Q:

What animals eat acorns?

A:

There are various animals that eat acorns as they are a good source of starch and fat. Bear, moose and deer eat them to store fat before hibernation during the winter time. The oak tree is a unique tree in that it grows from an acorn, which is technically classified as a nut.

Acorns from a live oak are mainly available during winter when they are eaten in abundance. Acorns are also eaten by game birds such as wild turkeys and bobwhites, and they form an important element in the diets of grackles and squirrels. Other animals that like to eat acorns include rabbits, gray foxes and raccoons. In areas of North America, large mammals such as the elk, white tailed deer and black bear have been known to eat acorns.

During colonial times, oaks were considered important for lumber because of their extremely hard wood. Oak trees have been sought after ornamental trees since the 1700s and have an incredibly long lifespan; some British oaks are more than 1,000 years old. In the antebellum era, many plantation owners used oak trees at their residences, planting them along the roads that led up to their homes or estates. Many of these trees are in existence to this day.


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