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34 Examples of Animals that are Prey (A to Z List & Photos)

examples of prey animals

Examples of animals that are prey include Beavers, Buffaloes, Capybaras, Chickens, and Cows.

Animals that are prey, such as deer and rabbits, have a few adaptations to help them survive in the wild. These include speed, camouflage, and keen senses of hearing and smell.

Animals that are prey are in danger of being eaten by other animals. They need to watch their surroundings carefully, be aware of any sounds or movements, and travel in groups when they can.

Prey animals have evolved over time to do these things in order to survive, but not all prey animals use the same techniques.

Examples of Animals that are Prey

1. Ants

fire ant
Scientific NameSolenopsis invicta
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

While not the first animal that comes to mind when you think of prey, ants are in fact eaten by a wide range of animals. The most famous, of course, is the anteater, an animal that gets its name for its love of ants as a meal. The anteater’s long straw-like snout is designed to suck up ants from the ground.

2. Beavers

beaver
Scientific NameCastor
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeUnited States
DietHerbivore

Beavers are prey for many animals, including wolves, coyotes, bears, and cougars. They live in colonies to help protect each other from being eaten.

3. Buffaloes

Wild Water Buffalo
Scientific NameBison bison
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAsia and Africa
DietHerbivore

Buffaloes live in Africa and Asia. They are preyed on by lions, tigers, hyenas, and crocodiles.

4. Capybaras

Capybara
Scientific NameHydrochoerus hydrochaeris
Type of AnimalMammal
RangePanama, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, Northeast Argentina, and Uruguay
DietHerbivore

Capybaras are semi-aquatic mammals that live in South America. They are preyed on by Jaguars, Harpy Eagles, and Anacondas.

5. Chickens

chicken
Scientific NameGallus gallus domesticus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Animals that may pose a threat to chickens include foxes, raccoons, and coyotes. However, dogs can be very dangerous as well. Chickens need to have their coop secured so predators cannot get in during the night or while they are away from home.

\Without a secure coop, chickens may be at risk of predators. Predators can also pick off newborn chicks if they are not properly protected.

6. Cows

cows
Scientific NameBos taurus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietHerbivore

Cows’ predators vary depending on the location. Some predators that will hunt them down include large cats like tigers, leopards, or cheetahs.

Farmers need to make sure their fences are well-secured and they need to manage populations of predators to protect their livestock.

This is one of the biggest differences between herbivores (animals that eat only plants) and carnivores (animals that eat other animals). Herbivores have to take more risks because they know what’s edible and what’s not. Carnivores, on the other hand, have the luxury of just searching for something to kill.

7. Deer

dead deer
Scientific NameOdocoileus virginianus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangesouthern Canada and most of the United States, except for the Southwest, Alaska, and Hawaii
DietHerbivore

Deer are common in the United States and Canada. They live in a variety of habitats, including forests, fields, and marshes.

Deer are preyed on by many different predators, including coyotes, bobcats, wolves, bears, and humans. Some birds of prey also hunt white-tailed deer.

8. Desert Cottontail

Desert Cottontail
Scientific NameSylvilagus audubonii
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeSouthwest and Plains States, and into Mexico
DietHerbivore

Desert Cottontails live in the deserts of North America. They are preyed upon by many different animals, including foxes and feral cats.

9. Desert Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep
Scientific NameOvis canadensis nelsoni
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangethe American Southwest
DietHerbivore

In the United States, Desert Bighorn Sheep live in Arizona, California, and Utah. The main predator of this animal is Mountain Lion. Other animals that prey on them include bobcats and coyotes.

This species also faces threats from habitat loss due to human development like agriculture and mining as well as disease caused by humans such as chytridiomycosis.

10. Desert Tortoise

Desert Tortoise
Scientific NameGopherus agassizii
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeMojave and Sonoran deserts
DietHerbivore

Desert Tortoise lives in North America. Their predators are coyotes, ravens, and eagles.

11. Domestic Cat

cat
Scientific NameFelis catus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietCarnivore

Domestic cats shouldn’t be let outside on their own because it’s possible they will be preyed upon by coyotes, wolves, and foxes. While cats themselves do love to hunt birds and mice, they’re not the largest or scariest animal on the food chain so they always have to watch their backs.

12. Dragonflies

dragonfly
Scientific NameAnisoptera
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide
DietCarnivore

While dragonflies are carnivores (meaning they prey upon other animals themselves), they’re also common prey for orb-weaving spiders. The spider will spin a web designed to catch the dragonfly mid-flight. The spider will then quickly paralyze the dragonfly with its venom and wrap it up in a web before eating it.

13. Elk

elk
Scientific NameCervus canadensis
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth America
DietHerbivore

Elk are preyed upon by bears and wolves in North America. Alongside deer and moose, they form a group of ungulates who are examples of primary consumers: a group of herbivores who only eat vegetation but who are preyed upon by secondary consumers (carnivores).

14. Spiders

blue tarantula
Scientific NameAraneae
Type of AnimalArachnid
RangeWorldwide
DietCarnivore

While spiders are themselves great hunters, they need to watch their backs, because they’re a favored food source for birds and lizards.

15. Quail

Quail
Scientific NameCallipepla gambelii
Type of AnimalBird
RangeArizona
DietOmnivore

Quails live in open habitats such as grasslands, deserts, and shrublands. They are preyed on by coyotes, hawks, owls, raccoons, snakes, and other predators. The predators typically attack the birds when they are feeding or roosting.

Quails have evolved adaptations that help them avoid being preyed on, such as cryptic coloring and escape behavior.

They are also relatively fast runners, which allows them to flee from predators when necessary. Despite these adaptations, quails are still occasionally preyed upon by predators.

16. Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove
Scientific NameZenaida macroura
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorth America
DietOmnivore

These birds are found throughout the year in North America, Central America, and South America. They feed on insects, small amphibians, seeds, and grain.

Their predators include owls, hawks, or falcons who wait for them to come down from their nests at night when they are sleeping before swooping in for a meal.

17. Jackrabbits

Antelope Jackrabbit
Scientific NameLepus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangethe western United States
DietHerbivore

Jackrabbits live in open areas, such as prairies, grasslands, and scrublands. They are preyed upon by Coyotes, Golden Eagles, and other predators.

Jackrabbits use their speed to escape danger and can leap up to 15 feet (or more) in a single bound! Their long ears help them keep an ear out for predators.

18. Fish

Dascyllus Fish
Scientific NameOsteichthyes
Type of AnimalFish
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Fish live in different types of water, such as saltwater or freshwater. They are preyed on by large fish and other animals that eat meat, including humans. Some examples include sharks, dolphins, whales, and polar bears.

19. Goats

Mountain Goat
Scientific NameCapra aegagrus hircus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietHerbivore

Goats are prey animals that live in a variety of habitats. They can be found in open fields, mountain meadows, and even the desert. Goats have several predators including lions, tigers, leopards, wolves, coyotes, and bears. These predators stalk and kill their prey by attacking from behind or by biting the neck.

20. Iguanas

Desert Iguana
Scientific NameIguana
Type of AnimalReptile
Rangenorthern Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean Islands, and southern Brazil
DietHerbivore

Iguanas live all over the world and there are many animals that prey on them. The main predators of Iguanas include snakes, birds, small mammals like coyotes, and other wild cats.

21. Impalas

Impala
Scientific NameAepyceros melampus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangesouthern Africa
DietHerbivore

Impalas are found in the grasslands, savannas, and open woodlands of Africa. They prefer to live near rivers, but may also be found along forest margins. Impala is preyed upon by lions, cheetahs, leopards, and hyenas.

22. Lizards

Chuckwalla Lizard
Scientific NameLacertilia
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Lizards are common prey of birds and snakes. Many lizards have adapted defense mechanisms like thorny and tough skin as well as a brown-grey coloration that helps them to blend into their environments.

23. Mice

Dormouse
Scientific NameMuridae
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Mice are found in nearly all habitats, from tropics to tundra. They are found on every continent except Antarctica along with their relatives the rats. Most species of mice that live above ground depend upon humans or other animals for food and shelter.

Commonly, snakes and other small reptiles see mice as their prey.

24. Rabbits

European Rabbit
Scientific NameOryctolagus cuniculus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietHerbivore

Rabbits live in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. The animals that prey on them are cats, dogs, foxes, coyotes, and humans. Foxes can even kill rabbits by themselves. Cats often capture the rabbit but do not always eat them immediately.

Dogs will usually run down a rabbit quickly before trying to bite it. Coyotes are the most efficient rabbit predators. They can hunt rabbits in packs to bring them down quickly, but they will also eat other prey as well.

The primary reason for this is that it saves energy because if one coyote catches a rabbit, then there’s no need for another member of the pack to expend its own energy looking for food.

25. Rats

Brown Rat
Scientific NameRattus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietOmnivore

Rats are a favored meal for reptiles such as snakes and larger lizards. Like mice, rats make up a significant portion of a snake’s diet. Similarly, domestic cats love to hunt down rats, and in fact, many ships in the past kept cats onboard to control rat populations.

26. Seals

Harp Seal
Scientific NamePinniped
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeCold waters around the world
DietOmnivore

Seals are the primary food source for polar bears. Polar bears are the only bear species that are exclusively carnivores, and seals are the central animal on their dinner menu.

27. Sheep

sheep
Scientific NameOvis aries
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWorldwide
DietHerbivore

While most sheep are domesticated, there are also species of wild sheep who live in a variety of habitats all over the world, but mostly in rocky mountainous regions. The main predators of sheep are wolves, coyotes, and mountain lions. Other predators include bears, bobcats, and dogs.

In some cases, humans can also be predators to sheep. Predators typically attack young or weak animals, though occasionally healthy adults may be taken as well.

28. Snakes

bird eating a snake
Scientific NameSerpentes
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeWorldwide
DietCarnivore

While humans might look at snakes with fear, they’re actually quite low down the food chain. Snakes are preyed upon by birds, but also even snakes that eat other snakes such as kingsnakes. To avoid predation, snakes will often move only in the cover of night (in other words, many snakes are nocturnal animals).

29. Squirrel

Antelope Squirrel
Scientific NameAmmospermophilus leucurus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangecentral and southern Arizona
DietOmnivore

Animals that are prey upon Squirrel live in North America, where the squirrel is abundant. They are preyed upon by birds of prey, coyotes, and bobcats. Squirrels are quick creatures who can escape their predators often.

30. Swans

Mute Swan
Scientific NameCygnus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorth America throughout the Great Lakes, Midwest, Rocky Mountains, and Pacific Northwest
DietOmnivore

Swans are living in waters, lakes, and rivers. Some animals that prey on Swans include foxes, raccoons, large fish like sharks or alligators.

There is also a possibility of birds preying on swans including hawks and eagles. These predators mainly attack the young cygnets because they are more vulnerable than adults.

31. Wild Boar

Wild Boar
Scientific NameSus scrofa
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangewestern and northern Europe and North Africa to India, the Andaman Islands, and China
DietOmnivore

Wild boars are found in Europe, Asia, and North Africa. They live in dense forests and eat a variety of things, including fruits, nuts, roots, and insects. Their main predators are wolves, but they may also be preyed upon by lions or tigers. Bears also sometimes prey on them. In some cases, wild boars have been known to prey on humans.

32. Wild Burro

Wild Burro
Scientific NameEquus asinus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeCalifornia, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and Oregon
DietHerbivore

The Wild Burro is native to North America and it’s a large mammal that lives in desert areas. They typically live around grasses, herbs, and shrubs because they need these plants for food. The Wild Burro does have predators such as mountain lions, bobcats, or coyotes but humans are the biggest threat to their existence.

The Wild Burro can weigh up to 600 pounds and live up to 30 years in the wild. They are preyed on by mountain lions, bobcats, or coyotes but humans are the biggest threat to their existence.

The Wild Burro is a herbivore that feeds mainly on grasses, herbs, and shrubs.

33. Wildebeests

Wildebeest
Scientific NameConnochaetes
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeEastern Africa
DietHerbivore

Wildebeests live in the grasslands of Africa. Their main predators are lions, crocodiles, and humans.

34. Zebras

Zebra
Scientific NameEquus quagga
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangesouthern Africa
DietHerbivore

Zebras live in Africa and there are many different predators that prey on them. Lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, African wild dogs, and crocodiles are all known to hunt zebras. The main reason why zebras have such distinctive stripes is to help them avoid getting eaten.

Their stripes blend in with the tall grasses of African savannahs, making it difficult for predators to see them.

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