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Would a centaur eat meat? Humans do (usually) eat meat, but horses are vegetarians. Would they be omnivores, carnivores, or herbivores?

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    $\begingroup$ Seems like it will depend on which set of organs they use for digestion. This question asked exactly that. $\endgroup$ – Samuel Jun 2 '15 at 5:14
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    $\begingroup$ No animal is completely a vegetarian. Given the opportunity, even deer like to eat birds to supplement their diets. It's about what is easiest and most available for them to eat. $\endgroup$ – Marion Jun 19 '16 at 4:29
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Omnivores.

But of course, they could be either three.

I asked a horse-owning friend, who looked at me oddly (as usual), but told me about a book she read: Deadly Equines, documenting 4,000 years of meat-eating horses on every single continent (including Antarctica). She notes that some of them were in desperation - including human - during things like an expedition, but others are well documented cases of horses that eat meat.

It seemed pre-cooked meat was best and most common, just like it is for us, but not exclusive.

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    $\begingroup$ Remember that Centaurs would possess the mandibles of human/omnivores. Our mouths could not handle quantity and toughness of the horse diet. Centaurs also possess the lower digestive system of a horse but meat is very easy to digest compared to the normal horse diet. I agree - it would have to be an omnivore. $\endgroup$ – Jim2B Jun 2 '15 at 11:53
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    $\begingroup$ @Jim2B Agreed - I think the biggest (different question) issue is consuming a horse's & human's volume of food per day; add to that whatever activity the OP has planned: running around with bows and arrows in Narnia or whatever. $\endgroup$ – Mikey Jun 2 '15 at 17:51
  • $\begingroup$ Just remember that a human diet possesses a very much higher nutrient density than horses. Just don't expect to have Centaur herds the size of grass grazer herds. IIRC they'd need to be < 1/10 the size due to the inefficiencies involved with converting grass -> herbivore -> meat -> Centaur (the extra step makes it 1/10 as efficient at conserving energy). $\endgroup$ – Jim2B Jun 2 '15 at 18:29
  • $\begingroup$ Also, poop is going to be very interesting after everything is fully digested in the human and passed onto the horse: very different biology will definitely be needed. $\endgroup$ – Mikey Jun 2 '15 at 18:41
  • $\begingroup$ Many herbivores eat meat when it's available. Deer are known to hunt down and consume bird's nests for the eggs or hatchlings. Many other herbivorous species do the same, they eat meat when it's offered / available. $\endgroup$ – Jim2B Jun 2 '15 at 18:47
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Yes centaurs would be able to eat meat. Their stomachs are a hybrid of a human and a horse, both a gastric and equine colic. The way centaurs are built, it would be impossible to graze upon grass all day. They are typically seen hunting their game with bows and spears. They are very fond of pairing this with Greek wine. It should also be noted that they can eat as many pizzas and hamburgers as they want without any side effects whatsoever.

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    $\begingroup$ This should be a comment. For this to be a better answer, you could focus on how diet and its benefits/consequences to the species could lead to what type of eater it is, but as it stands this sounds more like an errant thought that should be written as a comment. $\endgroup$ – The Anathema Jan 21 '16 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site, Anathema is correct, when answering please answer the question as asked. Once you earn more rep you will be able to comment on any post. Let us know if you have questions.' $\endgroup$ – James Jan 21 '16 at 21:04
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    $\begingroup$ Even with the additions, this is still a weak answer. It makes claims about the anatomy of a mythological creature, without citing source or context. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least three different settings with centaurs in them, none of which are described precisely the same. As an aside, requesting people change their votes is not likely to garner you the response you want - in fact, I've seen the exact opposite happen. (FYI, I have not voted either way at this time.) $\endgroup$ – T.J.L. Jan 21 '16 at 21:14
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I assume that centaurs have the best combination of horse and human organs. Someone was saying that they might have horse-sized human organs too but that's a different story. But if this is what we're gonna assume, then I see no reason they couldn't eat meat AND vegetation with "human" stomachs.

I think centaurs would be omnivores. It'd make sense thinking survival-wise. When they obviously need a whole lot of food/water, it'd be a little stupid for them to pick either or. Hunting game like deer could mean a whole lot of meat, but gathering could go with it to fill them up and provide better nutrition.

I guess a centaur could live off of plants alone if he's some Chiron hippie-like centaur and doesn't feel much like hunting.

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Biologically, I'm unsure, but from the mythology I doubt they'd have an ethical or moral objection. From what I can tell about the traditional mythology surrounding centaurs, they weren't exactly very, ahem, considerate of their fellow beings, and they were considered amazing hunters.

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