With the warmer months creepin’ around the corner, many of us will either be hitting the gym for a well-needed fitness blast, or we’ll be trying out the latest diet craze in order to shed those unwanted winter pounds. Animals are not too dissimilar either, with many hibernating all winter before summer comes along and they shed the excess winter weight!
Most of our animals here at Knowsley Safari have quite particular dietary requirements – specially designed to help them stay fit and strong!
We thought we’d share with you some of the more peculiar animal eating habits… let us know what you think of these menus in a comment below!
1. Emus swallow stones?
Emus stick to quite a specific and basic diet made up of fruits, seeds, shoots and plants. So just to add a little something extra to a somewhat ordinary diet, they swallow small stones that stay permanently in their bellies. It’s thought that this helps to grind up food and aid with their digestion. They also require a huge amount of water, drinking around 9-18 litres daily – not quite the 2 litres we’re used to!
2. Meerkats love feasting on scorpions
Meerkats are mostly insectivores: meaning sometimes they will scavenge birds or fruit, but their favourite foods are all kinds of creepy crawlies, even the occasional scorpion. Some adult meerkats have an immunity to the venom so there’s no danger to come from any nasty stingers! Mother meerkats will often cut off the scorpion tails and feed them to the meerkat pups.
3. The Red-legged Seriema enjoy a bit of snake
The red-legged seriema eats insects, frogs, and birds, but they’ve also been known to gorge on snakes from time to time, too! The seriema is known for tossing and thrashing their prey around before gobbling it down. We’ll stick to our Sunday roasts, thanks!
4. Lions make it last
Lions have evolved to gorge on huge quantities of meat, bones and all, in one sitting whenever prey is available. This helps tide the lion over during long stretches of time without access to food. A lion may eat as much as 40kg in a single meal – the average person in the UK only eats around 80kg of meat in a whole year!
5. Elephants have a hearty appetite
Elephants do not eat meat and instead chomp on between 149 and 196kg of vegetation daily (around several hundred pounds). Nearly 80% of an elephant’s day is spent feeding, and tree bark is one of the favourite food sources for elephants as it is thought to aid digestion.
What strange animal eating habits have you seen, or heard of recently? Share with us in the comments below!