Gayathri Mani

Predation Study Guide

Predation refers to a flow of energy between two organisms, predator and prey. In this interaction, the predators kill other organisms known as the prey.

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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.

Carnivory source


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 Source


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.


  • 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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  1. Predation.https://flexbooks.ck12.org/cbook/ck-12-biology-flexbook-2.0/section/6.13/primary/lesson/predation-bio/. Accessed 3 Dec, 2021.
  2. Predation, Herbivory, and Parasitism. https://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/predation-herbivory-and-parasitism-13261134/. Accessed 3 Dec, 2021.
  3. Predation & herbivory. https://www.khanacademy.org/science/biology/ecology/community-ecosystem-ecology/a/predation-herbivory. Accessed 3 Dec, 2021.
  4. Predation. https://biologydictionary.net/predation/. Accessed 3 Dec, 2021.