organism that eats mostly or exclusively animal tissue

A carnivore is an animal which eats only meat. [1] Predators commonly hunt and kill their own prey. Scavengers are carnivores which eat animals they did not kill themselves. Carnivores which eat mainly or only insects are called insectivores. Carnivores which eat mainly or only fish are called piscivores.

The word "carnivore" describes more than just the scientific order Carnivora. However, almost all animals in the Carnivora do eat meat, though a few do not.[2]

List of living carnivores

Unlike tigers, penguins don't need teeth and claws to be carnivores. They feed on crustaceans, fish, squid, and other small marine life.
Great blue heron with a snake
  • All birds of prey, such as hawks, eagles, falcons and owls
  • All vultures, both old world and new
  • Most waterfowl, such as gulls, penguins, pelicans, storks, and herons
  • All crocodilians, such as alligators, crocodiles, gharials and caimans
  • All snakes, such as cobras, vipers, pythons and boas
  • Some lizards, such as most skinks and all monitor lizards
  • Some turtles, including the snapping turtle and most sea turtles
Fish and amphibians
  • All frogs and toads
  • Almost all sharks, such as tiger, great white, nurse and reef sharks
  • Most teleosts, such as tuna, marlin, salmon, and bass


  1. The word Carnivora comes from Latin, where carne means "flesh" or "meat", and vorare is a verb meaning "eat", that is "meat-eater".
  2. Ullrey, Duane E. Nutrient requirements: carnivores. Encyclopedia of Animal Science.