Difference Between Predator and Prey (With Table)

Over some careful mulling, we will come to realize that each animal has a role to play. They are all built in a manner to meet their bodily needs and to adapt to their surroundings with ease. Some become the predators, and others become the prey, but all of them are indispensable.

Predator vs Prey

The difference between Predator and Prey is that while the former comprises of animals that are built in a manner to eat other animals to survive, the latter constitutes of animals that are meant to draw a living by feeding on plants. While the former has immense strength and power, the latter has the gift of speed.

Predators can be defined as the section of animals that are built to prey on other animals. These animals are generally of a sturdy constituency, coupled with a strong set of jaws and sharp dental constitution to help them tear their prey apart. They are often bigger than their prey and more agile.

On the other hand, Prey can be defined as the section of animals that are built to be preyed upon by other animals. These animals are generally of a sturdy yet weaker constituency, coupled with a dental constitution that is more suited to chewing grass or anything that is not difficult to be torn apart.

Comparison Table Between Predator and Prey

Parameters of ComparisonPredatorPrey
MeaningThe section of animals that are built to prey on other animalsThe section of animals that are built to be preyed upon by other animals
Dental ConstitutionThey have a sharp and sturdy dental constitution to help them tear their prey apartThey have a dental constitution that is more suited to chewing grass or anything that is not difficult to be torn apart
SizeThey aren’t always bigger than the animals they prey upon but are more powerfulSometimes these animals are bigger than their hunters but weaker
Food Chain StagesThey constitute the last or stage nearing the end of the chainThey come before the predators
DependencyThey are solely or largely dependent on their prey for survivalThey aren’t dependent on the predators at all

What is Predator?

A predator can be defined as the section of animals that are built to prey on other animals. These animals are generally of a sturdy constituency, coupled with a strong set of jaws and sharp dental constitution to help them tear their prey apart. They are often bigger than their prey and more agile.

This section falls towards the end of a food chain as they depend on other animals for their survival. Not all of them are only carnivorous. Some of them are omnivorous. For instance, a bear eats fruits, berries, honey, and fish.

They aren’t always bigger than their prey, but they possess a variety of skills that help them keep up with the pace and characteristics of their prey. For example, a lion is by no means bigger than a giraffe. However, it can hunt down a giraffe by using a giraffe’s vulnerabilities against it.

Certain animals can camouflage so well that they can easily fool their prey. For instance, a Royal Bengal tiger, as we all know, bears orange and black stripes. This is a color combination that easily stands out in the geographical terrain in which is species thrives. However, it goes unspotted by its prey, a deer, as deer cannot see the color orange, and the tiger appears black and white amidst the tall grasses surrounding it, thereby successfully camouflaging and fooling the deer.

What is Prey?

Contrastingly, it is the section of animals that are typically preyed upon by other animals. These animals are generally of a sturdy yet weaker constituency, coupled with a dental constitution that is best suited to chewing grass or anything that is not difficult to be torn apart.

This section falls at the beginning of a food chain as they depend on plants for their survival and not on other animals. Therefore, it is abundantly clear that why these animals are herbivorous. However, certain carnivorous animals eat grass when facing stomach problems but are certainly not omnivorous.

Sometimes these animals are bigger than their hunters but weaker. For instance, an elephant is much bigger than a cheetah and more powerful than it, yet it surrounds by two or three cheetahs. An elephant can easily fall prey to them. Its gigantism makes it extremely difficult for it to move fast, at least fast enough to save itself from the grips of a cheetah.

Though weak, these animals are also great at camouflaging or confusing their predators with their features. For instance, a zebra is found in regions with scanty trees and shrubbery, making it tough for it to hide, but its black and white stripes are of such a pattern that when a zebra runs at great speed, it can even confuse a predator such as a lion, thereby, allowing it to escape not with ease though.

Main Differences Between Predator and Prey

  1. Predators are the section of animals that kill other animals to survive and do not feast on grass or leaves. On the other hand, Preys are the section of animals that are built to be preyed upon by other animals.
  2. Predators have a sharp and sturdy dental constitution to help them tear their prey apart. However, preys have a dental constitution that is more suited to chewing grass or anything that is not difficult to be torn apart.
  3. Predators aren’t always bigger than the animals they prey upon but are more powerful. In contrast, preys aren’t as big or strong as their predators.
  4. Predators are typically carnivorous, but certain animals are omnivorous. For instance, a bear eats fruits, berries, honey, and fish. Whereas preys are always herbivorous.
  5. While predators are solely or largely dependent on their prey for survival, preys aren’t dependent on the former at all.

Conclusion

All animals serve a purpose! The more you think about it, the more you realize that be it an animal that you are scared of or adore, each of them has a role to play. If even one species is removed from the food chain, the entire chain will collapse like a pyramid of cards collapses if one card from the middle is removed. They act as a “check-and-balance” on the population of the other. If the predators overpower the prey in terms of their population, then the prey will be pushed to the precipice of extinction. While the former comprises of animals that are built in a manner to eat other animals to survive, the latter constitutes of animals that are meant to draw a living by feeding on plants. While the former has immense strength and power, the latter has the gift of speed. Over the generations, they have each perfected the art of camouflaging to hunt or to escape.

References

  1. https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.2307/1934346
  2. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/19901426706
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