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A South China tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis) as the predator feeding on the blesbuck as the prey
Meat ants feeding on a cicada; some species can prey on individuals of far greater size, particularly when working cooperatively.

In ecosystem predation is a biological interaction where a predator (an organism that is hunting) feeds on its prey (the organism that is attacked).<ref name="Ecology">Begon, M., Townsend, C., Harper, J. (1996). Ecology: Individuals, populations and communities (Third edition). Blackwell Science, London. ISBN 0-86542-845-X, ISBN 0-632-03801-2, ISBN 0-632-04393-8.</ref> Predators may or may not kill their prey prior to feeding on them, but the act of predation often results in the death of its prey and the eventual absorption of the prey's tissue through consumption.<ref>Encyclopædia Britannica: "predation"</ref> Thus predation is often, though not always, carnivory. Other categories of consumption are herbivory (eating parts of plants), mycophagy (eating parts of fungi) and detritivory, the consumption of dead organic material (detritus). All these consumption categories fall under the rubric of consumer-resource systems.<ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> It can often be difficult to separate various types of feeding behaviors.<ref name="Ecology" /> For example, some parasitic species prey on a host organism and then lay their eggs on it for their offspring to feed on it while it continues to live in or on its decaying corpse after it has died. The key characteristic of predation however is the predator's direct impact on the prey population. On the other hand, detritivores simply eat dead organic material arising from the decay of dead individuals and have no direct impact on the "donor" organism(s).

Selective pressures imposed on one another often leads to an evolutionary arms race between prey and predator, resulting in various antipredator adaptations. Ways of classifying predation surveyed here include grouping by trophic level or diet, by specialization, and by the nature of the predator's interaction with prey.


Predation sections
Intro   Functional classification    Ecological role    Adaptations and behavior    Population dynamics    Evolution of predation   Humans and predation    See also    References    Further reading    External links   

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{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}}

A South China tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis) as the predator feeding on the blesbuck as the prey
Meat ants feeding on a cicada; some species can prey on individuals of far greater size, particularly when working cooperatively.

In ecosystem predation is a biological interaction where a predator (an organism that is hunting) feeds on its prey (the organism that is attacked).<ref name="Ecology">Begon, M., Townsend, C., Harper, J. (1996). Ecology: Individuals, populations and communities (Third edition). Blackwell Science, London. ISBN 0-86542-845-X, ISBN 0-632-03801-2, ISBN 0-632-04393-8.</ref> Predators may or may not kill their prey prior to feeding on them, but the act of predation often results in the death of its prey and the eventual absorption of the prey's tissue through consumption.<ref>Encyclopædia Britannica: "predation"</ref> Thus predation is often, though not always, carnivory. Other categories of consumption are herbivory (eating parts of plants), mycophagy (eating parts of fungi) and detritivory, the consumption of dead organic material (detritus). All these consumption categories fall under the rubric of consumer-resource systems.<ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> It can often be difficult to separate various types of feeding behaviors.<ref name="Ecology" /> For example, some parasitic species prey on a host organism and then lay their eggs on it for their offspring to feed on it while it continues to live in or on its decaying corpse after it has died. The key characteristic of predation however is the predator's direct impact on the prey population. On the other hand, detritivores simply eat dead organic material arising from the decay of dead individuals and have no direct impact on the "donor" organism(s).

Selective pressures imposed on one another often leads to an evolutionary arms race between prey and predator, resulting in various antipredator adaptations. Ways of classifying predation surveyed here include grouping by trophic level or diet, by specialization, and by the nature of the predator's interaction with prey.


Predation sections
Intro   Functional classification    Ecological role    Adaptations and behavior    Population dynamics    Evolution of predation   Humans and predation    See also    References    Further reading    External links   

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Functional classification
<<>>