We explain what predation is, the types of predation that exist and examples. Also, what is the competition?
What is predation?
Predation is a biological relationship in which an individual from one animal species hunts another to survive.
In this biological relationship the predator or predator is identified , who is the one who hunts, and the prey, which is the hunter , who transfers his energy to the hunter. Very few times when this relationship occurs between two individuals of the same species . In addition, within nature , it may happen that a predator is both a prey to another species.
For example, if a lion hunts a zebra, the zebra would be the prey but, at the same time, it feeds on plants, so it is also a predator. This example also demonstrates that predators are not necessarily carnivores.
Predatory species are characterized by having certain adaptations to be able to chase and capture prey. For example, they have certain olfactory organs that allow them to detect their prey , or they are excellent walkers.
At the same time, dams also develop certain adaptations to defend themselves. An example may be spines or a certain body color that allows them to camouflage themselves in the environment in which they are found.
Types of predation
In nature, different types of predation are identified, which are classified as follows:
- Competition . It is a relationship that occurs between individuals who require the same resource that is in finite or limited quantities, which leads to competing with each other to make it. For example, when two birds compete for the same nesting space, a competitive relationship occurs. In this case, the relationship is intraspecific (between different species) because both are of the same species. But if, for example, two plants of different species compete to access sunlight , it is an interspecific relationship (between the same species).
- Parasitism . In this relationship, the predator has a much smaller volume than the prey and feeds on it without killing it (at least in the short term) because it needs its prey to remain alive to continue using it.
- Mutualism . In this kind of relationship, which is characterized by being temporary, the two individuals benefit.
- Commensalism . In this relationship, one of the individuals (the predator) benefits, while the other (the prey) is not harmed or benefited.
- Herbivory In this relationship, the dam is a plant.
In nature you can see many examples of predation, some of them are as follows:
- Birds that feed on insects and parasites that live on the backs of horses.
- Lions that feed on buffaloes and zebras.
- The tiger when hunting wild boars.
- Fish when they are hunted by lions.
- The bear when it feeds on salmon.
- The wolf at the time of catching a moose.
- Jaguars when they hunt deer.
- The fish that are hunted by seals.
- Frogs when feeding on flies.
- The mouse when it is stalked by a cat.
- The tiger when preying wild boars.
- The gazelle when it is prey of a tiger.
- The worms of tijones.
- Fish when they are shark prey.
Competition and predation
Competition is a type of predation, which can occur between individuals of the same species or not. This relationship consists of the competition of two or more individuals for certain limited resources . For example, in a quarry where there are numerous plants (of the same or different species), all of them will compete for sunlight, water or nutrients from the soil .
The niche is called the way of life of a species, that is, the resources, interactions and conditions that it needs to stay alive . Therefore, when within the same habitat there are two individuals who have the same niche, one of them does not survive and dies out.
On the other hand, those individuals who have partially overlapping niches can live and survive in the same habitat.
There are two kinds of competition:
- By exploitation. It happens when one species uses a resource more efficiently than the rest. This harms the rest of the individuals because the resource they need for their survival is available in a few doses.
- By interference. In this case, an individual interferes with the way food is made and does so through acts that put the reproduction or survival of the rest at risk . For example, acquire food aggressively.
Other types of interspecific relationships
Some examples of predation relationships that can occur between individuals of different species are the following:
- Tenant This relationship occurs when an individual takes refuge in the body of another, obtaining some benefit, while the individual who acts as a refuge is neither harmed nor benefited.
- Protocooperation This relationship is specified when two populations of individuals or two individuals benefit from each other. However, it is not an essential relationship for individuals to survive, they can do so even when this link does not occur.
- Symbiosis. It is a very intimate relationship, which is beneficial for at least one of its members.
- Exploitation. In this relationship, one of the members is harmed, while the other gets some kind of benefit.
- Forestry In a relationship like this, an individual uses another without damaging it, to use it as a means of transportation.
- Tanatocresis In this relationship, an organism uses the remains of other dead individuals to benefit in some way.
- Epibiosis . In this relationship, one of the individuals is harmless and inhabits the body of another organism.