As a meat eater ( or even carnivores carnivores, from Latin carnis ' flesh ' and vorare, Devour, devour greedily ' or Zoophagen, from Ancient Greek zoon ζῷον " creatures " and ancient Greek φαγεῖν phagein "eat" ) refers to animals, plants and fungi, which feed mainly or exclusively of animal tissue.

They therefore differ from herbivores ( herbivores ) who prefer mainly vegetable food, as well as of the omnivores ( omnivores ), as the people whose diet is mixed. As scavengers, however, organisms are referred to, which feed on carrion, animals so that they have already been found dead. You can not always be clearly separated from predators.

Among the predators are species of nearly all animal phyla. Among the mammals include, for example, many types of orders carnivores ( Carnivora ) and toothed whales to also mammals of the order Dasyuridae Family, the now extinct Mesonychia, Creodonten and Sparassodonta, some birds such as raptors or species of fish as many sharks. Among the arthropods Karnivorie is much more widespread. The majority of spiders (Arachnida ), especially spiders ( Araneae) and scorpions ( Scorpiones ), feed mainly on other arthropods. Mites ( Acari ) and harvestmen ( Opiliones ), however, are only partly carnivorous. Even among insects, there are numerous carnivorous groups such as assassin bugs ( Reduviidae ), the majority of carabid beetles ( Carabidae ) and Hymenoptera ( Hymenoptera). Under the latter many parasitoids are found.

Carnivore ( Carnivore ) should not ( Carnivora ) be confused with the order predators. Carnivora are not necessarily carnivores and carnivores not necessarily Carnivora, as there are both carnivores, not belonging to the order Carnivora, as well as predators, which, as many bears mainly feed on plant foods and are therefore among the omnivores.