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File:Python sebae.jpg

Rock pythons are bulk feeders, and may eat prey as large as gazelles.

Feeding is the process by which organisms, typically animals, obtain food. There are many types of feeding that animals exhibit, including:

  • filter feeding - obtaining food suspended in the water column
  • deposit feeding - obtaining food particles in soil
  • fluid feeding - obtaining food by consuming other organisms fluids
  • bulk feeding - obtaining food by eating pieces of other organisms or swallowing them whole
  • phagocytosis - engulfing food with cell membrane

Another classification refers to the food groups some animals specialize in, such as:

There are also several food sources which have caused the development of specialized feeding behaviors, such as:

  • Ophiophagy: feeding on snakes
  • Hematophagy: feeding on blood
  • Coprophagy: feeding on faeces
  • Cannibalism: feeding on members of the same species
  • Trophallaxis: regurgitation of food to another animal
  • Paedophagy: feeding on the young of other species
  • Lepidophagy: of fish, feeding on the scales of other fish

In many instances, the specialization of organisms in a specific type of food source has been one of the major causes of evolution of form and function, such as:

File:Birds beaks.jpg

Many different forms of beaks in birds have evolved in function of feeding sources

  • mouth parts and teeth, such as in whales, vampire bats, leeches, mosquitos, predatory animals such as felines and fishes, etc
  • distinct forms of beaks in birds, such as in hawks, woodpeckers, pelicans, hummingbirds, parrots, kingfishers, etc.
  • specialized claws and other appendages, for apprehending or killing (including fingers in primates
  • changes in body colour for facilitating camouflage, disguise, setting up traps for preys, etc.
  • changes in the digestive system, such as the system of stomachs of herbivores, commensalism and symbiosis


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