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Predators: what are they, types and examples

Within the evolutionary race for survival, animals, plants and all kinds of organisms, acquire different strategies and techniques to achieve their purpose: to be the strongest and survive. For this, the interspecific relationships established between individuals of different species, make possible the coordination and balance of populations and their food resources, within each of the ecosystems and biological communities of the planet. One of these most prominent relationships is undoubtedly predation, a phenomenon that has been studied and interpreted by numerous ecologists with the aim of understanding and predicting ecological models of predation, including the famous Lotka-Volterra predator-prey model, through which it is possible to know in detail how they evolve in the time different examples of predation.

In this AgroCorrn article you will discover what predators are, their types and examples , as well as the characteristics of the main groups of predators and various examples of prey.

  1. Interspecific relationships: what they are and types
  2. What are predators: definition
  3. Predators: types
  4. Examples of predatory animals

Interspecific relationships: what they are and types

The interspecific relationships refer to all those biological relationship established between organisms of different species coexist in the same habitat and community. These relationships, based on the struggle for survival and the concept of competition, represent one of the most important and relevant concepts in evolutionary ecology.

Species interact with each other in various ways, resulting in positive (+), negative (-) interactions, or even relationships in which there is no effect (0). In this way, when neither of the two species that establish an interspecific relationship affects the other, the relationship is neutral or (0 0). Instead, if both species mutually benefit, the interaction is (+ +) or positive, known in the world of ecology as a mutualism relationship . Another type of interspecific relationship, known as a commensal relationship , is based on the situation in which one species provides some kind of well-being to another, said relationship being (+ 0). Learn more about what is commensalism and examples at this link.

On the other hand, when the relationship entails negative effects on the number and population balance of both species, we speak of a competitive relationship , (- -). There are some cases in nature in which this interaction is (- 0), or commensalism, since one species negatively affects a second species, although the affected species comes to exert no influence on the first. Finally, different types of relationships based on the benefit that some species obtain from others for their survival, follow the (+ -) scheme and receive names such as parasitism, parasitoidism and predation . For example, you can expand information on Parasitism: definition and examples with this other article.

In the next sections we will delve exclusively into this last type of interspecific relationship mentioned, predation (+ -) , thus knowing its characteristics and some of the most common examples of nature that follow this behavior. In addition, we tell you much more about Interspecific Relationships, their types and examples in this other post.

What are predators: definition

Predators are each and every one of the species that opt ​​for predatory behavior as a survival strategy and feeding method. In this way, predation consists of any relationship in which individuals of one species (predator) hunt individuals of the other species (prey) to survive, always causing a negative effect on the individuals who play the role of prey: death or injury. However, at the population level, the effect that this interspecific predation relationship entails is rather mutualistic for both species, both predators and prey, because thanks to predation, the population of both achieves an equilibrium that is maintained over time.

Normally, predation affects those sick or less fit individuals in the prey population, thus achieving a mutual benefit, both for predators and prey, by feeding one and balancing the healthy population of the others.

Predators: types

Within the animal world, different types of predators are distinguished :

  • True or carnivorous predators : they are the predators par excellence, those that follow aggressive behavior patterns and are linked to hunting their prey to survive. They tend to eat and devour the prey shortly after they have been hunted, or if the weather conditions predict times of famine, they are able to dose their food dose and save part of their prey for later consumption.
  • Herbivores: animals that feed on plants, seeds and fruits, also follow a predatory behavior although, generally, they only cause damage to plant organisms, without causing death.
  • Cannibals: this group includes those animals that feed on individuals of their own species, either because certain ecological conditions force them to follow this behavior, or because some of the stages of their development encourage them to feed on individuals of their own species. to meet your food and energy needs.

Examples of predatory animals

Here is a list of animals from different groups as some of the many more common examples of predation that occur in the wild. Regarding the types and examples of prey that suffer the action of predation by said predatory animals, the vast majority belong to groups of smaller herbivorous animals (both mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish), as well as insects and others. invertebrates that share their natural habitat with fearsome predators.

Large predatory mammals and examples of prey

  • Lion ( Panthera leo ) – gazelles (genus Gazella)
  • Snow leopard ( Panthera uncia ) – Siberian ibex ( Capra sibirica )
  • Gray foxes ( Pseudolopes griseus ) – rabbits (genus Oryctolagus)
  • Oso polar ( polar bear ) – focas (family Felidae)
  • Orcas ( Orcinus orca ) – sea lions (genus Otaria)

In this link you will know the Characteristics of mammalian animals .

Predatory or raptor birds

  • Eastern imperial eagle ( Aquila heliaca )
  • Peregrine Falcon ( Falco peregrinus )
  • Andean condor ( Vultur gryphus )
  • Snowy Owl ( Bubo scandiacus)
  • Barn owl ( Tyto alba )

Learn about many more examples of these predatory animals with this other AgroCorrn article in which we show 112 birds of prey or raptors, their types, names and a photo gallery .

Predatory reptiles

  • Cocodrilo del Nilo (Crocodylus niloticus)
  • Saltwater crocodile ( Crocodylus porosus )
  • Anaconda verde (Eunectes murinus)
  • Reticulated python ( Python reticulatus )
  • Chameleons (family Chamaeleonidae)

Discover more predatory reptiles and more traits about this group of animals in this link to our article on Characteristics of reptiles .

Amphibian predators of insects and other small animals

  • Common toad ( Bufo bufo )
  • Red and Blue Arrow Frog ( Oophaga pumilio )
  • Common salamander ( Salamandra salamandra )
  • Giant salamanders (genus Cryptobranchidae)
  • Cecilias de Thompson ( Caecilia thompsoni )

Learn more about them in this other post about What are amphibians and where are they found ?

Predatory fish

  • White shark (Carcharodon carcharias )
  • Archer fish (genus Toxotes)
  • Piranhas (family Serrasalmidae)
  • Viper fish (Chauliodus danae)
  • Morena (family Muraenidae)

Find out more about these aquatic animals with this other article in which you will discover the Classification of fish .

Predatory invertebrates

  • Religious mantis (family Mantidae)
  • Tarantulas (family Lycosidae)
  • Medusas (subfilo Medusozoa)
  • Starfish (Asteroidea family)
  • Blue-ringed octopus (genus Hapalochlaena)

Learn more about invertebrate animals, examples and their characteristics here .

If you want to read more articles similar to Predators: what they are, types and examples , we recommend that you enter our Biology category .

Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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