Apex Predator

Apex Predator

Apex predators (also known as alpha, super, top- or top-level predators) are predators with no predators of their own, residing at the top of their food chain. Zoologists define predation as the killing and consumption of another organism (which generally excludes parasites and most bacteria). In this context, "apex predator" is usually defined in terms of trophic dynamics. Apex predator species occupy the highest trophic level(s) and have a crucial role in maintaining the health of their ecosystems. One study of marine food webs defined apex predators as greater than trophic level four. The apex predator concept is commonly applied in wildlife management, conservation, and ecotourism.

Food chains are often far shorter on land, with the top of the food chain limited to the third trophic level, as where such predators as the big cats, crocodilians, hyenas, wolves, or giant constrictor snakes prey upon large herbivores. Apex predators do not need to be hypercarnivores. For example, grizzly bears and humans are each apex predators and are omnivores.

Read more about Apex PredatorEcological Role

Other articles related to "apex predator, apex predators, predator, apex, predators":

Apex Predator - Ecological Role
... See also Mesopredator release hypothesis Apex predators affect prey species' population dynamics ... species are in an ecologically unstable relationship, apex predators tend to create stability if they prey upon both ... Inter-predator relationships are also affected by apex status ...
Predator - Functional Classification - Trophic Level
... See also Trophic level and Trophic dynamics Predators are often another organism's prey, and likewise prey are often predators ... One way of classifying predators is by trophic level ... A predator at the top of any food chain (that is, one that is preyed upon by no organism) is called an apex predator examples include the orca, sperm whale, anaconda, Komodo dragon, tiger, lion, tiger shark, Nile ...