If you’ve ever heard prior to that part cacti room actually edible, you might’ve paused for a moment and also wondered about what pets are actually capable of eating the spiny things.

You are watching: What animals eat prickly pear cactus

Cacti have the right to be ridiculously tricky to also keep in your garden because of all your spines.

Picking castle up, moving them around, re-potting them, do cuttings native pretty lot any component of a cactus have the right to be incredibly an overwhelming – so exactly how anything manages come eat these things have the right to feel nice darn incredible.

A variety of animals can and also do eat cactus in the wild. I’m not 100% sure, but I feel like the most generally eaten cactus is most likely a Prickly Pear cactus.

These exciting plants not only flourish to be very big, even without lot water, but they additionally bear fruit – definition they’re among the just plants out there that’s both a vegetable and also a fruit (the pads gift the vegetable and the fruit gift the fruit)! at sight cool if girlfriend ask me.

Before we get into the animals that eat cacti, and also touch on exactly how they go about doing it, did you know humans have the right to eat part cactus plants & fruits, too?

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The Cacti also Humans deserve to Eat!

I’ve talked about how cactus tastes to humans before, since it’s possible for human beings to eat some cacti – absolutely not all, and also certainly not most, therefore be sure you know what you’re eat is in reality edible before you consider taking a bite!

The most typically eaten cactus fruit is dragon fruit, i m sorry you might have currently tried without ever before realizing it originates from a cactus.

The cactus dragon fruit originates from is called a hylocereus cactus, and it’s fruit supposedly tastes something prefer a kiwi since of it’s seeds.

If you’ve ever tried one, permit me understand in the comment what it tasted favor to you!

Then there’s the Prickly Pear cactus us were talking about, i beg your pardon yes, is edible to humans and animals.

Its pads can be eaten if you eliminate the spines, and also it’s fruit supposedly tastes choose a dried watermelon in regards to texture.

To my knowledge, you can also make it right into a juice!

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Camels Eat Cactus Pads, Spines & All

When it pertains to eating Prickly Pear cactus, camels are pretty much experts. Check out this video by National geographical of a camel eating Prickly Pear cactus pads, spines and also all!


How carry out they eat it? together Elaina Zachos for the National geographic points out,

Camels have a hard palate in ~ the top of your mouths, claims Alex Warnock, the Arizonian that owns the camels in the video. Their this grind food against this palate. <…>

The camel’s rotating chew distributes pressure from the cactus and also the papillae slide the needles vertically under the throat. This way, the spicy ends don’t poke the camel together it ingests them.

Doesn’t the hurt to eat the spines, also if you have a body that’s qualified of law it?

Apparently the answer is yes, the is uncomfortable:

Although camels deserve to physically eat cactus, munching ~ above the spikey plants can hurt them. Still, lock often pick to forgive the discomfort and also potential ache in stimulate to enjoy the fleshy green parts.

That’s exactly how tasty this cacti room to camels!

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Other pets That Eat Cacti

Please correct me if friend think any kind of of the info in this write-up is not correct – ns haven’t been able to find a reputable resource with a large list of pets that deserve to eat cacti.

Still, it’s feasible to uncover pictures of animals eating cactus pads and fruits online, and there space a many first-person testimonials of people who have seen this, or researched it themselves.

Based ~ above what I uncovered online..

Peccaries (also recognized as javelinas) seem to be able to eat prickly pear cactus pads, spines and all.

Jackrabbits eat Prickly Pear cactus, and do so near the base where there space no huge spines.

Pack rats eat Prickly Pear together well, and also avoid big spines, eating around them.

Many animals will eat Prickly Pear cactus fruit.

There are images of mule deer, floor iguana, desert squirrel, cactus mouse, desert tortoise, african blue tit birds, desert cottontail rabbits, and many other animals eating Prickly Pear fruit in the wild.

Apparently woodrat, pocket mouse, Nelson’s kangaroo rat, northern pocket gopher, and ground 설 설 eat Prickly Pear as well.

So a slew of animals – some mammals, some reptiles, some birds – and not simply larger animals, eat away at cacti and also the fruit they bear.

How carry out those who can’t eat the spines gain to the cactus fruit?

My assumption: v is they carry out their ideal to carefully avoid the spines, walking about to spots where the prickly pear fruit is on the edge of the plant instead of in the middle, and also if they’re small enough, climb approximately the spines as much as possible to remain safe.

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Your think on pets Eating Cacti?

Did ns get any kind of of the details in this post wrong?

Do you recognize anything an ext about which animals eat cacti or cactus fruits, or what other species of cactus (besides Prickly Pear) are commonly eaten in the wild?

Did you understand or also imagine that part animals, prefer camels, deserve to actually eat with those crazy spines ~ above a Prickly Pear cactus pad?

I’d love come hear any kind of thoughts you have actually on this subject in the comments below!


Filed Under: Cacti, tree Facts

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About Elise Xavier

Gardening newb; hope to get far better with a little an ext research and also a lot an ext practice.

Like to destruction through more of my posts? have a emergence at my an individual blog here, or browse through all the other blogs ns pen & photograph!