T Nation

Big Animals

ok so I have a question. How come the majority of the massive animals in our world are straight up vegitarians? where do they get their protein? How in the hell do elephants and buffalo, and gorillas get so massive?

Evolution.

They get their protein from eating bacteria … no really.

In the first stomach, it’s mostly just heat and turning water with the grass. Bacteria THRIVE under those conditions, and they pull nitrogen out of the air to make their protein (so they can grow). SO, in the first stomach, quite a bit of the calories in the grass actually goes to feeding bacteria.

Then, when the grass/mulch goes to the second stomach, the bacteria (and their protein) is digested.

Now, ask why rabbits eat their pooh …

God made them that way.

“How come the majority of the massive animals in our world are straight up vegitarians?”

food availability : grass is generally everywhere, easy to catch, and replenishes itself rather quickly. Gazelle and Bison are less plentiful, harder to catch, and reproduce slowly. Because of this an elephant sized carnivore would have a hard time and need a much larger range than a small carnivore ( eg wolves). Animals that have large ranges are less abundant and are more susceptible to extinction.

Just a thought

Hey El, why do Rabbits eat their own poo?

I agree with Michelle. Look an elephant is big simply because IT IS. Why are falcons so small if all they eat is meat and protien? Look animanls are different and I don’t think nutrition has a thing to do about Elephants being big…If all you fed them was hay, they would be big, there is nothing you can do to make them small!!

Whales are big, and they eat fish, squid, etc etc. So your basic premise isn’t sound.

I love the nutritionists that always recommend eating like a gorilla in order to get big and strong. I’m sure the veggies, nuts, berries and insects are the sole reason gorillas are so big and strong. And I know that if I were to eat like a gorilla, it will not make me as big or as strong as one.

They eats dozens of pounds worth of grass each day. A large portion of the grass is fiber (cellulose). Since they’re herbivores, they have a rumination tank that can turn the cellulose into protein and other things they need. Humans can synthesize some amino acids, but we’re made to hunt and gather the rest, not stand around eating grass all day.

Lumpy: Most whales eat plankton, which are techinically animals, but it’s not exactly hunting.

Many monkeys and apes are omnivores. They eat meat when they can get it.

i saw an elephant screw a pig,I have it on tape. that was south park though.

Rabbits eat cellulose rich vegetation, but
they lack the enzymes necessary to digest the cellulose. However, the bacteria in their large intestine can digest the cellulose. So, in order to get the now digestible sugars from their feces, they eat it.