List of Predator Animals (55 Examples & Pictures) (2022)

Predator animals are animals that hunt and feed on other organisms, having the bulk of their diet consisting of meat. Examples of predators include crocodiles, lions, hyenas, wolves, sharks, eagles, owls, and many others.

Buckle up; in this article, we are going to talk about the world’s most impressive predators.

Table of Contents

List of Predator Animals

Lions

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Scientific Name: Panthera Leo
Type of Animal: Mammal
Diet: Carnivore

Among the most iconic animals in the world, lions are formidable apex predators.

Made of up to a quarter of a ton of lean muscle, sharp teeth, and claws, lions are powerful enough to take down almost anything they come across and regularly hunt prey over twice their size.

Lions prefer to hunt large mammals, such as zebra, African buffalo, wildebeest, and giraffe. A single lion is more than capable of killing a zebra by latching onto it with its massive claws and delivering a killing bite to its throat.

Unlike most other big cats, lions hunt cooperatively in groups, allowing them to hunt much larger prey, including giraffes.

Related Article: Examples of Prey Animals

Tigers

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Scientific Name: Panthera tigris
Type of Animal: Mammal
Diet: Carnivore

Like their African cousins, tigers are apex predators in their natural habitats.

They are a similar build to lions, with extremely muscular, agile bodies and large teeth and claws. The largest tiger subspecies, the Siberian tiger, is the largest cat on the planet, weighing up to 660lb (300kg), sometimes more.

Unlike lions, tigers are primarily solitary hunters, though groups of two or three have been observed cooperating on occasion.

They are opportunistic ambush predators and will hunt anything they can, from monkeys and fish to water buffalo and guar (a large deer-like animal).

Tigers are some of the most fearless animals in the world, known to attack and kill Asian elephants and rhinoceros!

Dolphins

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Scientific Name: Delphinidae
Type of Animal:
Mammal
Diet:
Carnivore

Dolphins are carnivores that live in the ocean and are known for their brilliant hunting strategies. These marine predator animals use echolocation to find their food.

By making short sounds (clicks), dolphins listen for echoes to locate the prey.

The diet of dolphins depends on the species and the food availability in the habitat they live. However, the most common meals include fish, squids, octopuses, jellyfish, and shrimp.

A fully grown dolphin will eat about 5% of its total body weight each day.

Brown Bears

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Scientific Name:Ursus arctos
Type of Animal:
Mammal
Diet:
Omnivore

Brown bears, also known as grizzly bears, are highly versatile hunters.

Depending on what is available, they will eat anything from rodents and fish to elk. Though they rely on berries, nuts, and other plants for much of their diet.

However, a bear will rarely pass up the chance for something more substantial, particularly before hibernation.

Bears hunt by chasing down their prey and killing it either with a blow from their massive paws or a crushing bite to the skull or neck. A brown bear’s bite is as strong as a tiger’s: powerful enough to crush a bowling ball!

Green Anacondas

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Scientific Name:Eunectes murinus
Type of Animal:
Reptile
Diet:
Carnivore

The green anaconda is one gigantic predator animal measuring over 17ft (5.2m). They spend most of their lives either in or near water, in the marshes of South America.

Anacondas are constrictors, meaning they do not have venom but rather kill their prey by wrapping their powerful bodies around them and squeezing them to death.

The giant reptile typically lies in wait just under the water’s surface until an animal comes for a drink. The anaconda then strikes, biting its prey and pulling it into its suffocating grasp.

Once the prey is dead, the anaconda swallows it whole. Anacondas eat anything they can overpower, from birds to capybaras to caimans.

Red-tailed Hawks

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Scientific Name: Buteo jamaicensis
Type of Animal:
Bird
Diet:
Carnivore

Recognized by wide wings and short tails, red-tailed hawks are swift sky predators. Found throughout most of North America, they are some of the largest birds in that part of the world.

A usual meal for red-tailed hawks includes birds, reptiles, and small mammals.

These birds of prey typically hunt from a high perch.They utilize their extraordinary visual abilities to spot the prey from a significant distance.

Once they see their target, red-tailed hawks swoop down with great speed and capture the prey with their powerful talons.

Tarantulas

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Scientific Name: Theraphosidae
Type of Animal:
Arachnida
Diet:
Carnivore

Tarantulas are some of the most feared creatures on the planet. When it comes to hunting the prey, these eight-legged predators are some of the most patient animals.

Tarantulas are nocturnal hunters, and they primarily rely on ambush strategies.

These hairy creatures will lie motionless and wait for their target to come nearby. Once they are in an attacking range, tarantulas pounce quickly and inflict a venomous bite on their prey.

Tarantulas eat various creatures, including beetles, grasshoppers, arthropods, lizards, crickets, etc.

However, these predator animals will try to hunt anything of the right size in their habitat.

Grey Wolves

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Scientific Name:Canis lupus
Type of Animal:
Mammal
Diet:
Carnivore

Grey wolves are the most prominent canid (dog) family members and can grow up to 120lb (55kg). Wolves hunt in packs ranging in size from 5 to 40 individuals.

They are fast runners, able to reach speeds of up to 40mph (64kph), and have incredible stamina.

Wolves hunt together and adapt their strategy according to their prey. The pack invariably chases the target until it is too tio continue, then goes in for the kill.

With smaller prey, such as sheep, the wolves kill by biting the throat and severing the carotid artery and essential nerves. Larger prey, such as moose, are (unfortunately for them) harder to take down.

The pack typically takes turns biting at the animal to tire it out before tearing it apart when it can no longer fight.

Great White Sharks

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Scientific Name: Carcharodon carcharias
Type of Animal:
Fish
Diet:
Carnivore

Growing up to 20ft (6.1m) in length, the great white shark is the world’s largest predatory fish.

These aquatic animals are opportunistic predators that hunt anything from fish to seabirds to other sharks. However, they prefer fatty prey, such as seals.

They hunt by stalking their prey before rushing at it with incredible force and delivering a massive, often fatal, bite. Their coloration helps them avoid detection.

The grey upper portion makes them difficult to see from above, allowing them to ambush their prey from below.

This technique will also enable them to hunt dolphins and porpoises, as the prey’s echolocation cannot detect the shark lurking beneath.

Orcas

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Scientific Name:Orcinus orca
Type of Animal:
Mammal
Diet:
Carnivore

If the great white seems scary, imagine a predator capable of eating it…The orca, or killer whale, is the only natural predator of the great white shark.

These brilliant animals are actually members of the dolphin family and, like their cousins, use complex vocalizations to communicate with one another.

This enables them to be highly efficient hunters, working in teams to chase, herd and kill their prey.

Orcas are adaptable predators, using various hunting strategies for different targets, such as herding salmon towards each other, or chasing seals onto ice floes and then tipping them off into the jaws of their companions.

Orcas even hunt great white sharks for their nutritious livers, working together to ram the shark into unconsciousness.

Crowned Eagles

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Scientific Name: Stephanoatetus coronatus
Type of Animal:
Bird
Diet:
Carnivore

Sometimes known as the “leopard of the sky,” the crowned eagle is considered themost powerful eagleon the African continent.

These forest-dwelling birds primarily use stealth attacks for hunting their prey.

Once they have spotted their game, eagles hop towards it from branch to branch until they are as close as possible. Then they leap down, dropping straight onto its head or back, and use their powerful 2.4-inch (6cm) talons to crush its skull or spine.

The crowned eagle’s diet consists mainly of small mammals, including duikers, rock hyrax, and monkeys.

Praying Mantis

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Scientific Name:Mantodea
Type of Animal:
Insect
Diet:
Carnivore

While perhaps not the most apparent predator, the mantis is nonetheless an impressive hunter.

These insects famously cannibalize each other or other insects but can kill animals such as small fish, birds, and reptiles.

Mantes areambush predatorswho use their long, barbed forelimbs to lash out and grab prey in a lightning-fast motion as soon as it is in reach.

They then use their powerful mandibles to slice into the unfortunate creature’s head, neck, or throat.

Common Kingfisher

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Scientific Name:Alcedo atthis
Type of Animal:
Bird
Diet:
Carnivore

These beautiful blue and orange birds live near freshwater lakes, rivers, and streams, where they find their prey.

As the name suggests, kingfishers hunt fish, using their long, pointed beaks to skewer them, much like a spear-fisher.

Kingfishers spend much of their time perched in branches above the water, waiting for fish to swim by.

When their prey is sighted, they bob their heads back and forth to gauge the distance, then dive into the water to catch it before returning to the trees and swallowing it whole.

Nile Crocodiles

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Scientific Name: Crocodylus niloticus
Type of Animal:
Reptile
Diet:
Carnivore

Another freshwater predator, though considerably more fearsome than the last, the Nile crocodile is one of the largest reptiles, if not the largest reptile, in the world, growing over 20ft (6.1m) long and weighing over 2,400lb (1000kg).

Nile crocodiles are known for their aggression and are responsible for many attacks on humans. Their diet usually consists of buffalo, zebra, and ungulates.

Still, they are not fussy and will eat almost anything they can.

Crocodiles are generally ambushing hunters, slowly creeping up to their prey, with only their eyes and noses above the water.

When the moment is right, they leap out of the water to bite the animal’s throat with immense force, pulling it underwater and drowning it.

Some crocodiles have also been observed dashing out of the water to take animals on land. They are surprisingly fast over short distances.

Bald Eagles

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Scientific Name: Crocodylus niloticus
Type of Animal:
Bird
Diet:
Carnivore

Bald eagles are some of the most skilled predator animals adapted for killing other organisms. These majestic birds of prey have solid and curved talons perfectly adapted for catching their favorite food – fish.

The grip of bald eagles is equivalent to 400 PSI, 10x more powerful than the squeeze of a human hand.

Bald eagles are such efficient hunters they rarely spend more than a few hours hunting.

Once they notice their next meal, bald eagles fly up to 100mph (160kph) and use their feet to snatch their target with great precision.

Thanks to their impressive vision, bald eagles can spot their prey from more than 3 miles (4km) away.

Cheetahs

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Scientific Name: Acinonyx jubatus
Type of Animal:
Mammal
Diet:
Carnivore

The fastest land animal on earth, the cheetah can run at up to 70mph (112kph). It can achieve this due to its light, streamlined build, and long limbs.

Unlike other cat species, cheetahs cannot fully retract their claws, allowing them better grip when performing high-speed turns.

Cheetahs usually hunt small ungulates, such as impala or gazelle, and sometimes hares, urials, or wild goats. They occasionally hunt in small groups, which allows them to take on larger prey.

These speedy cats hunt by stalking as close to their prey as possible before chasing them in an incredible burst of speed and leaping onto their backs.

Like many cats, cheethas kill with a strangling bite to the throat.

Polar Bears

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Scientific Name:Ursus maritimus
Type of Animal:
Mammal
Diet:
Carnivore

The polar bear is the largest land predator globally, with some weighing over 450lb (1000kg).

Polar bears are equipped with massive paws, sharp claws, and strong teeth and jaws. They mostly hunt seals, waiting for them to surface to breathe from holes in the ice.

The polar bear drags the seal out of the water and kills it by crushing its skull in its formidable jaws. These Arctic giants are equipped with a tremendous sense of smell – one of the best of all predators.

Their nose is so powerful that they can smell a seal from more than 20 miles (32km) away.

While they prefer seals, polar bears have been known to hunt giant deer, walruses, and even beluga whales, which they swipe or bite at when they come up for air.

Leopards

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Scientific Name: Crocodylus niloticus
Type of Animal:
Mammal
Diet:
Carnivore

Another ambush predators from a felines family, leopards are formidable hunters. In fact, out of all big cat members, leopards are the most successful hunters.

With a 38% success rate, they are leaders in the category of the best hunters among their relatives.

These spotted cats are experts in blending into the environment, making themselves almost invisible. Leopards stalk their prey while being in completely stealth mode, getting closer with each step.

When the opportunity comes, leopards pounce on their target and use their powerful teeth to take down the prey.

The most common animals that leopards prey upon are hares, baboons, lizards, birds, impalas, and warthogs.

American Bullfrogs

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Scientific Name: Lithobates catesbeianus
Type of Animal:
Amphibian
Diet:
Carnivore

These giant frogs eat just about anything and everything they can overpower and fit in their mouths.

Their prey ranges from insects and invertebrates to mice, birds, and other frogs. They hunt smaller prey using sticky, projectile tongues to snatch them into their mouths.

A larger target is more often pounced on with open mouths.

The bullfrog uses its powerful jaws to clamp down on the prey and either drown it underwater or uses its hands to stuff it into its mouth immediately.

Komodo Dragons

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Scientific Name: Varanus komodoensis
Type of Animal:
Reptile
Diet:
Carnivore

These massive lizards can grow to over 10ft (3m) long and weigh over 300lb (135kg). Komodos are opportunistic predators, eating anything from mice to buffalo.

They are mainly ambushing predators, lying in wait until their prey is close enough to attack.

Larger prey often escapes the komodo dragon’s initial attack. However, this is not a failure. Komodos have incredibly “dirty” mouths, housing highly septic bacteria.

They also possess a venom gland in their lower jaw and sharp, serrated teeth. The venom is hemotoxic, meaning it prevents blood from clotting, causing excessive bleeding.

Whether their prey succumbs to infection or blood loss first is no matter to the komodo, which uses its acute sense of smell to track the animal down and finish it off.

Leopard Seals

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Scientific Name: Hydrurga leptonyx
Type of Animal:
Mammal
Diet:
Carnivore

The only known predator of the aptly-named leopard seal is the orca, placing them very near the top of the food chain.

Penguins make up most of their diet, though they will also eat fish and even other seals.

Leopard seals hunt in a similar manner to crocodiles, lying in wait under the surface of the water, watching their prey on the ice.

They leap out and grab the animal in their powerful jaws and beat it against the ice to kill it. Pretty brutal!

As a rule of thumb, leopard seals eat between 4 and 6 percent of their total body weight per day.

Wolverines

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Scientific Name: Gulo gulo
Type of Animal:
Mammal
Diet:
Carnivore

Renowned for its unrivaled fearlessness, voracious appetite, and natural aggression, the wolverine is a force to be reckoned with.

Though not the largest predators, wolverines are incredibly strong for their size and have a crushing bite and razor-sharp claws.

Wolverines are highly opportunistic, hunting anything from small rodents to large deer and even coyotes. However, they are not particularly fast over long distances, so they rely on being close enough to their prey to rush at it and overpower it.

These scary creatures use their long claws to tear into their prey and their powerful bite to crush the animal’s skull or throat.

Falcons

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Scientific Name: Falco
Type of Animal:
Bird
Diet:
Carnivore

Another predator animal and a member of the so-called raptor birds is the falcon.

Equipped with thin and tapered wings, falcons can quickly change directions and fly at super high speeds.

They are widely known for their wondrous hunting strategy known as the dive. When it spots the prey, the falcon folds its wings and swoops down from the sky like a bullet, gaining speeds of over 200 mph (321 kph).

Before it reaches its target, the falcon closes its talons and strikes the prey, landing a death strike.

The most common animals consumed by falcons include small mammals, fish, and other birds.

Great Barracudas

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Scientific Name: Sphyraena barracuda
Type of Animal:
Fish
Diet:
Carnivore

The barracuda is a voracious saltwater predator, growing some 6ft (2m) in length. It eats other fish, including mullet, herring, and groupers.

These big fish rely on their impressive speed to catch their prey and can swim at up to 36mph (58kph).

They have jaws packed with sharp, pointed teeth, which they use to slice prey in half before devouring them.

Barracudas are diurnal predators and are attracted to shiny objects, likely because they resemble the scales of their prey.

If you happen to be a diver, removing any jewelry before entering barracuda territory would be wise.

Snowy Owls

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Scientific Name:Bubo scandiacus
Type of Animal:
Bird
Diet:
Carnivore

Famously a beloved companion of a certain scruffy-haired wizard boy, the snowy owl is immediately recognizable for its beautiful white plumage.

These feathers are so soft, in fact, that they allow the owl to glide almost completely silently through the air.

This adaptation makes it extremely difficult for their prey to detect them in time to escape their sharp talons.

Snowy owls hunt mostly small rodents, such as mice, voles, and lemmings, but, like many predators, will eat other animals if the opportunity presents itself.

They rely on their impeccable eyesight and hearing to track down prey before pouncing on them silently and tearing them apart with their sharp beaks.

Fennec Foxes

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Scientific Name: Vulpes zerda
Type of Animal:
Mammal
Diet:
Omnivore

They may look cute, but these tiny foxes actually make quite efficient hunters. Fennec foxes eat a variety of insects, reptiles, and small rodents.

Still, they are capable of hunting animals more significant than themselves, such as rabbits.

Fennec foxes use their abnormally large ears to hear the tiniest movements of prey underground, then use all four paws to dig it out.

It hunts larger prey by biting its head or throat, subduing it before beginning to eat. So nasty for such a cutie species!

Besides hunting live prey, fennec foxes will consume fruits and leaves in other to hydrate themselves.

Spotted Hyenas

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Scientific Name:Crocuta crocuta
Type of Animal:
Mammal
Diet:
Omnivore

A relative of the wolverine, the spotted hyena is likewise equipped with a powerful bite. In fact, a hyena’s bite is strong enough to crush bone, which their highly acidic stomachs can digest.

Hyenas are pack animals run by a dominant female. They hunt in a similar fashion to wolves, chasing down prey and biting it into submission.

Hyenas eat a range of animals, from impala to wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, and giraffes.

However, these laughing predators are very well known for their scavenging behavior.

Living in large family groups, hyenas will often use their numbers to steal food from other predators, such as lions, jackals, and leopards.

Wolf Spiders

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Scientific Name: Lycosidae
Type of Animal:
Arachnida
Diet:
Carnivore

Unlike most spiders, wolf spiders do not spin webs to catch prey. Like actual wolves, they chase their prey down and pounce on them.

Wolf spiders are very fast, agile hunters with powerful limbs capable of propelling them over large distances.

Most species of wolf spiders eat insects and other invertebrates. However, more giant spiders will sometimes hunt small lizards and rodents.

Once their prey is caught, wolf spiders use their venomous fangs to kill them, liquefying their organs to be sucked out later. Nice.

Giant Petrels

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Scientific Name:Macronectes giganteus
Type of Animal:
Bird
Diet:
Carnivore

These large seabirds are famously aggressive and will attack almost anything they come across.

They will eat almost anything they can, including fish, squid, penguins, and other seabirds. However, the bulk of their diet consists of fish.

Although, giant petrels have even been observed killing albatrosses by holding them underwater and drowning them.

This is a common tactic used by giant petrels for killing other birds, though they also simply batter prey to death with their massive bills.

Red-bellied Piranhas

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Scientific Name:Pygocentrus nattereri
Type of Animal:
Fish
Diet:
Carnivore

Though not very large, these freshwater fish have exceptionally sharp, strong jaws, capable of slicing through bone, and swim in schools of up to 20 or more individuals.

When hunting, piranhas swarm together, biting chunks of flesh off their prey in turns.

However, piranhas do not always hunt in groups, and much of their diet is made up of invertebrates and small fish they catch alone.

In huge groups and when food is scarce, piranhas are capable of killing much larger animals, such as birds or capybara, though this is not common.

These aquatic predators have also been known to attack humans when food is scarce (these attacks are, most of the time, non-fatal).

King Cobras

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Scientific Name:Ophiophagus hannah
Type of Animal:
Reptiles
Diet:
Carnivore

The king cobra is the largest venomous snake on the planet and can reach a massive 20ft (6m) in length.

Unlike most other snakes, it rarely eats mammals; instead mainly feeds on other snakes.

The king cobra’s venom is a paralytic or neurotoxin and exceptionally potent. There are even reports of fully grown elephants dying within hours of a single bite.

Interestingly, an adult king cobra eats one big meal every few months due to its slow metabolism.

Domestic Cats

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Scientific Name:Felis catus
Type of Animal:
Mammal
Diet:
Carnivore

Some cat owners may not like to think about it, but domestic cats are actually very efficient predators, so efficient, in fact, that they have been credited with causing the extinction of some 63 bird species worldwide.

Even if fed well, domestic cats will often be driven by their predatory instincts to hunt other small animals, such as birds, rats, mice, insects, and others.

One particular individual, named Tibbles, is allegedly responsible for decimating an entire endangered bird species on a small island off the coast of New Zealand.

However, it is generally believed there was a small group of feral cats on the island to help him.

Humans

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Scientific Name: Homo sapiens
Type of Animal:
Mammal
Diet:
Omnivore

As impressive or horrifying as Tibbles’ reputation may be, nothing can rival the damage that humans have done, and are continuing to do, to our animal neighbors.

We have gone far beyond the status of an apex predator. In fact, we are now the number one danger to the world around us, being responsible for almost every animal extinction in modern history.

We can only hope that our greatest weapon becomes our saving grace, and we start using our brains to coexist rather than consume.

Trapdoor Spiders

Scientific Name:Ctenizidae
Type of Animal:
Arachnida
Diet: Carnivore

The trapdoor spider family has developed an ingenious way of catching prey.

Like wolf spiders, trapdoor spiders do not spin webs. Instead, they burrow underground and build a hinged cover, or trapdoor, over the entrance.

They wait for prey to walk past – which they can feel through tiny vibrations in the silk threads they leave outside – then ambush them and drag them into their burrows.

A big part of the spider’s diet consists of other insects and small fish. However, these adept predators will also hunt baby frogs, birds, and snakes.

More Examples of Animals That Are Predators

  • Mountain Lions
  • Quolls
  • Black Bears
  • Alligators
  • Weasels
  • Harpy Eagles
  • Rattlesnakes
  • Coconut Crabs
  • Dingoes
  • Lobsters
  • Ferrets
  • Alligators Snapping Turtles
  • Jaguars
  • Coyotes
  • Great Horned Owls
  • Otters
  • Cougars
  • Jackals
  • Fishing Cats
  • Red Foxes
  • Sailfish

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apex_predator

https://animalia.bio/ambush-predator?page=1

https://www.britannica.com/animal/bird-of-prey

https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/carnivore/

https://www.livescience.com/53483-omnivores.html

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