Oranges are adored by many animals, especially frugivores who consume a fruit-based diet. While some animals are considered pests by orange farmers due to their love for oranges, others can’t resist the juicy taste. Mammals and bird species alike gather around to savour the citrusy flavour of oranges.
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It’s fascinating to discover what animals enjoy this delightful fruit, and the interest it sparks shows just how many creatures recognize its value. Despite their differences, these animals share a common love for oranges, and we are lucky enough to witness their fondness firsthand.
What Animals Eat Oranges?
Scientific Name: Simia sciurea
Did you know that squirrel monkeys are not only cute but also incredibly intelligent? Despite being one of the smallest monkey species, their brains are much larger than other monkeys of the same size, which makes them quite unique.
These little primates are omnivores, and their diet consists mostly of fruits and insects. Interestingly, squirrel monkeys are also huge fans of oranges and can consume a vast amount of them. They can be found in the tropical forests of South and Central America, where there are five different recognized species.
Although they are tiny, reaching only about 35 centimetres, their tails can grow up to an additional 40 centimetres and make up for their small stature.
Scientific Name: Saguinus ursulus
They are the tiniest monkeys that resemble squirrels. These omnivores have a diverse diet that includes fruits, plants, insects, and even bird eggs. One fruit, in particular, they love is oranges, even if it’s larger than them!
But, did you know that tamarins are also skilled jumpers? They can leap up to an impressive 18 meters from trees to the ground without getting hurt. Additionally, the appearance of tamarins varies depending on the species, and some have unique facial hair that looks like a comical moustache. Despite their small size, tamarins can weigh up to 500 grams.
Scientific Name: Melanerpes carolinus
This bird has a particular fondness for the fruit, making it one of the few birds that enjoy them. Despite the name, the reddest part of this woodpecker’s body is actually its head, not its belly. If you’re looking to spot one of these orange-loving birds, you’ll have to make your way to the eastern part of the United States.
And if you do get the chance to watch a red-bellied woodpecker in action, you might notice that these birds are quite the planners. They’ll often stash their food away in little holes they’ve created in trees, making sure they’re always prepared for the next meal.
And while they may be known for their noisy drumming and other sounds, there’s no denying that the red-bellied woodpecker is a fascinating creature to observe.
Scientific Name: Mimus polyglottos
The Northern Mockingbird is a fascinating bird that can be found all around North America, and they are known for its impressive ability to mimic other animals and even mechanical machines. Did you know that they can sing over 200 songs of other birds and insects? It’s truly amazing to hear them impersonate their surroundings.
And while they are omnivores who eat fruits and insects, they also have a sweet spot for juicy oranges. Keep an eye out for these small birds with brownish and greyish feathers and white wing patches as they flit about, adding their own twist to the music of nature.
Scientific Name: Sciuridae
Squirrels are fascinating creatures that can be found almost everywhere in the world. These small mammals belong to the rodent animal order and are known for their tree-climbing abilities.
What’s interesting about them is that they store their food for future use during the winter or when food becomes scarce. Despite their size, they can eat just about anything from flowers, fungi, and seeds to roots, insects, and even other small mammals.
However, they have a sweet tooth and love to supplement their diets with sugary products like oranges. So, if you happen to have an orange tree in your yard, you may just become the local squirrel hangout spot!
Scientific Name: Procyon lotor
Meet the raccoon – a North American animal sporting a unique face mask that perfectly matches their thieving ways. These creatures are true opportunistic feeders, eating everything from nuts and fruits to eggs, insects and even crayfish. But their love for a juicy orange is what sets them apart from other animals.
With their sharp claws, these adaptable creatures peel oranges just like humans do! And if you find peel evidence on the ground of your backyard, it’s highly likely that a raccoon has been raiding your orange trees.
Despite their cute exterior, raccoons are notorious pests and often leave a trail of destruction in their wake. It’s no wonder that they’ve been roaming the Earth for over 40,000 years with their scavenging abilities.
Scientific Name: Rattus rattus
You may know it as a roof rat, a ship rat, or even a house rat. Whatever you call it, this type of rodent is no stranger to human settlements. Originating from the Indian subcontinent, black rats have made their way across the globe and can be found in or around many homes. However, their omnivorous diet and love for oranges have made them a significant problem for farmers.
In fact, they can cause massive damage to orange tree crops. But did you know that in some parts of India, these rats are considered sacred?
It’s fascinating how different cultures view animals so differently. As for the black rat, its dark fur may be the reason for its name, but don’t be surprised to encounter rats with varying shades from dark brown to light brown.
Which animals eat oranges?
A variety of animals have also been known to enjoy this juicy fruit. Monkeys, such as the Squirrel Monkey, are perhaps the most well-known orange-eating animals, but they are not alone. Birds, such as Parrots and Mockingbirds, have also been seen feasting on oranges. Squirrels, Tamarins, Woodpeckers, Turtles, Lizards, Caterpillars, and Raccoons have also been observed enjoying the sweet taste of this delicious fruit.
Do squirrels eat oranges?
Can animals eat orange peels?
Do monkeys eat oranges?
Oranges are known for being a source of vitamin C and a sweet, juicy treat. However, humans are not the only species that enjoy this citrus fruit. There are seven animals that also consume oranges, from primates to birds to even insects. The Chacma baboon loves to snack on oranges, and the black-tufted marmoset eats them in the wild.
The Baltimore Oriole, known for its striking orange plumage, drinks orange juice from cut oranges. The Satsuma Mandarin Fruit Fly uses oranges as a host for its larvae, while the Stinkbug Orchid Bee collects oils from the fruit’s peel.
Even the giant African land snail, a notorious garden pest, enjoys feasting on oranges. With such a varied list of creatures munching on oranges, it’s clear that these nutritious fruits are beloved by more than just humans.
Growing up enjoying the beauty of my village, a good passion for nature developed in me from childhood. Following my passion for the natural world, I have chosen zoology for my graduation, during my undergraduate degree, I participated in many nature trails, bird watching, rescues, training for wildlife conservation, workshop, and seminars on biodiversity. I have a keen interest in invertebrate biology, herpetology, and ornithology. Primary interests include studies on taxonomy, ecology, habitat and behavior.