What are predator and prey?

We explain what are predators and prey, what are the differences between predator and predator and examples of predatory animals.

  1. What are predator and prey?

The predation is a key system life cycle . It is a mechanism of transmission of carbon and energy , from the simplest to the most complex life forms, also exerting pressure on the species known as natural selection, which is nothing more than the competition to survive and reproduce, and is One of the most effective engines for evolution.

Said system is then composed of predator and prey. The biological interaction between one and the other is that the predator or predator hunts the prey and feeds on the organic matter of its body , thus obtaining the energy and matter necessary to survive.

Of course, predators can also be prey to other larger predators , so that species feed on each other forming what is known as the food chain or food chain (often represented as a pyramid), whose balance and continuity keeps the populations of a given ecosystem balanced . Thus, the prey-predator relationship is fundamental for ecological harmony and occurs naturally, spontaneously, provided there are no human interference.

  1. Differences between predator and predator

The terms predator and predator are synonyms, that is, there is no difference in use or meaning between one and the other . Both come from the Latin depraedator, derived from the verb praedari (“steal”, “snatch”, “acquire a booty”), which in turn comes from praeda, (“prey”). Its application to the animal kingdom occurred historically as a loan or metaphor .

  1. Examples of predatory animals

Predator and prey
Praying mantises feed on insects, fish, small rodents or other mantis.

Some simple examples of predatory animals are:

  • The big jungle and savannah felines. Lions, panthers, tigers, pumas, etc.
  • The large amphibious, aquatic or terrestrial reptiles. Among them the crocodiles and alligators, which surprise their prey when they go to drink water , but also the Galapagos lizards, the Komodo dragons and, on a much smaller scale, the toads and the iguanas, predators of numerous species of insects.
  • Many arachnids Especially spiders, which capture prey with their nets; or the scorpions, which inject them with their stinger a paralyzing poison.
  • Snakes and boas. Some of which employ the poisonous bite, and others the suffocating constriction, to capture their prey.
  • The birds of prey. Predators of rodents, lizards and other small animals, such as eagles, hawks, owls, etc.
  • The praying mantis. Fierce and voracious insects that can feed on insects, fish, small rodents or other mantises.
  • The wild bears. Especially brown bears, grizzly bears or polar bears, active hunters in their respective ecosystems.
  • The Sharks. The largest and fiercest sea predators, along with other fish such as barracudas, killer whales, etc.

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