What is Predation?

Welcome to our blog, Predation 101! This blog seeks to explore predation, parasitism, and herbivory in further detail than discussed in class. Please explore and enjoy learning more than you have ever wanted to know about mechanical defenses, chemical defenses and other experiemnts!

Predation: An interaction in which the action of a predator results in the death of its prey.

Source: Brooker R, Widmaier E, Graham L, Stiling P. 2011. Biology. New York (NY): Mcgraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Predation is a positive-negative relationship in which one species benefits from the negative effect it causes to the other. Predation in a general sense involves the killing of one organism for the survival of the other. Furthermore, predation can be divided into further subcategories of herbivory and paracitism. Herbivory is a form of predation involving the feeding upon and killing of plants. Parasitism is similar to both, predation and herbivory but differs in the overall effect it has on the host. Parasitism can be either lethal or nonlethal (neutral). It differs from herbivory because  parasite often lives within the host for a long period of time before ultimately killing the organism (if it kills at all).

Don’t worry, as a result of evolution, a plethora of mechanisms have emerged in order to avoid predation. These different defenses include coloration, chemical defenses, morphological defenses, mimicry, secretion of toxins, ability to camouflage, speed, and mechanical defenses.

The image above displays the most commonly imagined form of predation–a carnivore eating a herbivore.
(Source: Shutterstock.com)

The picture above of the cows munching on grass displays a fantastic example of herbivory.
(Source: Shutterstock.com)

The image above reveals an example of parasitism because small organisms are living on and using the caterpillar for personal gain.
(Source: Shutterstock.com)

Please take a look at the different pages of this blog to gain an even greater understanding of predation, parasitism, and herbivory!