1 the act of consuming food [syn: eating]
2 the act of supplying food and nourishment [syn: alimentation]
- present participle of feed
- The activity of feeding an animal.
- Feeding the seals in one of the zookeeper's most visible chores.
- An instance of feeding of an animal.
- There are three feedings a day.''
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:
- Carnivore - meat
- Detritivore - decomposing material
- Folivore - leaves
- Frugivore - fruits
- Granivore - seeds
- Herbivore - plants
- Insectivore - insects
- Nectarivore - nectar
- Omnivore - plants and meat
- Piscivore - fishes
- Sanguinivore - blood
- Saprovore - dead matter
- Locavore – local food
- etc. (-vore from Latin vorare, meaning 'to devour')
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 (anthropophagy is the proper scientific term for human cannibalism)
- 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:
- 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
feeding in French: régime alimentaire
feeding in Portuguese: Alimentação