were to watch a cow in a field, what would you see it eating? Grass! Cows love grass! Herbivores can be found grazing most of the day. They spend their days grazing on the grasses and flowers found in fields. Can you think of some grazing animals?

sheep grazing

Another way to identify a herbivore is by taking a look at its teeth. Herbivores have teeth that are perfect for eating plants! Have you ever tried to eat a whole lettuce leaf? It wasn't very easy to chew, was it? Herbivores have teeth that allow them to grind down plants. This makes plants much easier to eat and digest! If the animal has big, flat teeth, it's a herbivore! Some herbivores have large front teeth (like beavers). Beavers use their large, sharp, front teeth to gnaw on wood for their beaver dams! All herbivores use their large flat teeth to grind up plants. Have you ever seen a herbivore's teeth? Tell your parent or teacher what they look like.

donkey teeth

A herbivore has eyes on the side of its head. Having eyes on the sides of their head makes it much easier to spot predators. This gives them a wider range of vision. Herbivores are generally prey for carnivores (animals that eat meat). Herbivores sometimes have to worry about carnivores. Their eyes help them spot carnivores so they have enough time to run and hide! A great way to remember where a herbivore's eyes are is by remembering this saying: "Eyes on the sides, helps them hide."

anteloupe eyes

Here's a silly way you can identify a herbivore. Take a look at its feet! What do you think might be special about a herbivore's feet? Did you know that some herbivores have hooves? Many herbivores have strong hooves that allow them to run away from predators (carnivores). Some herbivores also have webbed feet. Why do you think herbivores need webbed feet? Share your ideas with your parent or teacher.

Did you say so they can swim away faster? Great! Beavers have webbed feet that allow them to quickly swim away from predators.

Excellent work! You know the four ways you can identify a herbivore. Tell a parent or teacher at least two ways you can identify a herbivore out in the wild. When you are finished, move on to the next section.

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