Zoo Biology, Uni Frankfurt


Due to the Corona pandemic, but also due to the multitude of pre- and probiotics, microorganisms have increasingly moved into the focus of the public. These include various life forms such as bacteria, archaea and yeasts that form a community – the microbiome.

It is now known that the microbiome influences the health, immune system and also the behaviour of animals. In our comparative study, we examined more than 600 fecal samples from over 30 animal species, including canines and felines as carnivores, and ruminants and odd-toed ungulates as herbivores.

Using DNA sequencing we could show that herbivores have a significantly higher microbial diversity than carnivores. Furthermore, representatives of this animal group show a uniform and less variable microbiota, whereas this is highly variable within carnivora species.

Our study provides a comprehensive database to easily identify microbial imbalances in a variety of species, which can be redressed, e.g., by individualized diets to improve animal welfare.