What Makes The Most Successful Predator?

The world is littered with predators and scavengers who totally live and feed on flesh of other animals. Just as there are many predatory species, there has to be many successful prey species, without which the predators would not be fed properly. The oceans and seas have more predators than the land. There it is a big-fish eats small-fish culture. In fact it is biggest fish (whale shark) eat very small fish (krill). Learn about the factors that would make a predator really successful.

  • The first major factor is the predator to prey population ratio. When there is more numbers of prey, the success of predators are higher. The greatest migration from Serengeti offers large number of prey to the big cats and crocodiles. The wolves chasing the reindeer are true stories.
  • The number of varieties available to be eaten upon. The predators that do not specialize on a particular species are known to survive better. When crocodiles do not get zebras, they can always turn to fish, whereas lions do not. So, more lions die when the prey is not around than the crocs.

  • The predator should be able to eat their prey completely. In case of cheetahs, their success ratio is only 5% or 10% (1 kill in 10 or 20 attempts). However, the painful part is that since they have parted with power in exchange to speed, they would be shooed off their kill even by smaller looking hyenas. So only if they kill 4 times, they can eat once, which diminishes their chances to become the apex predator.
  • Can the same prey be reused for the next meal? Though this sounds awkward, there are many species that do not kill their prey completely. They eat till their fill and allow the prey to grow back until they can be hunted upon again. For instance, certain species of piranha live by biting off chunks of fins from other fishes of the same pond. Some fishes eat only one or two limbs of the starfish without killing the animal, which later on grows back these limbs. Though tigers are known to kill huge sambar deer and wild bison, they do not leave the remains away. They hide what they cannot eat to come back and taste it again.
  • What are the various hunting strategies used to win the trophy. Is it going solo or in a well organized group? Both have their own pros and cons. Refer to http://scienceray.com/biology/solitary-or-groups-which-is-successful/ for more details.

  • Number of qualities and features that they possess in their arsenal is very important. Dolphins echolocate the fish that hide themselves in sand using their sonar skills, while the hammerhead sharks use electric impulses readers, which are scattered on their head to identify their prey. The snakes can smell their prey out using their forked tongues and Jacobson’s organ in the roof of their mouth.
  • What is the number of attempts to successful kill ratio of a predator? This percentage also determines the survival of the species. The highest percentage would probably go to the capuchins or chimpanzees (80-90%). Do not be surprised, these vegetarians often reveal their carnivorous ways and not many prey species can escape from their brainy strategies.
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50 Responses to “What Makes The Most Successful Predator?”
  1. Jimmy Shilaho Says...

    On September 30, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    You should study ethology or something related. It was one of my favorite subjects in college and I scored an A.


  2. zain0077 Says...

    On September 30, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Nice share


  3. Raj the Tora Says...

    On September 30, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    I studied ethology informally and currently guiding the most dangerous animal on ethics :) Am sure you would know which is the most dangerous animal on earth currently ;) And congrats on your A in my favorite subject :)


  4. Raj the Tora Says...

    On September 30, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Thanks Zain :)


  5. Noeal V Says...

    On September 30, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Nice Share.


  6. Raj the Tora Says...

    On September 30, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Thanks Noeal


  7. SuperMember Says...

    On September 30, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    great share


  8. Raj the Tora Says...

    On September 30, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Supermember, thanks


  9. Lwandaz Tale Says...

    On September 30, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Great interest, pics and piece. Learned a lot here!


  10. Sunjhini Says...

    On September 30, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    the crocodile looks dangerous :P
    another piece of interesting information.


  11. Tulan Says...

    On September 30, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    great article,


  12. Ruby Hawk Says...

    On September 30, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    Another good one,


  13. giftarist Says...

    On September 30, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Fascinating and interesting article, friend.


  14. zulfiqarali5 Says...

    On September 30, 2010 at 9:22 pm


  15. Raj the Tora Says...

    On September 30, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    Thank you very much friends


  16. Raj the Tora Says...

    On September 30, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    @Sunjhini, The croc in picture is the saltie (Saltwater Crocodile) which is the largest reptilian predator on earth. It is very dangerous indeed, though he sleeps through most of the year and sunbathes regularly, appearing to be sombre. :)


  17. PSingh1990 Says...

    On October 1, 2010 at 12:49 am

    Nice Share.

    :-)

    Keep it up my friend.


  18. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 1, 2010 at 1:05 am

    Thanks Singh :)


  19. Saurav Banerjee Says...

    On October 1, 2010 at 2:40 am

    The aspect of reusing the prey that you have stated is very interesting. I petty the fate of the Starfish, whose limbs grow back only to be eaten again.

    However, according to you which is the most dangerous living predator in the world?


  20. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 1, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Hey Saurav, thanks. Based on all factors – Capuchins and Chimps are the deadliest and most successful. However, since they are part time predators, the best full-timers would go to otters and dolphins in water; and wolves on land; and dragonflies in air.


  21. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 1, 2010 at 9:46 am

    By the way, it is not the same starfish that is eaten again and again. They learn from their mistakes and evade predators smartly :)


  22. Kaye TM Says...

    On October 1, 2010 at 11:23 am

    i like this. thanks!


  23. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 1, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Thanks a lot Kaye


  24. sloanie Says...

    On October 1, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Good article, Chimps aren’t chumps!


  25. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 1, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Very true Sloanie. That’s why they (and we) are so successfully :)


  26. nobert soloria bermosa Says...

    On October 1, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    it’s no surprise that chimps have the highest percentage…they are almost as intelligent as humans


  27. rhaka22 Says...

    On October 1, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    good article :-)


  28. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 2:00 am

    Yes Nobert, but they are much successful than humans could ever be :)

    Thanks Rhaka22


  29. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 2:04 am

    Yes Nobert, but they are much successful than humans could ever be :)

    Thanks Rhaka22!


  30. shivedi Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 5:49 am

    Nice Article Thanks For Share


  31. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 9:01 am

    You are welcome Shivedi


  32. drelayaraja Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Great points for a predator there….


  33. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 2, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Thanks Doc


  34. Tattoo3658we Says...

    On October 5, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Excellent article


  35. Raj the Tora Says...

    On October 5, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Ajsta: Thanks


  36. Tom Says...

    On June 23, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    very good information here


  37. Omnibus Says...

    On June 23, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    superb post


  38. Romulan Says...

    On June 23, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    great write


  39. Will wins Says...

    On June 23, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    very good share


  40. Romulan Says...

    On June 23, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    good info captured here


  41. Romulan Says...

    On June 23, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    excellent article


  42. Savita Says...

    On June 23, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    super


  43. Jaggi Says...

    On June 23, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    nice one


  44. Honesty Says...

    On June 23, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    good post


  45. palin Says...

    On June 23, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    predators have to be so perfect!


  46. Yeti Lives Says...

    On June 23, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    very observant you are!


  47. Raj the Tora Says...

    On August 10, 2012 at 1:04 am

    Yes Palin, right!


  48. Raj the Tora Says...

    On August 10, 2012 at 1:05 am

    Thanks for comments friends.


  49. Raj the Tora Says...

    On August 10, 2012 at 1:06 am

    Thanks Tom


  50. Raj the Tora Says...

    On August 10, 2012 at 1:06 am

    Nandri Savita


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