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.

Extant predators[edit]

These still-in-existence carnivores or omnivores are apex predators.



The south polar skua both preys on other seabirds and bullies them for their catches.


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.


Extinct apex predators[edit]

Non-Avian dinosaurs[edit]

The carnivorous theropods listed below were likely apex predators based on their size and dietary needs. Because very few prehistoric ecosystems are known in detail, these are merely suggestions—larger, more dominant theropods might have lived during the same time in the same place.

Other prehistoric terrestrial apex predators[edit]

Prehistoric aerial apex predators[edit]

Prehistoric aquatic apex predators[edit]


  1. ^ The grey wolf as a species includes the dingo and all domestic dogs
  2. ^ a b The status of humans is debated[2]
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Recently extinct species. Some, possibly most, of these species went extinct as a result of humans.


  1. ^ Bargagli, Roberto (2004). Antarctic Ecosystems. Springer. pp. 282–287. ISBN 3-540-22091-7. 
  2. ^ Roopnarine, PD (2014). "Humans are apex predators". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 111: E796. doi:10.1073/pnas.1323645111. PMC 3948303Freely accessible. PMID 24497513.