Discover These 5 Frugivorous Animals

Mammals, insects, birds and a single fish rely on fruits for their food, although they may not be the only thing they eat. Discover 5 frugivorous animals.
Discover These 5 Frugivorous Animals

Last update: 02 May, 2021

Frugivorous animals are those that feed on fruits, either exclusively or partially. One-fifth of mammals belong to this group, which are dependent on the abundance of trees and the food on their branches. Learn more about them in this article.

What frugivorous animals are there?

Primates are the main group of frugivorous animals, but they’re not the only ones. We can also find other mammals, some birds, insects, and even one fish. Among them we’ll highlight the following:

1. Myleus pacu

Among the frugivorous animals we want to tell you about today is the Myleus pacu, which appears in the image above. It’s the only representative of the fish class. It’s a freshwater species that lives in South America, mainly in the rivers of the Amazon, so it prefers tropical and warm habitats.

Pacu populations are very numerous and their bites are extremely painful. They feed not only on fruits, but also on algae, seeds, and plants. They can weigh up to 55 pounds, with females being larger than males. Both sexes have a strong sense of smell and are attracted to fat, blood, and urine.

2. Bornean orangutan

This is one of the primates whose diet is based on fruits, and it inhabits the island of Borneo (Indonesia). Due to logging, hunting, fires, and illegal trafficking, it’s in a critical state of extinction.

A Bornean orangutan.

The Bornean orangutan is known for its upright, human-like gait, its long brown fur, and the protuberances on its face, which is black and furry.

3. Flying fox

This isn’t really a fox, but a bat that lives in tropical regions of Oceania, Asia, and Africa, and is divided into more than 50 species. They differ from their other relatives in that they have a good sense of sight and find it difficult to fly in the dark.

A flying fox hanging from a tree.

Flying foxes eat fruit and are a very important seed dispersal agent for ecology. They gather in large roosting colonies, always hanging upside down from tree branches. Many specimens are threatened due to habitat loss, illegal hunting, and the damage they cause in fruit plantations (farmers persecute them).

4. Fruit fly

This insect belongs to the drosophilae and is also called vinegar fly. It feeds on fruits (bananas, apples, grapes, etc.) that are in the decomposition or fermentation process. Therefore, they consume microorganisms such as yeasts and bacteria. The odor released by a rotten fruit is what attracts this fly.

Two fruit fiels on a leaf.

In addition, females use fruit to deposit their eggs, which also develop during the larval and pupal stages. Both for spawning and for their ‘diet’, they choose fleshy foods with high water and sugar content.

5. Toucan

The last of the frugivorous animals on this list is a very famous bird due to its long and large orange beak, as well as its striking black and white feathers. Native to South America, the toucan prefers humid forests and open spaces.

A toucan with a bright colored beak.

Its main foods consist of fruits such as berries, although it can also consume reptiles, insects, and the eggs of other birds. The toucan – which has no sexual dimorphism – has legs with two toes forward and two backward in order to hold on to branches and provide food.

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