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47 Examples of Predators (A to Z List with Pictures)

grizzly bears

Predators are animals that hunt and kill other animals for food and their diet consists mostly of meat. These include lions, tigers, bears, sharks, and many others.

Animals are an important part of the ecosystem, and every animal has its role. But not all animals are created equal. Some animals can be dangerous, like lions or bears; while others might just want to eat you (like tigers). There is a class of predators that prey on other animals for food.

Examples of Animals That Are Predators

Generally speaking, though it is important to remember that all animals are either predators or prey – usually they will be both at different times in their lifetime depending on whether they are young or old and whether they are in a position of strength or weakness.

1. Alligator gar

Alligator gar
Scientific NameAtractosteus spatula
Type of AnimalFish
RangeUSA and Mexico

Alligator gar are large predatory fish that primarily eat other fishes. The average size is around 4 to 6 feet but they have been recorded reaching almost ten feet long and weighing over 350 pounds. They are native to the southeast of North America. They live in freshwater rivers, swamps, and backwaters with slow-moving currents.

2. Alligator snapping turtle

alligator snapping turtle
Scientific NameMacrochelys temminckii
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeFlorida and Texas

The alligator snapping turtle is a large species of freshwater turtle. It can be found in the USA and Mexico. They are largely aquatic, but they must come to the surface for air. The turtles have very powerful jaws which allow them to catch prey such as fish, snakes, and even other smaller turtles!

3. Anaconda

Scientific NameEunectes murinus
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeSouth America

The anaconda is a large, non-venomous snake that lives in the swamps and jungles of South America. It kills by constriction, squeezing its prey to death before eating it whole. They can grow up to 29 feet long and weigh more than 550 lbs.

4. Barred eagle-owl

Barred eagle-owl
Scientific NameBubo sumatranus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeSouthern Thailand, Malay Peninsula, Sumatra

Barred eagle-owl are large, dark brown raptors. They have a long facial disk that is gray in color with some white spotting on the eyes and beak. The wings of this species are not as big or impressive looking compared to other eagles-owls, but they do allow for good swift flight while chasing down prey.

5. Black Panther

black panther
Scientific NamePanthera pardus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfrica and Asia

Black Panther is a big cat. It has black fur which helps it hide in the shadows, especially at night time when hunting for prey. This animal is very strong and agile so they are able to catch their prey quickly with precision strikes. The Black Panther catches its prey by suffocating them using their body weight or claws that have sharp edges.

6. Brown Bear

brown bear
Scientific NameUrsus arctos
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth America

They can be anywhere from six feet to more than ten feet tall when standing on their hind legs and they weigh around 218 kilos on average. Brown bears have extremely strong jaws that are capable of crushing bones with ease. In fact, this animal has one of the strongest bites in the world. All of this is due to their massive teeth, which are around two inches long and extremely sharp.

7. Cape eagle-owl

Cape eagle-owl
Scientific NameBubo capensis
Type of AnimalBird
RangeSouth Africa

Cape eagle-owl are predators that live in South Africa. They kill their prey with their sharp talons before eating it whole or ripping pieces off to eat later.

Cape eagle-owls are great hunters, able to spot a small animal among the grasses from several meters above ground level. Their large eyes help them find food at night when most other predators are sleeping.

8. Cheetah

Scientific NameAcinonyx jubatus
Type of AnimalMammal

A cheetah is a type of animal that hunts and eats other animals, such as gazelles. It has short hair all over its body. Cheetahs are carnivores which means they eat meat to survive. They usually hunt during the day for their prey because it’s easier to see then but sometimes they will also take down prey at night.

Cheetahs are known for their sharp vision and speed but they can’t outrun some animals for very long because of how quickly they get tired.

9. Cougar

Scientific NamePuma concolor
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth America

Cougar can be found in North America, South America, and Asia. They are also called mountain lions or panthers. Cougars have been known to kill other animals as big as a moose! Humans don’t stand a chance against this animal, but they do attack people from time to time.

10. Coyote

Scientific NameCanis latrans
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth America

Coyotes are mammals that prey on other animals such as rabbits, mice, deer, and raccoons. They stay in packs together to be able to bring down larger prey like moose or elk because the individual coyote would not have a chance against these large creatures.

11. Crowned Eagle

Scientific NameStephanoaetus coronatus
Type of AnimalBird

The African crowned eagle hunts in the open fields of southern and eastern Africa where it lives near rivers, wetlands, or woodlands. It preys on arboreal mammals such as monkeys, flying squirrels, and porcupines. The African crowned eagle sometimes hunts animals larger than itself, such as the baboon. It is an opportunistic predator that can take prey from other predators including both mammalian carnivores and other avian hunters.

12. Emerald Tree Boa

emerald tree boa
Scientific Name Emerald tree boa
Type of AnimalReptile

Emerald tree boas are long-bodied snakes that live in the rain forests of South America. They spend most of their time high up in the trees but come down to ground level when hunting for food or seeking a mate. Emerald tree boas hunt small lizards and frogs on land, as well as birds and bats while they fly through the air.

13. Ethiopian Wolf

Scientific NameCanis simensis
Type of AnimalReptile

The Ethiopian wolf is the rarest canid in the world, which means it’s one of the most endangered species on Earth. It has a smaller head and shorter ears than other wolves. The coat color varies from gray to red-brown with white markings that are unique to each individual.

Like all wolves, they have 42 teeth, which they use to catch small rodents, hares, and birds.

Related Article: Are Ethiopian Wolfs Stealthy?

14. Eurasian Eagle-Owl

Eurasian Eagle-Owl
Scientific NameBubo bubo
Type of AnimalBird
RangeEurope and Asia

Eurasian eagle-owls, or Bubo bubo, is one of the largest species of owl. They live in Europe and parts of Asia. These owls have wingspans that reach up to 7 feet! Eurasian eagle-owls also prey on large animals, including foxes and deer. These birds have even been known to prey on other owls!

15. Gharial

Scientific NameGavialis gangeticus
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeNepan and northern India

The Gharial is a crocodilian found in the Indian Subcontinent. It lives mostly in rivers and feeds almost exclusively on fish, but it can eat birds or small mammals when they are available.

16. Giant Petrel

Giant Petrel
Scientific NameMacronectes
Type of AnimalBird
RangeChile, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia

Giant petrels, which are sometimes called “the wolves of the sea,” specialize in hunting and killing penguins. These enormous birds can reach up to two feet tall and weigh over eight pounds! Giant petrels like to eat their prey whole if they can, but they will tear off chunks off if the prey is too big.

17. Golden Eagle

golden eagle
Scientific NameAquila chrysaetos
Type of AnimalBird
RangeMexico, North America, Alaska

Golden eagles eat mainly small mammals, such as hares and rabbits. Golden eagle habitats are the coniferous forests of North America and Eurasia. They also live in open areas with sparse vegetation or cliffs that provide them a good launchpad for hunting prey.

18. Goliath Heron

Goliath Heron
Scientific NameArdea goliath
Type of AnimalBird
Rangesub-Saharan Africa

The Goliath heron is one of the largest species of wading bird that can be found in Africa. It stands up to 5 feet tall and has a wingspan of 6.1 – 7.5 feet, making it even larger than many swans! This large grayish-brown bird lives near rivers, lakes, or mangroves but also on coasts with saltwater.

19. Great Black-Backed Gull

Great Black-Backed Gull
Scientific NameLarus marinus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeAtlantic Coast

Great black-backed gulls are found in Northern Europe, North America, and across the Arctic.

Great black-backed gulls have a wingspan of about 4.9 – 5.6 feet. This makes them one of the largest species of gull. They weigh between 45.9-70.5 oz grams on average but can weigh up to twice as much during winter!

20. Great White Shark

great white shark
Scientific NameCarcharodon carcharias
Type of AnimalFish
RangeSouth Africa, Japan, Oceania, Chile

The great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias or white pointer is the largest predatory fish in the seas and oceans of Earth. It holds a prominent role as an apex predator throughout its range in all major ocean basins. The great white shark has also been called: White Death; Great White; Man-eater; and White Pointer.

21. Grizzly Bear

grizzly bear
Scientific NameUrsus arctos horribilis
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAlaska, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington

Grizzly bears eat fish, birds, and other small animals such as caribou. Grizzly bears prefer to hunt salmon when they are in season which is typically between the months of July and December depending on where the individual lives and their habitat.

When salmon aren’t in season they hunt for other animals.

22. Harpy Eagle

Harpy Eagle
Scientific NameHarpia harpyja
Type of AnimalBird
RangeSouthern Mexico and South America

The harpy eagle is the national bird of Panama. It’s also known as “the most powerful raptor on Earth.” This animal has a wingspan up to seven feet, weighs almost 20 pounds, and can lift prey that weighs over 15 pounds!

That means it could carry away an adult cat. The name “harpy” comes from the Greek mythological creatures, which were usually depicted with a woman’s head on top of an eagle.

23. Harris’s Hawk

Harris's Hawk
Scientific NameParabuteo unicinctus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeSemiopen desert lowlands

Harris’s hawks are opportunistic raptors, meaning they have a varied diet consisting mainly of small mammals such as rabbits or squirrels but will also feed on reptiles, amphibians, birds, insects, or carrion. They can often be found in open areas hunting for prey.

24. Jaguar

Scientific NamePanthera onca
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeUnited States, Amazon, and Mexico

Jaguars are carnivores and as such, they will eat a variety of different prey. Smaller animals like fish, monkeys, birds, and reptiles form the bulk of their diet but larger mammals can also be hunted for food.

A jaguar’s favorite meal is caiman which accounts for over half their diet in some areas. These large reptiles are plentiful in the Amazonian waterways and jaguars have evolved large, strong teeth for crushing shells. Jaguars also eat many turtles which can form quite a large portion of their diet.

25. Killer Whale

killer whale
Scientific NameOrcinus orca
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAll Over

Killer whales are apex predators, meaning that they themselves have no natural predators. They eat a wide variety of prey including fish, sharks, and rays, marine mammals like sea lions and seals, cephalopods (such as octopus), seabirds such as penguins, or pelicans, crustaceans like crabs or lobsters, and even other smaller whales such as blue whale calves.

26. King Cobra

Scientific NameOphiophagus hannah
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeNorthern India, east to southern China

King cobras are carnivores. They eat other animals for food including smaller snakes, other reptiles and amphibians, birds, fish, frogs, and mammals like rodents.

27. Komodo Dragon

Komodo Dragon
Scientific NameVaranus komodoensis
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeLesser Sunda group

Komodo dragons are large lizards that can grow to be about ten feet long. They eat almost anything they come across, including carrion and smaller Komodos.

When hungry, these reptiles will even attack humans. However, the saliva of a Komodo dragon is full of bacteria which causes septicemia in any animal that it bites, which means that even if the prey escapes with its life, it will probably die of septicemia afterward.

28. Leopard

Scientific NamePanthera pardus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangesub-Saharan Africa

Leopards eat a wide range of prey, including small mammals like rodents and hares. However, they also feed on larger animals such as deer antelope, and wild boar. When hunting smaller game like rabbits, the leopard stalks it slowly before pouncing to catch it quickly. They also kill their prey by biting the neck of their victim, which causes suffocation.

29. Leopard Seal

Leopard Seal
Scientific NameHydrurga leptonyx
Type of AnimalMammal

Leopard seals mostly feed on fish and squid. They can eat a variety of fish, such as hake, herring, mackerel, pilchards, and sardines that are between 14-40 cm long. Leopard seals also enjoy eating octopus fish which is often part of their diet in Antarctica.

30. Lion

Scientific NamePanthera leo
Type of AnimalMammal

Lions are carnivores, so they mostly eat meat. Some of their prey include zebras and buffalos. They also eat gazelles, hares, birds, and smaller animals if the opportunity presents itself. Lions have a wide range of food options to choose from because African grasslands provide an abundance of creatures for lions to feast on.

31. Mountain Lion

mountain lion
Scientific NamePuma concolor
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeColorado and California

Mountain lions are carnivores. They hunt and eat deer, bighorn sheep, elk, moose, coyotes, and feral hogs.

When mountain lions prey on smaller animals like porcupines or raccoons they most likely do so out of necessity to survive rather than just for fun.

Mountain lions will eat almost any meat they can find. They will eat carrion and even other mountain lions if their usual food sources are scarce or dead.

More Examples of Animals That Are Predators

  • North American cougars
  • Polar bears
  • Quolls
  • Rattlesnakes
  • Red wolves
  • Saltwater crocodiles
  • Snow leopards
  • Tasmanian devils
  • Tigers
  • Tigerfish
  • Weasels
  • West African lungfish
  • Western diamondback rattlesnakes
  • Wildcats
  • Wolves
  • Wolverines
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