carnivor, omnivor, ??? vor

The Great American Gene Company geneco at
Fri Dec 20 16:23:28 EST 1996

In <59eo3j$do6 at> Laurie Davison <ldavison at>
>kirill at (Kirill Richine) wrote:
>>I was wondering what is the biological term for species that eat
>>grass, like cows for example. So far as I understand those that eat
>>meat are carnivors (spell?) and those that eat anything are omnivors
>>Thank you.
>They're "herbivores":)

There's an interesting story worth telling related to this.
Horses, as you are aware, are herbivores.  
I live in an extremely rural community in Southern California, back in
the hill country.  The community I live in is graced by the fact that
it has a significantly larger population of horses than people.  In
fact, the ratio is about 1.5:1.  Consequently, it is common to see
folks on horseback nearly any time of the year.  Several of the local
businesses even have hitching posts out front, and people commonly come
through the drive-up window of the Jack in the Box and the McDonalds on
horseback.  It's fun, and it scares the tourists.

A couple of years ago, I came out of one store and ran into a young
girl sitting on the curb sharing her lunch with her horse.  It was a
McDonalds bag, so I figured it was probably apple pie or french fries. 
I asked her and, to my alarm, her horse was sharing a large order of
chicken McNuggets with her.  I mentioned that horses don't have
chicken-meat enzymes, and she replied that it probably didn't matter,
the things were mostly soy bean anyway.

Mike MacDonell, Ph.D.

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