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List of apex predators

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This is a partial list of apex predators—those predators that are not preyed upon as healthy adults in the wild. Full scavengers (e.g. most vultures), although they may not be preyed on either, are not counted as apex predators unless they at least partially depend on capturing live prey. Many species listed here are only apex predators within certain environments, e.g. coyotes are only apex predators when larger predators such as the gray wolf or the brown bear are absent.

Extinct dinosaurs that were likely apex predators[edit]

Spanning several millennia, ages, epoch, and eras, these extinct carnivorous dinosaurs were likely apex predators based on their size and dietary needs. Some may have also been scavengers as well.

Size comparison of the largest theropod dinosaurs
The largest Coelurosaur, Tyrannosaurus, was an apex predator.
Spinosaurus was the largest ever terrestrial predator and an apex predator.

Other prehistoric apex predators[edit]

Terrestrial[edit]

Cave lions were apex predator that preyed on reindeer and other large ungulates.

Aerial[edit]

Before their extinction, Haast's eagles were the apex predators of New Zealand, and preyed on moas.

Aquatic[edit]

Extant predators[edit]

These living carnivores or omnivores are apex predators.

The African wild dog is a predatory canine found across much of southern and central Africa.
The lion is a large feline of central, southern, and eastern Africa, as well as Gir Forest in India. It is Africa's and India's apex predator.
The Komodo dragon is the largest living lizard and the apex predator of Komodo.
The largest surviving carnivorous marsupial, the Tasmanian devil, is both a scavenger and a fierce predator.
The human is the apex predator of all its range

Terrestrial[edit]

The golden eagle is a bird of prey found across most of the Northern Hemisphere.
The south polar skua both preys on other seabirds and bullies them for their catches.

Aerial[edit]

The electric rays are marine predators of the tropics.
The great white shark, a paradigmatic apex predator.
The killer whale or orca is an apex predator of most of the world's oceans.
The saltwater crocodile is the largest living reptile and is the dominant predator throughout its range.

Aquatic[edit]

Notes: Animals with an asterisk (*) are only apex predators as introduced species.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bargagli, Roberto (2004). Antarctic Ecosystems. Springer. pp. 282–287. ISBN 3-540-22091-7. 
  2. ^ DeMartini, Edward E., Friedlander, Alan M., and Holzwarth, Stephani R. (2005). "Size at sex change in protogynous labroids, prey body size distributions, and apex predator densities at NW Hawaiian atolls". Marine ecology progress series 297: 259 -271. ISSN: 0171-8630. Retrieved on 2006-12-21.
  3. ^ a b Lepak, Jesse M., Kraft, Clifford E., and Weidel, Brian C. (2006). "Rapid Food Web Recovery in Response to Removal of an Introduced Apex Predator". Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 63(3): 569-575. ISSN: 0706-652X. Retrieved on 2006-12-13.
  4. ^ Kuhn, Carey E., McDonald, Birgitte I., Shaffer, Scott A., Barnes, Julie, Crocker, Daniel E., Burns, Jennifer, and Costa, Daniel P. (2006). "Diving physiology and winter foraging behavior of a juvenile leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx)". Polar Biology 29(4): 303-307. ISSN: 0722-4060. Retrieved on 2006-12-21.
  5. ^ Levner, Eugene; Linkov, Igor; Proth, Jean-Marie (2005). Strategic Management of Marine Ecosystems. Springer. p. 41. ISBN 1-4020-3158-0.