Food Chain

What Eats Grass?

Sheep Grazing
What Eats Grass? Many Creatures Do. Photo:John Sullivan

What eats grass?

Thousands of different animals from tiny insects to huge elephants eat grasses. Grasses are one of the most important sources of nourishment for animals all over the planet. Without grass for animals to eat, the world would be a very different place.

Almost all hoofed animals are “grazers”—a word that comes from the word “grass” and which means “grass eaters.” Grazers include horses, cows, sheep, goats, bison, buffalo, deer, elk, wildebeest, zebras, kangaroos . . . there are just too many to name!

Grasshoppers are just one of the many insects that eat grasses.

Some birds, such as chickens and wild turkeys, eat grasses, and so do some types of fish.

Almost all animals that eat grasses are themselves eaten by carnivorous, or meat-eating, predators—which makes grasses a very important part of most food webs.

But many carnivorous animals also eat grasses from time to time. For instance, you’ve probably seen a dog bite off some long blades of grass and chew them up!

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.
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