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Increasing Your Vocabulary: Graminivorous

It can be fun to learn new words, especially if you enjoy trivia. For example, suppose that I asked what one trait that linked a cow, goose, horse, hippopotamus, grasshopper, and bison together? Yes, they are all animals, but how many of you would say that they are all graminivores? In fact, all of these creatures and many more are graminivorous and that is the correct answer.

Okay, so what is a graminivore? It is any animal that eats primarily grass or grass seeds. All of the animals previously mentioned are grass-eaters, therefore, they are all graminivores. 

Graminivorous is a real word, too. It comes from Latin. The Latin word “graminis” means “grass” and the Latin word “vorare” means “to eat”. Thus, a graminivore is a creature that eats grass and graminivorous is a word that describes their diet.

As a little bit more trivia, grass is high in cellulose and low in nutrients. Cellulose isn’t digested by the animal and in most cases, they have bacteria in their stomachs that do the actual breakdown of the grass so the nutrients can be extracted. For this reason, graminivores must eat a very large amount of grass, relative to their body size, in order to survive. 

At any rate, now you know what graminivorous means. Unlike many other words, this one even has a use that most people can easily understand. It would also be a great word to use in a trivia quiz, should someone decide to use it.


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Written by Rex Trulove

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