Top 5 Social Predators
What Are Social Predators?
Unlike solitary predators who hunt alone, social predators often hunt their preys with several members of its own species.
They often team up to organize their hunt, which turns out to be so efficient that most of the time the preys couldn't escape from their ferocious attack.
With an organized attack, these social predators often tackle preys much bigger than their size. Therefore, in this lens, we shall look at some of the best social predators and the strategies they use!
Intro image courtesy of http://newspaper.li/lion/
Photos and videos in this lens are not for the faint-hearted and children. Parental guidance strongly advised!
Top Social Predators #1 - LIONS
Scientific Name: Panthera leo
Interesting Fact: Lions are the only cats that live in a family group, which is known as a pride.
In the African savannah where the lions live, herbivores that thrive there are by no means small preys to the lions. Buffaloes, zebras, antelopes and wildebeest are all bigger and taller than the lions (perhaps except antelopes).
Therefore, lions often team up to attack and bring down such huge preys. Their cooperation in attack also enables them to even hunt and bring down preys even larger than those mentioned above, such as hippopotamus, rhinoceros and even elephants!
Watch the video below to see how a pride of lions attack and eventually bring down one of their favourite but largest prey - the buffalo.
Top Social Predator #2 - KILLER WHALES
Scientific Name: Orcinus orca
Interesting fact: Killer whales, also known as orcas, are actually NOT whales. They are in fact the largest species of dolphins in the dolphin family, Delphinidae.
The highly intelligent killer whales hunt in pods, family groups of up to 40 individuals. Pods of killer whales may be categorized into are resident pods and transient pods.
The 2 different pods may have some preference in their choice of preys and use different techniques to hunt them. Basically, resident pods prefer fish while transient pods tend to go for marine mammals, such as seals, sea lions and even whales!
All pods use effective, cooperative hunting techniques that some liken to the behavior of wolf packs. Watch how these transient orcas catch a seal in the video below.
VIDEO - Orcas hunt seal - Watch how the orcas hunt the seal with a clever strategy!
Top Social Predator #3 - WOLVES
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Scientific name: Canis lupus
Interesting fact: Dogs that live with us nowadays were once wolves! Basically they're domesticated wolves.
When one thinks about wolves, their spine-tingling howls come to mind. Actually wolves use such howls to communicate with other wolves.
Wolves live and hunt in family groups of around six to ten animals, known as packs.
These social animals cooperate to hunt their preferred preys, which are large animals that include deer, elk, bison and moose. Watch their hunting techniques in the following video.
VIDEO - Wolves Hunting Technique - Watch how the wolves hunt
Top Social Predator #4 - DOLPHINS
Image courtesy of http://illusion.scene360.com/art/16338/the-sardine...
Scientific Name: Tursiops truncatus
Interesting fact: Dolphins are one of the most intelligent animals on the planet, rivaling only the chimpanzees.
What makes dolphins top social predators?
There are many species of dolphins but they are mainly categorized into two main groups, the oceanic dolphins and the river dolphins. Some of the more commonly known oceanic dolphins are the bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins and the spotted dolphins.
All these species eat mainly fish, crabs and squids. Dolphins are armed with speed, cooperation, intelligence and most importantly echolocation, which means using sonar to track their preys!
Dolphins have been observed by biologists and scientists to have employed many different strategies to hunt their prey. Check out the videos below to see how they hunt!
Top Social Predator #5 - CHIMPANZEES
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Scientific Name: Pan troglodytes
Interesting fact: The chimpanzees are our closest relatives, sharing 99% of the same genes!
Chimpanzees are actually omnivores. They eat generally fruits and plants but they are also known to eat insects, eggs, and occasionally meat. That's when the chimps display their amazing cooperative hunting technique!
Their cooperation, teamwork and intelligent strategy are so impressive that they are considered one of the most intelligent animals of the planet, rivaling the dolphins.
Watch the video below and see how they hunt the colobus monkeys with their extraordinary strategy!