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Predatory animals: list and techniques of predation in the animal kingdom. How the food chain of prey and predators works.
What is a predator?
Thepredatory animalsthey tend to be carnivorous: they use the meat of another animal as a source of sustenance.
We talk aboutpredators and preyreferring to a biological interaction known aspredation. In predation an organism (the predator) kills and eatsanother organism (its prey).
Thepredatory animalsthey are multiple and even unsuspected. Could you imagine that ants are considered gods in animal biologysocial predators?The ants, in fact, cooperate to feed onpreybigger like cicadas or crickets, better if already injured!
Social predation is carried out by animals that move in herds such as thewolves, it is rarer among reptiles. Predatory animals, in the world of reptiles, which enact social predation, it is the armadillo lizards.
Other cases of social predation: hyenas and jackals.
More than thelist of predatory animalsstrategies should arouse interestpredation. Social predation is just one of the many predation strategies that we can observe in the animal kingdom.
There arepredatory animalswho make real ambushes, others who exploit mimicry, others who are immobile and wait for the prey to land right on the jaws, the most widespread predation is the pre chase!
Another fascinating aspect is constituted by the organs specialized in hunting: hearing, sight, smell… the senses of predators are particularly acute. The white shark, for example, perceives electric, bio-electric fields, has an excellent sense of smell, an impeccable hearing and is able to capture large prey even without the aid of sight!
Aggression, in the animal kingdom, is fundamental: just like mimicry, aggression is a feature that can improve the effectiveness of hunting.
Over time, predation has had some effects selective. Sixpredatorshave exceptional sense organs, thepreythey have evolved and developedanti-predation adaptations.
The strategies for not getting eaten? Some prey have colors reminiscent of those of poisonous animals, others are smelly, somepreythey have developed very hard spines or armor, skills in making intruder-proof lairs and collective protection systems. The mocking thrush, for example, is a passerine bird that is not equipped with claws or special defense systems, however, if a predator annoys its nest, it can rally other mocking thrushes to build a more effective defense team!
Predators and prey
Predators and prey mutually regulate their evolution by alternating cycles of adaptations and counter-adaptations. Predation has been a strong engine of evolution. Today, pollution, global warming and human activities are interfering with evolution. Man, in the animal kingdom, is the main predator. Even though our species has evolvedsocially and manages to sustain itself with agriculture and breeding, thanks to our weapons we can define ourselves as the most dangerous predator of the entire animal kingdom.
Poaching at the expense of African elephants is having an impact on the evolution of the elephants themselves. More and more African elephants are born without tusks as explained in the article dedicated to elephant tusks.
Prey and predatorsperform a cycle known asfood chain, where the strongest predator subdues its prey and the prey in turn, can hunt s subdue other prey.
Predatory animals: list
- Carnivorous turtles
The list of predators can be expanded with the article dedicated to the strongest animal in the world. All carnivorous animals can be considered predators.
The predator found at the apex of the food chainit is known assuper predator or alpha predator. Each habitat has its own alpha predator. For example, the alligator tortoise is an alpha predatory animal typical of some waterways in the Americas. The grizzly bear (a subspecies of brown bear) is considered aalpha predatorof particular natural areas.
The white shark has long been considered an alpha predator, however, at the top of the food chain of seas and oceans is the killer whale. The killer whale is a fearsome predatory animal that attacks and feeds on the much feared white shark under favorable conditions. In short, even the most fearsome predators have to deal with the strongest predatory animals, they saysuper predators!
Then there are some cases at the limit: micro-predators. They are very small predatory animals. An example ofmicropredation?Mosquitos!
Mosquitoes feed on the blood of live animals, however, since they do not typically kill their prey, they are not considered to be true predators.
Predatory animals: insects
While it is easy to imagine mammals and birds as fearsome hunters, when it comes to insects the idea of predation could lose its poetry! Yet the praying mantis is considered a fearsome predator in the animal kingdom. Scorpions and dragonflies are also considered compliant predators.
Ladybugs are excellent garden predators: they feed on aphids and mites!