from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Feeding on fruit; fruit-eating.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Feeding on fruits, especially soft fruits, as many mammals, birds, etc., those which feed on small hard fruits, as seeds and grain, being distinguished usually as granivorous.
  • Specifically, in mammalogy, pertaining to the Frugivora.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Feeding on fruit, as birds and other animals.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Having a diet that consists mostly of fruit; fruit-eating.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin frūx, frūg-, fruit + –vorous.]


  • The word 'carp' could never have multiplied itself into the absurdities of endo-carps and epi-carps, but in the mouths of men who scarcely ever read it in its original letters, and therefore never recognized it as meaning precisely the same thing as 'fructus,' which word, being a little more familiar with, they would have scarcely abused to the same extent; they would not have called a walnut shell an intra-fruct--or a grape skin an extra-fruct; but again, because, though they are accustomed to the English 'fructify,' 'frugivorous' -- and 'usufruct,' they are unaccustomed to the Latin 'fruor,' and unconscious therefore that the derivative 'fructus' must always, in right use, mean an enjoyed thing, they generalize every mature vegetable product under the term.

    Proserpina, Volume 1 Studies Of Wayside Flowers

  • Its powerful bill enabled it to break, and its capacious, stone-supplied gizzard to digest, the hardest shells and kernels; and thus a kind of frugivorous vulture, it cleared away the decaying vegetable matter.

    Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 440 Volume 17, New Series, June 5, 1852

  • Mammals are considered frugivorous if the seed is dispersed and able to establish.


  • However, frugivorous fish, tortoises, lizards, and even amphibians also disperse seeds.


  • Endozoochory is generally a coevolved mutualistic relationship in which a plant surrounds seeds with an edible, nutritious fruit as a reward to frugivorous animals that consume it.

    Seed dispersal

  • Some bird species have shorter intestines to rapidly pass seeds from fruits, while some frugivorous bat species have longer intestines.


  • For example, a single species of frugivorous bird may disperse fruits from several species of plants, or a few species of bird may disperse seeds of one plant species.


  • Many frugivorous birds feed mainly on fruits until nesting season when they incorporate protein rich insects into their diet.


  • An article by B.A. Loisell and J.G. Blake, Potential Consequences of Extinction of Frugivorous Birds, discusses the important role frugivorous birds have on ecosystems.


  • Potential consequences of extinction of frugivorous birds for shrubs of a tropical wet forest, in Levey, D. J.,



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  • Doable, this time of year (apricots, plums, peaches, all manner of berries...)

    Wait, did I say doable? Surely not.

    July 10, 2007

  • Ooh. I think you did. And stop calling me Shirley. ;-)

    July 11, 2007