Animal

25 Top Predators in the World

All of the animals in this post are the top (or apex) predator in their territory, and nothing preys on them. Sometimes, one of the top predators may meet another top predator. Occasionally, one apex predator might be big and hungry enough to take on another, but usually (and with a lot of growling, hissing or snarling) they back away from each other and move on. A good example of this is when tigers meet dholes (Indian wild dogs). Normally, they leave each other alone, but every so often, if prey is scarce, they clash, and it very much depends on the individual animals involved as to which of them comes out on top.

Some predators share the same habitat, such as lions and spotted hyenas, or brown bears and gray wolves. One side of these match ups dominates the other and will often steal their kills, but they rarely attempt to kill the other and are even less likely to eat them. Well find out more about this when we look at the animals in the post.

There is one top animal predator that utterly dominates wherever they go. They are the apex predator in every place in the world they visit, and nothing ever tries to eat them. There is even video footage of one of them taking on and eating a great white shark. That animal is first in our list of top predators…

01. The Killer Whale

Killer whales are one of the most beautiful creatures in the sea, and also one of the most deadly. These magnificent creatures use a combination of their incredible size (6-8 meters, or 20-26 feet long), power, and amazing intelligence to rule over the oceans they roam. They are not prey to any other animal on Earth.

Killer whales are known for hunting as a group, earning them the nickname “Wolves of the Sea.” They have to do an awful lot of hunting, because killer whales eat about 227 kilograms (500 pounds) per day! They have different methods of killing their prey, depending on what they are hunting – a number of ways are especially interesting. Norwegian killer whales round up herring by forcing them into a ball using bursts of bubbles. They then slap these balls with their tails, killing as many as fifteen fish at a time before eating them. This is known as carousel feeding.

Another unique method is to induce what is known as tonic immobility in rays and sharks. The killer whales do this by holding the prey upside down with its powerful jaw, making them both helpless and unable to injure the whales. Since some sharks have to move to breathe, they generally suffocate within fifteen minutes from the whale holding them still. Killer whales have even been videoed doing this to great white sharks.

The killer whales use a few different methods to catch seals. Here are just a couple of them. The first is used when a seal is on top of an ice flow, drifting in the polar seas. Two or more killer whales approach the ice quickly, then dive down, slapping the water with their tails as they go. The wave they create knocks the seal into the water, where the killer whales are now waiting for it. The second method is called beaching. It involves a killer whale swimming quickly toward the shore, deliberately beaching itself and grabbing the slowest or least aware seal, and dragging it back into the sea.

The killer whale’s strength, size, and intelligence make it the top predator in the entire world.

02. Tiger

Tigers are one of the most beautiful animals in the world. They are also extremely large, the third largest land-based meat eater on the planet, behind polar bears and brown bears. They also have the largest teeth of any living cat, with a length of 7-9 cm (2.5-3.5 inches).

Tigers are solitary nocturnal hunters – meaning they like to hunt alone and at night. Like all cats, tigers are accomplished ambush predators – lying in wait to surprise their prey. This is because they need to be close. Tigers can reach speeds of 49-65 km/h (35-40 mph), but their size means they tire easily, so they are only fast for short periods of time. They kill their prey by leaping onto them, knocking them off balance, wrapping their powerful front legs around them, and grabbing them by the throat. Then they hold the prey down and strangle it with their powerful jaws. When they have to take smaller prey, such as monkeys, they either break the animal’s neck with their jaws, or use their teeth to cut the main arteries in its neck.

Tigers sometimes feed on other predators, such as leopards, crocodiles, sloth bears, and pythons. Unfortunately, older, ill, or wounded tigers sometimes have to go for weaker prey – humans! In the Sundarbans, a mangrove forest covering parts of India and Bangladesh, even healthy tigers prey on humans, viewing them as an occasional part of their diet!

However, humans are a much greater threat to tigers. The destruction of their habitat and illegal hunting for their fur and body parts has brought the number of tigers in the wild today down to just over 3,000. A small town probably has more people in it than there are wild tigers in the entire world!

03. Saltwater Crocodile

The saltwater crocodile is the largest living reptile in the world. They are large and powerful animals, as well as excellent swimmers. They can swim at speeds of up to 8 meters per second (18 miles per hour,) which is about triple the speed of humans. They have one of the highest recorded bite forces of any animal ever recorded, and are capable of crushing an adult cow’s skull with their jaws.

Due to their size and power, salt water crocodiles can take any animal that comes into their territory as a meal. They often hunt by waiting for their prey at the water’s edge. Once the animal is close enough, the crocodile uses its powerful body and tail to launch itself out of the water and grab a hold of its target with its powerful jaws. It will then drag the animal back into the water, and either roll around repeatedly – known as the death roll – or sling it back and forth in the air. Both methods accomplish the same thing – ripping the prey into smaller pieces that the crocodile can swallow.

Saltwater crocodiles have no natural predators, although humans do kill them for their skin. Salt water crocodiles pose a definite threat to humans. A human in a crocodile’s territory will be viewed as prey, and the chance of surviving an attack if the crocodile is able to grab hold is low. In Australia, areas where saltwater crocodiles are known to live are signposted, and humans simply stay away from them. This human and crocodile separation has kept the number of humans taken by crocs very low in Australia. Nile crocodiles are much more of a problem for humans than saltwater crocodiles because people come into contact with them so much more.

04. Polar Bear

The polar bear is the largest carnivore – meat eater – in the world. It is actually the most carnivorous of all bears, and has 42 teeth to help with tearing up the meaty flesh that they dine on. They live throughout the Arctic Circle spending most of their time on sea ice, though they also spend a lot of time both in the water and on land.

Polar bears have a couple of different methods they use to hunt seals – their favorite prey. The most common way is known as still-hunting. The polar bear will use its keen sense of smell to detect the breath of seals in a hole in the ice. When it smells the seal breathing, it reaches into the hole with its paw and drags the seal onto the ice. Then it bites the seals head, crushing its skull.

The other method has the polar bear relying on its natural camouflage (snow) for stalking the seals when they are on the ice. Once the seal is spotted, the polar bear crouches down and creeps to around 9-12 meters (30-40 feet) from the seal before rushing forward to kill the seal by biting its skull.

The greatest threat to the polar bear is the loss of its habitat by the shrinking of the polar ice cap, due to global warming.

05. Jaguar

The jaguar is the third largest cat in the world, behind only the tiger and the lion. It looks a lot like a leopard, although the jaguar is both bigger and stronger. They spend most of their time alone, and are one of only a few types of cats that enjoy swimming. They also have a very powerful jaw. Its bite is twice as strong as a lion, and the second strongest of all mammals – with only the spotted hyena’s jaw being more powerful.

Jaguars like to stalk and ambush their prey. They hide in the undergrowth before suddenly pouncing from their target’s blind spot and making the kill. How they kill varies, depending on the prey. For smaller prey, such as dogs, they kill with a quick swipe of their paw to the skull. For larger prey, they tend to use the same method as many other big cats, where they leap onto the animal, bite its throat, and pull it down before suffocating it.

There are two unique ways that jaguars kill. In the case of caiman and other reptiles, the jaguar will leap on to the back of the animal and sever its spine, leaving it unable to move. With most mammals, the jaguar uses its incredibly powerful jaw to bite through its prey’s skull, piercing its brain for an instant kill.

As the largest cat in the western hemisphere, jaguars are utterly dominant. The only real threat to them lies in the loss of their habitat, leading to a decline in their overall numbers in the wild.

06. Nile Crocodile

The Nile crocodile is the second largest crocodilian (meaning – member of the crocodile family) in the world, behind only the saltwater crocodile. They are known for their powerful bite, which is arguably the most powerful in the animal kingdom (some sources believe larger saltwater crocodiles may have an even stronger bite). Like most crocodilians, they like to hunt from the water, but they are also willing to hunt on land, occasionally.

When hunting from the water, the Nile crocodile waits to ambush an animal when it comes to the water’s edge to drink. The crocodile leaps partially out of the water and grabs a hold of its prey, using its powerful bite to full effect. Its teeth are made to sink in deep, giving the crocodile a good grip on its victim. It then drags the meal back into the water, and kills it in one of two ways: it will either hold the prey under water until it drowns, or simply rip it to pieces.

The largest threat to the Nile crocodiles comes from being hunted by humans. They are poached for their hides, as well as hunted because of their reputation as “man-eaters”. Unfortunately, there is a reason for them being called man-eaters. Nile crocodiles kill hundreds of people every year, more than the number killed by all other crocodilian species combined. This happens because their habitat is so close to human populations, making encounters far more frequent.

07. Brown Bear

There are several subspecies of brown bear, but the two most predatory are the grizzly and the Kodiak bears. The Kodiak, along with polar bears, are the largest species of bears living today. They are known for their big, razor sharp claws, which can be as long as 5-10 cm (2-4 inches) and are curved to help dig for roots – or to help kill their prey.

The brown bears of Alaska mostly eat salmon. They catch the fish in two different ways. The first is to wait patiently at places where they know the salmon will have to jump out of the water – catching them when they are in mid-air. The other way is simply by wading into the water, pinning the salmon down, and then eating it.

Some brown bears prefer bigger prey than salmon. They will hunt for large mammals like deer, elk, and moose. Their killing method is fairly simple – they creep to a distance from which they can ambush their prey and just use their size and strength to pin the animal to the ground and eat it alive.

Brown bears of all types don’t see humans as prey, and if they hear us tramping through the forest, they will avoid us. Unfortunately, walkers will occasionally surprise an aggressive male or a female protecting her cubs, and they will defend themselves or their young the only way they know – with an attack they would normally use on a large elk or moose. The state of Alaska’s Fish and Game Department website offers up-to-date advice on, what to do if you meet a brown bear.

08. Great White Shark

The fearsome great white shark is probably the most well-known of all fish in the ocean. Its rows of razor-sharp teeth bite down with an estimated force of over 4000 pounds per square inch, which is one of the highest bite forces in the animal kingdom.

The great white lives up to its menacing reputation as a deadly predator. They use the element of surprise to ambush their prey from below and hunt early in the morning, when the water is still dark and murky, to help their sneak attack.

How they attack varies by prey. The most famous and exciting method is the method they use on seals. They charge the seals at a very high speed from beneath, hitting them with such force that the shark actually bursts out of the water!

Great white sharks are occasionally a threat to us – however, they don’t actually target humans. Great white shark attacks on humans usually occur in poor visibility – when the water is difficult to see through. It is thought that we may be mistaken for seals or similar prey. Great whites are also known to use test bites before attempting to eating unfamiliar items. Unfortunately for us, a great white’s test bite is so strong, and its teeth so sharp, that it is sometimes fatal.

09. African Lion

African lions are the tallest of all cats. Only tigers are larger overall, being longer and heavier. The lion’s large teeth, razor sharp claws, and powerful bite make it a highly effective predator.

These African animals like to hunt as a group, working together to successfully bring down a meal for their entire pride. Since their large size means that they can only run quickly in short bursts, lions stalk their prey before attacking. To help them sneak up on their target, lions prefer to hunt at night, using bushes and other cover to hide behind. They sneak to within about 30 meters (100 feet) of their intended victim, then rush forward, with one of the lions leaping onto the prey gripping its throat with powerful jaws and strangling it.

African lions share their range with spotted hyenas, both preying on the same animals. However, the lions are much more powerful and dominate the hyenas – often stealing their kills. This is also true with cheetahs and leopards. The only real competition to African lions comes from Nile crocodiles. They are very wary of each other, and a battle between the two can go either way, depending on the sizes of the individuals involved.

10. Sperm Whale

The sperm whale is the largest of all toothed whales. They are also the deepest diving mammal alive, diving to depths of 3 km (1.86 miles) when hunting. It has the largest brain of any animal – it is five times heavier than a human’s brain. It is also the loudest of all animals, making clicking sounds that reach up to 230 decibels. According to Magnus Wahlberg, the researcher who found this out, that is “about as loud as a rifle shot three feet from your ear.

Sperm whales prefer eating giant and colossal squid, but will also feed on octopuses and rays. They dive to great depths to find the squid, and actually hunt by swimming upside down once they have reached the bottom of their dive. This allows them to see the shadow of the squid above them as they swim through the dim light that reaches these great depths.

Sperm whales were hunted by whalers for many years. The hunting took quite a toll – they were an endangered species for a long time. Fortunately, whaling has been outlawed practically worldwide, and they have recovered to the status of vulnerable, but they still have a long way to go before they can recover fully from the damage whaling did to their numbers.

11. American Alligator

The American alligator is one of only two living types of alligator in the world (the other being the Chinese alligator.) They are crocodilians, but differ from crocodiles because they have a wider snout, overlapping jaws, are less tolerant of salt water, and are more able to live in colder weather.

The American alligator hunts in a similar fashion as both the Nile and saltwater crocodiles: it waits in murky waters to surprise its target. When its prey comes to the water’s edge to drink, the alligator will leap partially out, grab the animal with its powerful jaws, and drag it into the water. Once in the water, the alligator will either hold its prey under the water to drown it, or with larger prey, will go into the classic “death-roll”. This rips parts off the animal, causing it to die from blood loss or heart failure.

Hunting of the American alligator by humans in the 19th and much of the 20th century meant it was high on the endangered species list, and was close to being hunted out of existence. However, after 20 years, conservation efforts have brought their numbers back up, and they are no longer considered endangered.

Saltwater and Nile crocodiles treat humans as prey, but American alligators are much more cautious of humans. As a result, fatal attacks on humans by the American alligator are very rare, with only 17 confirmed deaths since 1948 (all in Florida). That’s about one fatality every four years.

12. Tiger Shark

Tiger sharks are one of the largest species of sharks alive today. They are also one of the most aggressive sharks in the world, and have a reputation for eating anything. Their size and aggressive nature make them one of the most feared predators in the sea. But what makes them so successful?

Tiger sharks’ ranking as a top predator comes thanks to a combination of many factors. They have excellent senses of smell and sight, allowing them to locate prey at great distances. They generally swim rather slowly, but this combined with their natural camouflage, makes it hard for their intended victim to spot them – until it is too late. Despite their usual slow swimming style, these sharks can use a sudden burst of speed to grab their meal. Depending on the size of the animal, the tiger shark will either swallow their prey whole, or simply tear off bite sized chunks, following the trail of blood to keep up with the victim, which eventually bleeds to death.

Shark attacks on humans are a rare occurrence. Of fatal shark attacks that occur on humans, a very large percentage are by tiger sharks, probably due to their aggressive nature and their preference for hunting in shallow waters. This is why tiger sharks are considered one of the most dangerous species of sharks in the world.

13. Golden Eagle

The golden eagle is one of the most powerful avian predators (meaning a bird that is a predator). They are large, strong, and very fast, making them exceptionally effective hunters. Although they are capable of living in almost any habitat, golden eagles prefer forests because that is where they can find the most prey.

This raptor (bird of prey) hunts by gliding around, searching for prey. Once its target is spotted, the golden eagle will dive at speeds of up to 240 kilometers (150 miles) per hour towards its victim, grabbing it with powerful talons. A large golden eagle can exert massive pressure with its talons. Its grip can be up to fifteen times more powerful than a human hand. The speed of the approach and the power of the talons kill the animal almost instantly. The eagle can fly back to its nest with prey that weighs as much as itself. Larger prey must be eaten where it has been killed.

Recent YouTube footage demonstrates their incredible strength and intelligence. It has shown them being trained to take down gray wolves, kill adult coyotes, and even dragging a goat off of a cliff.

Worldwide golden eagle numbers are okay, but they have fallen rapidly in Europe. In North America, their numbers are still good, but have gone down overall. This is mostly due to habitat destruction, and that is the only real threat to their existence. The golden eagle is prey to nothing but man and the habitat loss that man is responsible for.

14. Gray Wolf

A relative of the dog, the gray wolf has long been a feared predator. They are fast, able to reach speeds of 50-60 kilometers per hour, and have razor sharp (although rather short) teeth. What is not widely known about the gray wolf is just how powerful its bite is. They can crush with a force twice that of a German shepherd.

Gray wolves are known for hunting in packs, but they actually do better hunting alone or in pairs. They use their powerful sense of smell to track their prey. Once found, they stalk their intended meal until they are next to it. The wolves will then try to force the animal to run, and chase it until it is too exhausted to fight. They then leap at the rear and sides of their prey and tear out chunks of flesh – the more the animal bleeds the weaker it becomes. Once the animal is down, the gray wolf bites its throat for the kill.

Gray wolves don’t have natural predators in most areas of the world. They do, however, share their range in far-east Russia, where they are very occasionally preyed upon by tigers. In the range that they share with brown bears, they are not preyed upon, but they are dominated by brown bears when it comes to competing for food.

15. Dhole

The dhole is an animal closely related to the dog. They are very social animals and live in large packs. They are different from other types of canids – that’s the family dogs come from – in that they have less teeth. Another big difference between dholes and most canids is that they allow their pups to eat first after a kill.

Dholes hunt as a pack in the early morning. They rely on their stamina to be successful, as they chase their prey, sometimes for many hours, tiring them out. Once their target becomes exhausted, one of the dholes will grab it by the nose while the rest of the pack pulls it down by the legs. Once on the ground, they rip open its stomach and begin feeding on the heart, liver, lungs, and intestines.

Dholes are rarely preyed on by other top predators. A pack of dholes can take down a tiger, but tigers are strong enough to kill a dhole with one swipe of their paw, so killing a tiger results in many deaths to the pack. That is why they generally share the same territory without fights.

16. King Cobra

The king cobra is the longest venomous snake in the world. They are also one of the most dangerous snakes in the world, due to their venom. The venom of a king cobra can kill in as little as 30 minutes, and is fatal in 50-60% of bites on humans. Their venom shuts down both the nervous system and the heart, causing paralysis, then coma, followed by death.

King cobras prefer to eat snakes. Their scientific name, Ophiphagus, actually comes from the Geek word for “snake-eater”. Their favorite prey is ratsnake, although they also eat small pythons and other types of cobras. If food is scarce, they will eat lizards, birds, and small mammals. They generally kill by locating their prey with their tongue, then sneaking up on it. Their great length is used to full effect when lunging forward and injecting venom into the victim with needle-like fangs. In the case of some mammals and birds, they sometimes kill by constricting their target, but this only happens occasionally and with smaller animals. Once the prey is dead, the king cobra unhinges its jaw and slowly swallows its meal whole. Depending on the size of its meal, it may not need to eat again for months.

There is one animal that is occasionally willing to take on king cobras – the mongoose. The mongoose is immune to the king cobra’s venom, but the cobra can intimidate a mongoose into leaving it alone by posturing up, expanding its hood, and hissing. This makes it appear even bigger, and usually the mongoose just moves on to a smaller more manageable meal.

17. Bull Shark

The bull shark is different to most sharks. It has the ability to thrive in both the ocean and freshwater. Lots of sharks swim up rivers out of the ocean, but none can tolerate freshwater like the bull shark. They have been seen as far inland as Kentucky and Illinois in the United States. The Brisbane River in Australia is known to be home to more than 500 bull sharks, with some even seen swimming in the streets during the Brisbane floods of late 2010.

Bull sharks usually hunt alone, cruising through shallow waters of the coastline and rivers. They are known for being aggressive and very territorial – which means that they will attack animals that come into their area. They prefer to hunt in murky waters, so their prey has difficulty seeing their approach. When they find a meal, they will either eat it whole or, if it is a larger animal, bite off chunks with their powerful jaws. They will follow the trail of blood left by the bitten prey and continue feeding on it as the animal gradually bleeds to death.

Since bull sharks prefer shallow waters, they are quite dangerous to humans, perhaps more so than any other species of shark. An encounter with a bull shark can be particularly deadly, thanks to their 1,300 lb. bite force – the most powerful yet confirmed of any fish.

18. Black Mamba

Black mambas are one of the most deadly snakes in the world, with its venom always being fatal without quick administration of anti-venom. They are the longest venomous snake in Africa, and are the fastest snake in the world – moving at speeds of up to 20 km/h (12 mph.)

A black mamba will often travel with the front third of its body elevated above ground, most likely to help it spot and sense prey more easily. Once it finds its target, the mamba will pause for a moment to assess the situation before rushing toward the animal with tremendous speed and delivering repeated, rapid bites. This results in a quick death for the prey. This dangerous creature holds smaller animals in its mouth until they die, while releasing larger ones and waiting for the venom to take effect. Once it has died, the black mamba simply swallows its meal whole.

Black mambas are a danger to humans in Africa. Their venom is very deadly, and the lack of proper medical care and remote locations has the rate of death at 100% for black mamba bites in many parts of the continent. If it feels threatened, it will attack aggressively with a succession of quick strikes. However, black mambas are less likely to strike humans than other snakes. We are too large for it to eat, and it will usually attempt to escape unless it feels threatened.

19. Spotted Hyena

Spotted hyenas are a very social animal, travelling in large groups. They have a hierarchy – or pecking order of rank – based on their ability to dominate others in the group. This determines feeding order for the group. They are a very successful animal because they are both great hunters and great scavengers.

Depending on the size of their intended victim, hyenas will hunt alone or in groups of two or three. However, when hunting zebras, spotted hyenas will hunt in groups of 10-25, as zebras are aggressive defenders. Hyenas use their senses of sight, hearing, and smell to locate their meals. They seem to rely on sight the most when hunting, while using their hearing more when scavenging – listening for other animals making a kill.

When hunting, spotted hyenas target either young or old animals because they are the easiest to take down. They will chase the animal for distances of up to 5 km (3 miles.) Once they have exhausted their prey, the hyenas snatch up smaller prey with their mouth and shake them to death. Larger prey are attacked at the legs, taken to the ground, and eaten alive!

Hyenas avoid waters where crocodiles lurk, as crocodiles take them if the opportunity- arose. However, they are not actively preyed upon by any other animals. Spotted hyenas, for the most part, are tolerated by lions. There is an occasional case of a lion attacking and killing a hyena for no apparent reason, but that’s rare. Lions, however, often steal from hyenas. Many of the lions of the Ngorongoro crater feed mostly on the kills of hyenas. Leopards occasionally prey on solitary hyenas, but this is not believed to happen very often.

20. Komodo Dragon

Komodo dragons are the largest living lizards in the world. They live exclusively on the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang, and Padar. Although they feed mostly on carrion – that’s dead animals – they are predators, and will regularly hunt other animals.

The Komodo’s favorite prey is deer, but they also eat other mammals, birds, and even smaller Komodo dragons! They use their sense of smell to track animals and stealth to ambush their target. Their large tail, which is equal to the size of their body, is their main attack weapon when dealing with large prey like deer or pigs. The animals are knocked over and bitten. A Komodo’s bite is usually enough to kill the victim, although it may take a day or two.

The Komodo’s mouth contains many forms of lethal bacteria that infect the wounds of its prey.

For many years, it was thought that this alone killed Komodo dragon victims; however, scientists have recently found that the dragon uses venom, as well.

Komodo dragons eat in one of two ways. They either rip off chunks of flesh while holding the animal’s body down, or in the case of smaller prey, such as goats, they will swallow their meal whole. Komodos have been observed speeding up the “swallowing” process by ramming their victim into a tree to shove it down their throats. The force they use has even been known to knock the trees down!

21. Green Anaconda

The green anaconda has the distinction of being the heaviest snake in the world. Their maximum size is a matter of debate, as there haven’t been enough captured and examined to determine just how big they can grow. However, researchers currently believe their usual size is anywhere from 3-8 meters (10-26 feet) in length.

Green anacondas spend most of their lives in water, hence their other name, the water boa. Their size means that they move quite slowly on land, but they are surprisingly fast swimmers. The holes they breathe through and their eyes are on top of their heads allow them to stay almost completely under water, unseen by potential prey. Once they are close enough to their target, the green anaconda grabs and grips it with their teeth, then wraps around the animal, constricting it, forcing all of the air out of it leaving it unable to breathe. Once the prey dies of suffocation, the snake then unhinges its jaw and swallows it whole.

There are many local legends of anacondas being man-eaters, but there is no evidence to support this claim. One odd thing about the green anaconda’s feeding habits is that a female will sometimes eat a male after mating. This is thought to be just a case of the female needing additional nutrition after mating, and the male happens to be an unlucky but handy nearby source of food.

22. Harpy Eagle

The harpy eagle is the largest and most powerful raptor in the Americas, and one of the largest living eagles in the world. They feed mostly on sloths, but monkeys make up about a third of their diet, while smaller animals such as porcupines, squirrels, opossums, and anteaters are also taken from time to time.

Harpy eagles use the hunting method known as “perch hunting”. This means that they fly from tree to tree, and perch for a moment to look for a potential meal. They take their prey by swooping in and snatching it. Their talons, the largest of any eagles – and actually larger than a grizzly bear’s claws – lead to almost instant death to any animal they grab. Harpy Eagles can take prey equal to their own body weight while still in flight.

Harpy eagles have no natural predators. Their numbers are, however, dropping due to habitat loss from logging, ranching, and prospecting. Additionally, they are often killed by humans who fear that they may attack their livestock, as well as old, inaccurate, beliefs that they will attack humans.

23. Dingo

Dingoes are wild dogs that roam the continent of Australia. These aren’t your friendly family pet, by any means – they are wild animals that are proven killers.

Dingoes hunt in a variety of ways, usually depending on how large their victim is. For smaller prey such as rabbits, they will hunt alone and use their speed and skill at turning corners to catch the animal. They will bite the animals throat to kill it.

When it comes to larger animals, for their own safety, dingoes like to hunt in groups. They use teamwork and intelligence to catch their prey. Most commonly, one or two dingoes will chase the target and run it toward a group of waiting dingoes, who then leap on to the animal and finish it off with the usual bite to the throat. Dingoes have actually been seen using man-made structures to help them. They will chase their prey toward fences, cutting off escape routes.

Although rare, there have been attacks on humans by dingoes, with some being fatal. Dingoes are generally wary of humans, and only those who have become used to being fed by humans will be brave enough to approach and possibly attack. We are far more dangerous to the dingo than they are to us. Despite their vulnerable conservation status, in some areas farmers can legally kill dingoes to protect their livestock.

24. Giant Otter

The giant otter is appropriately named, being the largest species of otter at 1.7 meters (5.6 feet) long from head to tail. This large size also helps explain their other names, the river wolf or river dog. They can hunt either alone or in groups, although they generally hunt alone.

These predators prefer small fish that are relatively immobile or still on the bottom of rivers, such as characins and catfish. The giant otter swims after its prey when necessary, usually attacking from above or below. They rely mostly on sight to find prey, and generally grab the prey with their powerful forepaws before devouring it immediately with their razor-sharp teeth. They are, however, opportunistic predators – meaning they will kill whatever animal is available – when fish aren’t abundant. They have even been known to hunt in packs in order to take down larger prey, such as black caiman, and even anacondas!

The giant otter isn’t a threat to humans, but humans are the main threat to them. They are hunted illegally for their beautiful pelts, and the destruction of their habitat by humans has played a large part in them becoming an endangered species.

25. Electric Eel

The first thing you should know about electric eels is that they aren’t eels at all, they’re actually fish. They are knifefish. which are related to catfish. They just look so much like an eel that that’s what they were called. Their ability to produce and use electricity helps them both with hunting and self- defense.

Electric eels have three different organs that generate electricity: the main organ, the Hunter’s organ, and the Sach’s organ. The Sach’s organ is used for electro-location. The fish uses it to send out little jolts of electricity to help find its prey. The other two organs are used for generating the electricity that is used for hunting and self-defense.

Once the electric eel has located its prey, it sends out a powerful charge that either stuns or kills the target, depending on how the electricity travels through the victim’s body. Once the animal is rendered helpless, the fish simply swallows it.

Electric eels can be dangerous to humans. They don’t prey upon humans – we are too big for an electric eel to eat – but if frightened, they will use their electric currents for defense. Depending on how the electricity travels through the body, it can cause the human heart to stop, killing the unfortunate victim.

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