Related topics: prey

When warblers warn of cowbirds, blackbirds get the message

This is the story of three bird species and how they interact. The brown-headed cowbird plays the role of outlaw: It lays its eggs in other birds' nests and lets them raise its young—often at the expense of the host's nestlings. ...

Whales coordinate deep dives to evade predators

Groups of beaked whales reduce predation risk through extreme diving synchronization, according to a study in Scientific Reports. This behaviour has not been observed in other deep diving whales and the underlying reasons ...

Cave fights for food: Voracious spiders vs. assassin bugs

Killing and eating of potential competitors, also known as intraguild predation, is a rare event that occurs only in specific situations such as severe scarcity of food resources, resulting in the competition between predators.

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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 the prey. The other main category of consumption is detritivory, the consumption of dead organic material (detritus). It can at times be difficult to separate the two feeding behaviors, for example where parasitic species prey on a host organism and then lay their eggs on it for their offspring to feed on its decaying corpse. The key characteristic of predation however is the predator's direct impact on the prey population. On the other hand, detritivores simply eat what is available and have no direct impact on the "donor" organism(s).

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

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