Saving livestock by thinking like a predator

For predators like wolves, cougars and snow leopards, a cow or sheep out to pasture may make for an easy and tasty meal. But when wild animals eat livestock, farmers face the traumatic loss of food or income, frequently sparking ...

Dark-shaded body surface the key to animals avoiding predators

Animals that have a darker pigmented surface on the upper side of their body compared to those that have the same shade all over can reduce the impact of their body shadows and remain hidden from predators, according to a ...

The smell of fear warns other voles

Many encounters between predators and prey take place in dense vegetation. Predators lurk and wait for the best moment to attack, but are seldom visible. For a prey animal, the smell of a predator is one of many signals for ...

Endangered wild dogs snapped in South Sudan

We promised you further fascinating footage from one of Africa's most neglected wildlife hotspots, and here it is. One of the continent's rarest and most elusive carnivores has been captured on camera in South Sudan.

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Predation

In ecology, predation describes a biological interaction where a predator (an organism that is hunting) feeds on its prey (the organism that is attacked). Predators may or may not kill their prey prior to feeding on them, but the act of predation always results in the death of its prey and the eventual absorption of the prey's tissue through consumption. Other categories of consumption are herbivory (eating parts of plants) and detritivory, the consumption of dead organic material (detritus). All these consumption categories fall under the rubric of consumer-resource systems. It can often be difficult to separate our various types of feeding behaviors. For example, parasitic species prey on a host organism and then lay their eggs on it for their offspring to feed on it while it continues to live or on its decaying corpse after it has died. The key characteristic of predation however is the predator's direct impact on the prey population. On the other hand, detritivores simply eat dead organic material arising from the decay of dead individuals and have no direct impact on the "donor" organism(s).

Selective pressures imposed on one another often leads to an evolutionary arms race between prey and predator, resulting in various antipredator adaptations.

The unifying theme in all classifications of predation is the predator lowering the fitness of its prey, or put another way, it reduces its prey's chances of survival, reproduction, or both. Ways of classifying predation surveyed here include grouping by trophic level or diet, by specialization, and by the nature of the predator's interaction with prey.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA