Are humans obligatory omnivores

What would be the biggest changes in the body if we were obligatory carnivores?

If humans had become obligatory carnivores, there would be some differences in the teeth and digestive system, and possibly in our hands and feet.


A carnivore's teeth are simple sharper . Incisors are usually more pointed, there are usually long, pointy canines (instead of the small, usually blunted people), and instead of molars, there are flesh scars, teeth designed to cut flesh like scissors. A carnivore does not need to grind its food because meat is easily digested, even if it is swallowed in relatively large lumps. Their teeth are used to separate meat from the bone and reduce it to a size that can be swallowed as quickly as possible.


An obligatory carnivore has a large stomach that keeps as much meat as possible in order to make a meal last as long as possible. It takes relatively little effort to digest meat, and carnivores have shorter intestines than omnivores.

A carnivorous person's belly may not look too different from that of a normal person, it may be flatter when hungry and plumper after a meal. You can only eat once every few days and not several times a day.

Hands and feet:

Carnivores tend to have claws to make it easier to catch prey. An obligate carnivore may have claws rather than nails on their fingers and toes to make it easier to catch prey. Such a being's limbs would also likely be more muscled, as they may have to hold on to fighting prey - the downside with carnivores is that the food can fight back. This can also mean that the skin has to be harder.

Some carnivores have very strong jaws to make it easier to crack bones to extract marrow. However, for people who use tools, this can be accomplished by the means of being able to grab bones and hit them against a hard surface, or by hitting them with stones. Hence, such human-like carnivores would also be good scavengers.


Humans practice persistence hunting, in which the prey must not be subdued, but pursued to exhaustion. If your prey has just died of overheating, you don't need claws or strong muscles.

Monty Wild ♦

@Mark agreed, but I'm assuming what would happen if humans evolved into more active obligate carnivores. Also, persistence hunters usually still end their prey when the prey is so exhausted that it cannot escape any further.


To complete the answer, don't overlook the fact that we are tool users. Don't underestimate how much our development has been influenced by the simple fact that we know how to use sharp stones and bones to remove meat from bones and fire, and to digest raw meat into something easier to digest .

Monty Wild ♦

@Brian_Drozd, I assume that intelligence developed after the obligatory carnivore. Intelligence and the ability to use tools would mean the hyena niche could be added without requiring exceptionally strong jaws.

Old cat

A carnivore's intestinal tract is shorter than that of a herbivore, so the intestine doesn't have to be as big as a human or a cow.