Why Are Humans Animals?

Helena and Putto by jeffreymcmanus

Are humans animals? We don’t usually think of ourselves as being similar to dogs, cats or frogs, but to scientists, in many ways we are.

Scientists mostly divide the world of living things into animals and plants. If something gets its energy from sunlight and doesn’t move around on its own, a scientist will usually call that creature a plant. Grass, moss, pumpkins and apple trees are all examples of plants.

If a creature gets its energy from eating other things and it can move around on its own, then scientists call it an animal. Dogs, cats, frogs, fish, dinosaurs, and humans are all examples of animals.

Scientists have names for different kinds of animals depending on which kind of food they like to eat. An animal that eats mostly plants is called an herbivore. Horses and sheep are herbivores. Animals that eat mostly meat are called carnivores. Lions and tigers are carnivores. People are omnivores — we can eat both meat and plants (although some people choose not to). Dogs and pigs, as well as some birds and some fish, are also omnivores.

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