A carnivore is an species that derives its energy and nutrient requirements from a diet consisting mainly or exclusively of animal or animal-equivalent tissue, whether through predation or scavenging. Species are further segregated into two subdiets: Those that depend solely on "animal" flesh for their nutrient requirements are considered obligate carnivores while those that also consume non-"animal" food are considered facultative carnivores. Omnivores also consume both "animal" and non-"animal" food, and apart from the more general definition, there is no clearly defined ratio of plant to animal material that would distinguish a facultative carnivore from an omnivore. A carnivore that sits at the top of the food chain is an apex predator.

Plants or other flora that capture and digest insects or similar creatures are called carnivorous plants (or whatever their floral type is referred to). Similarly, fungi that capture microscopic animals are often called carnivorous fungi.

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