Why Do Animals Eat Bones, Especially Herbivores?

Ashley | 09 - 25 - 2023
Giraffes Eat Bones

Do you know why animals eat bones when they are known to be strict vegetarians? Take this quiz to know what is osteophagia that causes these animals to defy nature.

What Is Osteophagia?

Osteophagia means “Eating of Bones,” especially by herbivorous animals. Being herbivorous is a choice. Every animal is capable of killing, be it for survival or fun, irrespective of its size. 

Herbivores consume meat while eating plants that host small colonies of pests. Therefore, at least 5% of the vegetarian diet consists of meat proteins. 

Animals Eat Bones to Acquire _____
  • A. Proteins
  • B. Calcium
  • C. Vitamins
  • D. All of the Above

Like humans, animals experience deficiencies in a few minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and other salts. The only natural way to obtain these minerals is by chewing on the bones of dead animals after a carnivore or omnivore has left the hunt scene.

What Kind of Animals Eat Bones?

The digestive acids present inside the stomach of herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores differ. Unlike carnivores, a herbivore animal can digest plant cellulose easily. While herbivores find it difficult to digest meat, carnivores can consume it quickly.

Nature-defying cases such as cows hunting chickens and consuming them raw, wildcats consuming plants occasionally are due to the exclusive need for a particular nutrient not present in their usual diet.

Therefore, irrespective of its diet, any animal will eat bones if it has calcium or phosphorus deficiency in its diet.

A recent video of Himlayan Ibexes licking the walls of a dam has surfaced and zoologists suppose it’s due to their need for calcium and the absence of bones in the surroundings that have led to this unusual behavior.

What Animals Can Digest Bones?

Any animal with a strong jaw will be able to crush bones and digest them using their strong stomach acids. The lack of canines in herbivores causes them to chew on bones for prolonged periods and digest the nutrients in small quantities.

Thus, the question “Do Giraffes Eat Bones?” can be answered with a simple yes. Giraffes that lack calcium will chew on bones. They may even hunt down a small animal for its bones.

Can Humans Eat Bones?

It is a choice for us as we are omnivorous in nature. You can consume bones or take dietary supplements to acquire the necessary nutrients.

Let’s see if you can score 10/10 on the quiz now.

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