Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co.
Predators may or may not kill their prey prior to feeding on it, but the act of predation often results in the death of the prey and the eventual absorption of the prey's tissue through digestion.
Predation is often, though not always, carnivory, one of several heterotrophic consumer-resource interactions.
Predation strategies can be classified by trophic level or diet, by specialization, and by the predator's interaction with prey.
While some herbivores like zooplankton live on unicellular phytoplankton and therefore inevitably kill what they eat, in a relationship sometimes called predation, Many species of plant are adapted to regrow after grazing damage.
For example, the growing meristems of grasses are not at the tips as they are in most flowering plants, but at the base of the leaves.
Predators are often another organism's prey, and likewise prey are often predators.Equally, small parasites such as mosquitoes exploit their hosts much as micropredators such as moth caterpillars on an oak tree and grazers do, though endoparasites in particular have a close association with their host species; again there is essentially a continuum between these feeding interactions.Parasitoids are organisms living in or on their host and feeding directly upon it, eventually leading to its death.Parasitoid wasps are solitary insects that live a free life as adults, laying eggs on or in other insects such as lepidopteran caterpillars.The wasp larvae feed on the growing host, eventually killing it.For example, a lion, an apex predator (at the top of its food chain) that preys upon large herbivores such as wildebeest, which in turn eat grasses, is only a secondary consumer.