Predation Study Guide

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Predation occurs when one organism kills and eats another. In this process, energy from one species is supplied to the creature that kills, allowing it to live longer and reproduce. Predation has an impact on species at two ecological levels. It lowers the number of individuals in the prey population at the community level.

What are predator-prey interactions?

Carnivorous interactions, in which one species consumes another, are the most well-known forms of predation. Consider how wolves hunt moose, owls hunt mice, and shrews hunt worms and insects. Less visible carnivorous interactions involve many tiny animals devouring a larger one.

Social carnivores such as lions, hyenas, and wolves are prone to group predation. Ants and social spiders are also victims of this process. This, however, is only a portion of the image. It can occur when seeds are consumed. Seeds are classified as organisms. Seeds develop into plants under optimum conditions. On the other hand, the seed consumption kills the plant before it can grow, making seed consumption a form of predation.

Predation Definition

  • Predation is the exchange of energy between two creatures, the predator and the prey. The predator obtains energy while the victim loses energy throughout this contact.
  • The term ‘predation’ comes from the Latin word praedari, which means ‘to pillage.’
  • Carnivory and interactions like grazing, parasitism and symbiotic mutualism are examples of predation.
  • Predation is also defined as the act of devouring seeds and eggs.

Types of Predation

There are four major types of predation:


Prey is killed and eaten by carnivorous predators. Carnivory is commonly associated with a huge animal, such as a shark, tiger, or wolf, hunting smaller creatures, such as rabbits or deer. On the other hand, carnivorous predation is common in the animal world, and carnivores come in various sizes – from sea otters chasing sea stars to blue whales ingesting zooplankton, each carnivore is specialized in its manner of feeding.



Herbivorous predation consumes autotrophs like plants or photosynthetic algae. Unlike carnivory, not every herbivorous contact results in plant death. Herbivory may sometimes be beneficial to the plant as well. As the herbivore walks, the fruit seeds disseminate across a large region. The herbivore’s digestive tract dissolves tough seed coverings, and its excrement fertilizes the soil, creating an optimal condition for seed germination.


Parasitism is a type of predation in which the host provides critical nutrients for the parasite’s long-term survival and reproduction. Many effective parasite relationships result in the host losing energy, becoming ill, or losing access to nutrition. Unlike carnivory, however, the host is not invariably killed. The parasite is usually considerably smaller than the host.

Monster Flower


Mutualism is the relationship of two organisms in which the host provides nutrients and room for another species development and reproduction. On the other hand, the host is not injured, and the contact is mutually beneficial.

Predator Adaptations

There is an evolutionary arms race for the survival of the species in this life-and-death principle. The prey experience a very strong selective pressure to become better adapted to avoid being eaten. At the same time, predators must capture sufficient food to survive and reproduce, so they must also have a selective pressure for traits that allow them to become better hunters. Over time, this arms race leads to traits that enable both prey to avoid being captured and predators to become better hunters.

  1. Structural adaptations: The predators’ eyes are placed towards the front of their heads, giving them three-dimensional binocular vision. Eyes placed in the front may give predators a more limited view of the world around them, but it does make it easier to judge distance and see small details from further away. Some hunting animals also have big eyes; these help them pick up light signals easily, and they can spot light movements.

  2. Behavioral adaptations: In the case of lions, the lioness does the major hunting while the lions lie down. The prey is stalked by the lioness. Lioness will stay hidden as long as possible, slinking along on her belly when necessary and staying hidden in the grass, which is often the same color as her fur. When she finally gets noticed, it’s a mad sprint to the prey. Many animals hunt in groups, which helps them catch prey more easily.

  3. Camouflage: Camouflage is an adaptation in which a species evolves to resemble its background. Many animals use this technique to mimic and blend in with their surroundings. It’s a kind of coloring, body shape, or behavior that animals use to confuse, distract, startle, or hide from prey.


  • Predation plays a significant role in marine fishes’ recruitment and population dynamics.
  • The wide variety of predators that consume fishes, combined with the potential to remove large portions of the available population, make it likely that predation is an important part of observed fluctuations in fish populations.
  • Long-term observations of the implications of integrated studies of the physical and biological processes that drive predation, particularly the geographical overlap of predators and prey, might give helpful information for evaluating the significance of predation in overall recruitment success.


1. What is predation and what are some examples?

Predation is defined as the ecological process through which one animal (or creature) kills and feeds on another animal (or an organism). A “predator” is an animal that kills another animal to feed on. Examples are wolves hunting deer or moose, owls hunting mice, and lions hunting other animals.

2. What are the 3 types of predation?

There are four commonly recognized types of predation: (1) carnivory, (2) herbivory, (3) parasitism, and (4) mutualism.

3. What does predation mean in biology?

Predation is the relationship between a predator and prey in which energy passes from one creature to the other. The predator is the entity that consumes other species known as prey.

4. What is parasitism and predation?

The predator kills the prey and consumes it as food, whereas the parasite lives in or on another creature (its host) and benefits by obtaining nutrients at the expense of the other. Parasitism is a term used to describe this sort of connection.

5. What does predation mean in psychology?

The act or practice in which one nonhuman animal (the predator) stalks, captures, and kills another animal (the prey) for food.

6. Is predation a symbiotic relationship?

Although competition and predation are ecological connections, they are not symbiotic. Predation is not a long-term process, and competition indirectly affects resources.

7. What is the relationship between a predator and a prey?

A predator is an animal that hunts, kills, and consumes other creatures. Prey is a phrase used to describe creatures killed by predators for food. A food chain or food web diagram can depict predator/prey connections. Producers create their food utilizing abiotic energy.

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