5 Crucial Difference Between Browser and Grazer with Table

What is the difference between browser and grazer?

There are two categorizations among plant-eating animals. The animals that entirely feed on plant material are called herbivores.

These animals feed on foliage, soft shoots, leaves, trees, and shrubs. There are two groups of herbivores.  These are browsers and grazers. The two are often confused but they are totally different from each other.

The main difference between browsers and grazers is that browsers feed on leaves, soft shoots, shrubs, and fruits of high growing plants while grazers feed on are animals that feed on grass and other low-growing vegetation.

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Difference Between Browser and Grazer
Intermediate feeder. 70% dicots (shrubs/forbs) Usually small. 70% monocots (grass/sedge) Usually large. Mix of dicots & monocots. Usually medium-sized.

Comparison Table (Browser vs Grazer)

Characteristics Browsers Grazers
Meaning Refers to herbivores that feed on leaves, soft shoots, shrubs, and fruits of high growing plants. Refers to herbivores that feed on grass and other low-growing vegetation.
Type of food They feed on leaves, barks, and green stems. They feed on vegetation at or near the ground level
Examples of animals They include; goats. Alpine ibex, markhor, wild goat, deer. They include; sheep, horses, cattle grasshopper.
Nutrients in the vegetation They feed on vegetation that is low in nutrients. They eat vegetation that is high in nutrients.
Adaptation They have long necks to reach vegetation that is high. Their necks are shorter hence can only reach vegetation that is on the ground.
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What is a Browser?

Browsers are herbivores that feed on leaves, soft shoots, shrubs, and fruits of high growing plants. They do not feed on grass or low vegetation. They mainly eat non-grasses.

The plant material eaten is known as browse and is naturally taken from the source. In temperate regions, the owners of the browser animals take the browse before it falls, dries it, and stores it for supplement during the winter season.

Browser animals are adapted to feed on vegetation that is high as they have long necks which enable them to reach the high vegetation.

The effect the browser animals have on plants depends on plant species. This may make a deer eat all photosynthetic tissues and the reproductive parts of the plant at once hence causing a negative impact on the plant.

Browsers may also impact the other animals negatively whereby they may eat even the ground vegetation making the grazers not have something to feed on.

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What is a Grazer?

Grazers are animals that feed on low vegetation such as grass. They include both large animals such as hippopotamus to small animals such as snails.

Feeding entirely on grass is referred to as graminivore. Horses, cattle, hippopotamus, grasshoppers, and geese are examples of graminivores.

The urine and feces from grazers recycle nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other nutrients to return them to the soil which eventually assists in the growth of other plants.

Grazing increases biodiversity whereby many of the same grass growing causing monoculture can be done away with. When grass is grazed on, dead litter grass is reduced which is an advantage to birds such as waterfowl.

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Main Differences between Browser and Grazer

  1. Browsers are animals that entirely feed on leaves, soft shoots, shrubs, and fruits of high growing plants while grazers herbivores that feed on grass and any other low-lying vegetation.
  2. Browsers feed on leaves, barks, and stems while grazers feed on vegetation at or near the ground level.
  3. Browsers are adapted to feeding on high vegetation by having long necks while grazers are adapted to feeding on low-lying vegetation by having short necks.
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Similarities between Browser and Grazer

  1. They are both herbivores.
  2. They both have teeth that are made in a way that they can cut the plant matter easily.

In Conclusion

Browsers and grazers are both herbivores. They entirely depend on plant matter for survival. Browsers feed on leaves, soft shoots, shrubs, and high growing plants. Grazers feed on grass and any other low-lying vegetation. Both have different adaptations that enable them to feed the way it is feeding.

The main feature that makes browsers different from grazers is what plant matter they feed on.

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