Animals at the top of a food web are called apex predators because they do not face any natural threats from lower in the food chain. Because of their huge home ranges and low population densities, these apex predators are particularly vulnerable to the effects of human meddling and habitat encroachment. Here you will read the top 8 apex predator list.
However, apex predators play crucial ecological roles by controlling prey populations and influencing prey behavior in positive ways. To survive, pythons eat animals that are many times their size, such as deer and alligators.
You may also want to read about the top 8 animals that live in Antarctica.
Top 8 Apex Predator List:
Panthera tigris tigers are nocturnal, solitary predators who rely on their keen senses of hearing and sight rather than their sense of smell to track down their prey. Deer, buffalo, goats, leopards, wild pigs, elephants, crocodiles, and birds are also staples of their diet. When killing smaller animals, tigers bite the back of their necks to sever the spinal cord; when killing larger animals, they seize their throats and compress the trachea, forcing them to suffocate.
Human encroachment and poaching have wiped off tiger populations that were once widespread across Asia and the Middle East.
Currently, there are less than 4,800 of them left in the wild, making them a critically endangered species.
In terms of length, saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) are the largest extant reptiles on Earth (females are much smaller). They are commonly found in coastal areas of northern Australia, New Guinea, and Indonesia, but can be found as far afield as Sri Lanka, India, southeast Asia, Borneo, and the Philippines.
When hunting, a crocodile will dive deep below the water’s surface, emerging only to breathe and look for prey as little as a crab or turtle and as huge as a monkey, buffalo, or pig. It usually hunts its food in the water, where it can ambush it and kill it with a single snap of its massive jaws.
The killer whale (Orcinus orca) is a fascinating example of a marine creature that manages to be both a terrifying predator and a fascinating figure. A big, black-and-white dolphin species, bottlenose dolphins can be found in every ocean on Earth. The orca is a highly social marine mammal that often travels in groups called “pods” and uses a sophisticated language to convey its thoughts.
Orcas can devour up to 100 pounds of food every day, which includes seals, sea lions, smaller whales and dolphins, fish, sharks, squid, turtles, sea birds, and sea otters. Adult orcas can weigh up to six tons. Orcas are highly cooperative predators who hunt in pods to wear down their prey. They frequently attack newborn whales, taking them away from their moms so they might drown.
- Polar Bear
Polar bears, whose scientific name is Ursus maritimus, are almost always near some sort of sea ice. They eat seals, walruses, and whales, as well as other small mammals, fish, and sea birds. The ringed seal is a favorite target.
A polar bear will sit beside a crevice in the ice and wait for seals to surface for air so it may seize them. If the seal is sunning itself, the bear will either sneak up on it or swim beneath the ice to startle it when it emerges. Polar bears are at danger of losing their habitat and hunting grounds as a result of climate change-induced melting of Arctic sea ice.
- Great White Shark
The great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) has been stereotyped as a dangerous and mindless predator ever since the release of the film “Jaws.” Great white shark attacks on people are actually rather uncommon, and recent research has revealed that these sharks are actually quite smart and social creatures who are terrified of orcas.
Across the world’s oceans, great whites can be found, particularly in the cold temperate and subtropical waters. They prey on marine mammals as well as turtles and seabirds. To catch prey, it often swims down to where the prey is and then swims up to attack it. Great white shark populations have dropped precipitously since the middle of the 20th century due to human pressures.
- Grizzly Bear
While grizzlies (Ursus arctos horribilis) were once common over western North America, they are now considered a critically endangered species. South of Canada, only the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and northwest Montana still have sizable populations.
Throughout the year, grizzlies eat anything from rodents and insects to baby elk and deer to fish berries and roots and pine nuts and grasses.
10 Large creatures like elk and bison are fair game for them as well. Grizzlies bulk up for a winter of torpor by eating voraciously during the summer and early fall. During this time, their body temperature, heart rate, breathing rate, and metabolism all decrease.
- Burmese Pyhon
Are apex predators possible among invading species? In the Florida Everglades, escaped Burmese pythons (Python molurus bivittatus) are contributing to the rapid extinction of some native species by disrupting the local food chain in an ecosystem already threatened by pollution and climate change. In spite of this, their native Southeast Asia is seeing a decline in their population.
The Burmese python kills its prey by squeezing it to death after it has lunged, impaled it, and then killed it. Powerful contractions help force food down the animal’s mouth and expanding esophagus into the stomach, where acid and enzymes digest the meal.
The African lion (Panthera leo) has historically ranged beyond the continent of Africa south of the Sahara. Although they are most commonly seen in grassy plains and savannas, lions can also be discovered in forested areas, semiarid regions, and even the mountains.
Even though lions are social creatures, they only ever kill in groups of one or two. This usually means a female lion. Elephants, buffalo, giraffes, gazelles, impalas, warthogs, and wildebeests are just few of the many animals that serve as prey for predators around the world. Lions will consume smaller prey such as birds, rodents, fish, ostrich eggs, amphibians, reptiles, and even trash if they have to.