Predatory And Anti-Predatory Behaviour

In the animal world, “survival of the fittest” is the motto towards the survival of a plethora of species of mammals, birds, reptiles and fish and many other animal groups. The animal world is filled with species that thrive all around the world from the depths of the Pacific to the jungles of the Congolese rainforests, animals are probably one of the important towards humanity’s survival. They provide the equilibrium to the never-ending global transition from lush ecosystems and niches to the urban jungles that we humans dwell in. Just as humans, animals have complex societies and show unique hierarchical and dominant behaviour when it comes to defending themselves or hunt. There are many topics to go through but I’ll be talking about only 2: predatory and anti-predatory behaviour. These two behaviours are essential for their survival which allows them to thrive in their respected ecosystems. Various ecosystems have different types of terrains which are suitable for different types of animals to thrive in. For example, the Snow Leopard(Panthera uncia) found in the Himalayan regions of Uttarakhand are perfectly adapted to the mountainous terrain.

They are solitary animals and prey on animals like the Himalayan Tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus) who have a rubber-like core that is perfectly built to hold onto smooth surfaces of rocks and keratin on the rim of their hooves which gives their hooves durability and allows them to travel in rocky terrain.

Snow leopards are pretty agile and use the area to their advantage and take cover in the rocky cliffs. Snow Leopards persistently chase their prey down towards steep mountainsides with the leaps they use to chase their prey for up to 300 metres (980 ft).

Once caught, snow leopards drag their prey to safe locations and feast on them. This strategy has allowed the snow leopards to thrive in such an ecosystem. This type of behaviour is called predatory behaviour. This behaviour is particularly seen in carnivores who hunt to survive.

However, In the savannahs of Africa, strength comes in numbers as various herbivore species tend to live in huge numbers, as food for herbivores is abundant.

While predators like lions have to prey on huge herbivores like Elands, Zebras, Cape Buffalo, Wildebeest, Giraffe and sometimes even Elephants. The reasoning is simple, lions are group hunters and work as a team to hunt their prey while snow leopards hunt alone. A lion pride consists of 1 alpha male, 5–10 females and their cubs along with 2–3 lesser males.

With such a huge group lions are known to be the most social cat species amongst all the feline families. While females hunt for food and rear the young.

Defending their territory is one of the defensive traits like marking their territories with urine, roaring aggressively to warn intruders and chase off animals that approach their turf. Which is done by males.

This type of behaviour is known as anti predatory behaviour. Shown in animals who protect themselves and their group members if they have any.

Reptiles just like birds lay hard-shelled eggs. While nest guarding varies in each reptile, Saltwater Crocodiles (Crocodylus porous) and American (Alligators mississippiensis) guard their nests until their young one’s hatch. Snakes like King Cobra will also protect their nests until their young ones hatch. While snakes like the king cobra have their signature hood to warn intruders who enter their territories, crocodiles, in general, are the last thing you want to go near. They are big and deadly but are quite charming in their way.

Marine animals like Walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) are animals that also live in groups and will protect their young from predators like polar bears, leopard seals and artic foxes.

These creatures have gone through millions of years of evolution and no doubt have developed traits and habits which allows them to survive in the world.

If you like what I write please like, share and comment on these articles as it will keep me motivated to write more amazing pieces like these. As always in these times, stay safe and take it easy. Feel free to suggest topics I should write about and you would love to see.👻😁



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Abhidyu Ajila

A zoology student who talks animals, conservation, evolution and geography