Herbivores: 10 Heaviest Plant Eating Terrestrial Animals


The biggest animals on earth are plant eaters because there is a lot of plant matter as a food resource readily available for them to derives its energy and nutrient requirements. In fact, the ten biggest land animals are all – herbivores.

The only existing animals that beat those sizes are all whales. Although the following list of 10 animals’ diets consists purely of vegetation, this doesn’t stop them from reaching immense weights. And, are among the heaviest herbivores animals on Earth:

10. Red Kangaroo

Heaviest Herbivores

Red Kangaroos are herbivores, primarily grazing on grasses but also eat forbs and leaves of shrubs. They have chambered stomachs, and they regurgitate and chew cud just like cows.

The Red Kangaroo has the ability to survive when water is scarce. The herbage and foliage that the Kangaroo eats provide them with their water needs as well as their nutritional requirements.

9. Eastern Lowland Gorilla

Heaviest Herbivores

Eastern lowland gorilla diet consists of fruits, leaves, seeds, and stems. Over 100 fruit species have been recorded in their diet. In drier months, when fruits are scarce, gorillas supplement their diet with leaves, pith, shoots, and bark. They have also been known to eat termites and weaver ants.

8. Galapagos Tortoise

Heaviest Herbivores

The Galapagos Tortoise is the biggest species of tortoise in the modern world with some tortoises reaching more than 4 ft long. Galapagos tortoises will eat almost any green vegetation they can find. Most of their diet consists of fibrous vegetation such as grass, tree bark, and cacti. In captivity, Galapagos tortoises will eat carrots, bamboo stalks, hibiscus leaves and flowers, lucerne hay and other foods that are high in fiber.

7. Chukotka Moose

Heaviest Herbivores

The Chukotka Moose is the largest antlered animal in the world. The weight of such antlers can be up to 100 pounds or 55 kg. The Chukotka Moose inhabit Chukotka and the Kamchatka Peninsula in far-eastern part of Russian. They tend to graze on the leaves, bark, pine cones, twigs and buds of trees and shrubs. They also like to eat aquatic plants like water lilies. Chukotka Moose have four-chambered stomachs, as do cows.

6. Shire Horse

Heaviest Herbivores

The Shire is a British breed of a draught horse. It is a tall breed, and have at various times held world records both for the largest horse and for the tallest horse. Like most other horses, the majority of a Shire horse diet consist of forage, and that forage can be hay, pasture, hay cubes or pellets, or a combination of these. High-energy feedstuffs such as concentrates are often added to the diets when requirements exceed those that can be reasonably met with a forage-only diet.

5. Porcelain-White Chianina

Heaviest Herbivores

The Chianina may well be one of the oldest breeds of cattle in existence. The breed originated primarily in the west-central part of Italy and was found in a wide variety of environmental conditions. The porcelain-white Chianina is the largest breed of cattle in the world and have short hair that varies from white to steel grey in colour.

Chianina Cattle fattened in feedlots are fed small amounts of hay supplemented with grain, soy, and other ingredients in order to increase the energy density of the diet.

4. Rothschild’s Giraffe

Heaviest Herbivores

Giraffes are herbivores, which means they eat only plants. Their long necks allow them to reach leaves, seeds, fruits, buds, and branches high up in mimosa and acacia trees. They can eat 100 different plant species however they will mainly feed on the leaves of the Acacia and the Combretum trees. Rothschild’s Giraffe is one of the most endangered distinct populations of giraffe, with 1671 individuals estimated in the wild in 2017.

3. Common Hippopotamus

Heaviest Herbivores

The common hippopotamus, or hippo, is a large herbivorous, and are the third-largest living land mammals, after elephants and white rhinos. The Common Hippopotamus is the larger of two remaining species of Hippos in the world and can be found in the lakes, swamps and slow-flowing rivers of sub-Saharan regions of Africa.

Like almost any herbivore, they consume other plants if presented with them, but their diet in nature consists almost entirely of grass, with only minimal consumption of aquatic plants. Hippos are born with sterile intestines and require bacteria obtained from their mothers’ feces to digest vegetation.

2. Southern White Rhino

Heaviest Herbivores

The southern white rhino has a wide mouth and is a grazer, mainly eating grass. They spend about half of their waking hours eating and the rest of the time resting or perhaps wallowing in mud holes. White rhinos are very large animals and they must eat up to 120 pounds of grass per day to sustain themselves. They are under threat from habitat loss and poaching (illegal hunting or capturing).

1. African Bush Elephant

Heaviest Herbivores

The African bush elephant, also known as the African savanna elephant, is the largest and heaviest living terrestrial animal, with some individuals growing to weigh more than 6 tonnes. As the largest land animal, the African bush elephant reaches up to 24 feet in length and 13 feet in height.

African Bush Elephants eat roots, grasses, fruit, and bark, and they eat a lot of these things. An adult elephant can consume up to 300 pounds of food in a single day.