The Earth is teeming with all kinds of creatures big and small. The cycle of life ensures that each species is able to survive in the harshest of conditions and, thus, nature built them in a way that balances her equation. This is why we have two ways to classify all species on earth: either they are prey or they are the PREDATOR. This is a simple compilation of the world’s top ten living predators. Most likely, each of them will remain in their place on this list till they become extinct or till something else beats them (which is not going to happen for a really long time).
Oh, the size of an Anaconda can send a shiver down anyone’s body! Having the distinction of being the world’s largest snake – though it is a mammal – the anaconda preys on anything from fish to capybaras, and sometimes even small domestic animals such as goats. However, the tall tales surrounding it has contributed to its near-mythical reputation, none of which has been scientifically proven.
The largest of all lizards, the Komodo dragon is a mighty reptile that weighs up to 300 pounds and can reach a length of more than 10 feet. It has speed, size and poison,which make it a crawling death machine. They are also voracious eaters as they can consume meat up to half their own body weight in a single meal.
The name may give an impression that this insect is a monk but, on the contrary, it is one of the most dangerous predators of our times. Mantises prey on anything from small insects to small snakes. With its uniquely structured limbs, a mantis catches its prey in a trap and devours it. There has to be a very strong reason why a special style of Kung-Fu has been named after it.
A Polar bear can be three times the size of a lion. Found in the arctic north, it usually hunts for seals but never misses a chance to feed on arctic whales when hungry. Despite its great strength and size it manages to perfectly balance itself on slippery ice. The fur of this giant helps it to brave the harsh frigid temperature.
‘Jaws’, the book and the movie with the same name on the ‘scourge of the seas’, depicts the viciousness of the animal that can make a clean slice of its prey in one bite (it has a bite force of 18000 newtons!). Surely, the Great White is a danger to all the species either below or above the waters. Though built for the kill, it is not considered to be a threat to humans.
Spiders instill a sense of fear in humans, thanks partly to all the horror movies. Tarantulas are giants in spider standards. They are stealthy and skilled hunters. Any small animal that wanders within their grasp has no chance of survival. They can grow upto five inches in length of body with a 12-inch leg span. Tarantulas are able to quickly subdue their prey and crush them with their large fangs. As with most spiders they shower their prey with digestive juices for a great slimy treat.
They are not the ants who roam harmlessly in your house. There are several species of army ants but the ones from the Amazon are the deadliest. If you have seen the fictional scarabs which devour their prey in seconds in the movie ‘Mummy’ and the ‘Mummy Returns’ then Army Ants are their real avatars. Any living thing that comes in their way is totally covered by them, as if they are a blanket, and the bones, if any, are left behind while the army marches ahead.
It did not get the title of ‘King’ for nothing. The longest of all venomous snakes in the world (18.5 ft recorded), it feeds on other snakes whether poisonous or venomous. People in Thailand consider this snake as sacred and sometimes play with them, but it does not diminish its credibility of being one of the most dangerous predators on our list. When it is out hunting the only escape route for the prey is the jaws of the King.
Weighing in at an average of 800 kilograms and measuring around 19 feet from snout to tail, the Salt Water Crocodile has a wide range of diet choices, which include monkeys, kangaroos, humans, gaurs and even sharks. The strength of its jaws and its sudden speed while hunting on land makes it a terror to all who dare to enter its territory.
Congratulations, we are the world’s greatest predators alive and walking the face of earth! Yes, that is true! We kill anything for anything; be it for meat, fur, leather, fat, oil, even for research, etc., we simply KILL. Constant hunting of nearly all the visible species has rendered many to slip into the list of endangered animals. The Tasmanian Wolf is one such species which died out due to relentless hunting. If we continue satisfying our greed then this very list will have just one name and it would be us.