Related topics: birds · animals · prey · frogs

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 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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