There are already several discussions about this, but here is another example that would almost always be "Das Tier frisst." Perhaps animals "essen" in fairy tales and Disney movies?
Google for 'Hamster essen' and you'll see that the use of 'essen' for animals is not restricted to fairy tales and Disney movies. I agree that normally you should use 'fressen' for animals and 'essen' for humans. But the distinction is not as clear-cut as it seems on first sight.
I wrote "Das Tier ist" by mistake and Duolingo accepted it, is it correct or is Duolingo just messing with me?
Unless you are a philosopher and asking yourself whether animals exist in some strange philosophical sense: no, it shouldn't have been accepted.
Ok so when i type in Ist for this one it still was correct when it is supposed to be Isst.... whats the difference if Duolingo wont pick it up? It didnt even correct me at all
Having lived in Germany for a few years - I was told that animals fressen not essen!