Cows Graze in the Countryside, Barbados Pocket Guide

Land Based Animals of Barbados

Land based animals in Barbados live just about everywhere on the island. With habitats that are specifically suited to their needs, these creatures spend all their time either in search of food, nurturing their young, protecting their territories or simply doing nothing.

Dietary Needs

Every little thing a land based animal in Barbados does requires some form of energy. Bats need energy to fly around and source their food, monkeys need energy to climb and swing from limb to limb and roosters need energy so that they can appropriately and effectively guard their territories.

Whatever the activity and despite the species of animals, one thing that is certain is their need for food.

Land based animals have varied diets. As you can well expect, different animals will eat different things. Some animals have a food source that is rich in one particular nutrient for their growth and development, while other animals will eat just about anything they can find.

Land based animals that eat only plants are called herbivores, those that eat only meat are called carnivores and those that eat both plants and animals are called omnivores.



Bees, rabbits and some species of bats are among these plant eating creatures that can be seen around the island of Barbados feeding on a variety of plants and plant matter. Some herbivores are somewhat meticulous about the plant matter they eat as not all plants have the nutritional content required to sustain their growth and development.


Some herbivores have special digestive systems that enable them to extract as much as possible from what they eat. Examples of such in Barbados are with black belly sheep and cows.


These herbivores have special stomachs called rumens where cellulose is broken down by microorganisms. Ruminants (animals with a rumen) swallow their food, regurgitate it and then chew on it again to break down the cellulose in the plant. Food returns to the stomach where it is digested on completion of the cellulose break-down process.


"Yuh chewing yuh cud like uh cow" is an old adage in Barbados specific to when someone is chewing gum for prolonged periods. So when next you hare outdoors and see a herbivore "chewing its cud", it is simply re-chewing food that has already been swallowed.



The mongoose is among some of these land based animals in Barbados that eat other animals. These carnivores are at the very top of the food chain eating animals that eat plants that gather their energies from the sun. Carnivores may also be entitled to dietary requirements specific to their body type or simply eat just about anything.


Unlike herbivores that need specific digestive systems to aid in breaking down tough cellullose found in plants, carnivores have comparatively simpler digestive systems that don't necessarily require any break down of this tough cellulose.

Some carnivores don't just stick to meat only and are still considered omnivores as they diet consists of a variety of foods.



Blackbirds and monkies are among the omnivore group in Barbados that eat both plants or animals as their primary food source. Like carnivores, some omnivores hunt and eat their food while others are scavengers and will eat most carcass.

Omnivores eat a variety of meat and vegetable matter. Notably, not all kinds of plants are consumed by omnivores as they are unable to digest  a few of the substances found in some non fruit producing plants.


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