Apex predators or alpha predators or top predators are the animals that lie at top of the food chain. Its exist on all environment on planet Earth and are listed as one of the most powerful animals in the world. Some of the examples of apex predators are tigers, lions etc because there is no natural enemy of these animals apart from humans.
Now, let’s discuss how these apex predators are distributed in their environment, For example, An eagle can be classified as an apex predator of his own environmental and there are other eagles species that do not have natural predators when they are young, howvever, when they are old they can be prey for bears and wolverines. So, the best definition of apex predator would be the species within an ecosystem that are at the top of the food chain/trophic levels and who can displace all or most of the predators living in that ecosystem. Here is the list of apex predators in the world,
1. Killer Whale
- The killer whale is a toothed whale that belongs to the oceanic dolphin family. Also known as Orca whale or blackfish or grampus can be seen in all oceans, howvever, majority of them can be seen in the colder climates.
- Orcas can sail at a speed of 30 miles per hour making it the fastest sea creature in the world.
- Grampus can be easily identified by a unique mark behind their dorsal fin. This is also helpful in distinguishing one whale with another.
- It can grow upto 30 feet in length and can weigh up to 12,000 lbs. The Brain of the whale is 5 times greater than human beings, however, it is structured like human brains making it one of the intelligent sea creatures.
- The average lifespan of killer whales is 90 years for females and up to 60 years for males.
- Killer whales are the only species that are known to attack large marine animals, whales and sharks.
- It is also listed in the types of whales.
2. Great White Shark
- Great White Sharks are the largest predatory species and one of the most successful apex predators in the oceans. They are mostly seen in the deep water and near the coast of all continents except Antarctica.
- Taling about the appearance, the backside of the shark is dark in colour, however, the bellies are completely white. The colour combination is actually;y serves as a camouflage that helps shark in attacking prey without visibility.
- It can eat an entire sea lion in a single go.
- One of the apex predators dont produce sounds and used to communicate with the help of body language and scents.
- Great white sharks are equipped with electro-receptors that help them in detecting electric field of all animals in the water and locating the prey as well.
- The species are solitary animals and gather only during mating season.
- The average lifespan of the species is 60 years.
- Great White Shark is also listed as one of the scary sharks in the world.
- Tigers are the biggest cats in the world that can thrive in a wide range of climates of Asia and Russia. Currently, 5 subspecies of tiger are known in the wild and all of them are critically endangered because of poaching and loss of habitat.
- Siberian tiger is the biggest subspecies of tiger that can grow 11 feet in length and can weigh up to 660 pounds. The tail of the tigers can provide them with balance while running and can also be used for communication.
- Tigers can be easily identified and known for their stripes. All stripes are uniquely placed that is used for identification.
- White tigers are very rare in wildlife and they have white fur with stripes and blue eyes.
- Tigers are also solitary animals and only meet during mating season, however, there are scenarios when they form groups and it is known as “streak” of tigers.
- The average lifespan of species is 10-15 years in the wild and around 20 in captivity.
4. Polar Bear
- Polar Bears are the largest species of bears and land apex predators in the world. It is mostly seen in the Arctic region of Russia, Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Norway.
- A polar bear can grow up to 1500 pounds and can reach 10 feet in length. It spends most of the time in the water when they are hunting its prey mostly seals which is the main food source.
- Talking about the appearance, they have complete white fur which helps them in blending with their environment easily.
- They have an incredible sense of smell and can sense their prey right from 20 miles away. Obviously, success cannot come in a single go, so it has been seen polar bears showing angry behaviours when it loses its prey. They will also break chunks of ice, kick snow or growl when they are not successful in hunting.
- Polar bears mating season is April and May where females give birth to 1-3 cubs in November or December.
- The average lifespan of polar bears is 15-18 years in the wild and over 30 years in captivity.
- Lions are also one of the largest cats in the world mostly seen in the southern and eastern parts of Africa. They are mostly seen in groups known as pride which is consist of one or two males and a large number of females.
- They are carnivores in nature and hunt mostly antelopes, zebras and wildebeests. There are scenarios where they can act as scavengers and sometimes attack hyenas and steal their prey.
- The teeth of the lion are called carnassials which act like a pair of scissors and can easily chop meat that can be swallowed without chewing. Both lion and lioness greet each other by rubbing.
- Lioness used to give birth to 1-3 cubs each 2 years. Initially, cubs have spotted at birth but the diapers later when they grow up.
- The worst enemies of the lion are Porcupine because of its sharp quills which can be stuck in lion jaws.
- The average lifespan of the lion is 15 years in the wild and can survive 25-30 years in captivity.
6. Golden Eagle
- Golden eagle is known for its beautiful plumage and powerful hunting skills. It is the largest North American bird and can grow upto 3 feet. The wingspan can be spread upto 6 to 7 feet.
- Talking about the appearance, The plumage is dark brown with flecks of gold coloring around the head and neck. The eyes are brown with yellow beak and talons that grow to 3 inches.
- It is the most visible bird in the northern hemisphere. even they re visible in mountainous areas, canyonlands, riverside cliffs and bluffs.
- Golden eagles are carnivorous and they are capable enough to take down an adult deer.
- The mating age of Golden eagle is when they are 4 years old and they stay with the same mate for years and often for life.
- Golden Eagle is one of the most beautiful eagle species in the world.
7. Saltwater Crocodile
- Saltwater crocodiles are the largest crocodiles species in the world and also listed as the largest living reptile on planet Earth.
- The male species of Saltwater crocodile can reach upto 23 feet (7 m) in length and weights of 2,205 pounds, Female ar much smaller than males.
- The average teeth of the adult crocodile are 66 teeth on average and have the greatest bite pressure among all animal species.
- The average lifespan of the species is more than 70 years.
- One of the apex predators can attack birds, turtles, pigs, crabs and even buffalos.
- It used to communicate with each other with the help of sounds like barking, hissing, growling and chirps.
8. Komodo Dragon
- Komodo Dragon looks like a mythical animal that can be only seen in four islands Komodo, Flores, Rinca and Gili Motang.
- It is believed that these animals are very old and exist from millions of years on planet Earth; however, they have discovered 100 years ago when the plane was accidentally landed on the planet.
- Komodo is the largest lizard species that can reach upto 10 feet in length and weigh up to 200 pounds.
- The average lifespan of Komodo dragons is 30 years in the wild.
- Komodo dragons are great swimmers and capable of swimming from one island to other.
9. Snow Leopard
- Snow Leopard is a type of wild cats and mostly distributed in small parts of Central and South Asia.
- It is loved to thrive in cold and dry mountains on the altitude of 9800 to 17000 feet.
- The snow leopard is endangered because of and approximately 3500 to 7000 animals can be found in the wild.
- The leopard species can reach upto 6 to 7.5 feet in length and 77 to 120 pounds of weight.
- Talking about the appearance, Snow leopards has soft and thick fur with black dots arranged in rosettes around brown spots.
- It is also listed as one of the most amazingly camouflaged animals in the world.
- The average lifespan of snow leopards is unknown and its 21 years in the captivity.
10. Grizzly Bear
- Grizzly Bear is one of the subspecies of the brown bear which is believed to be originated from Europe and Asia but now they can be seen only in North America and Canada.
- Grizzly Bear can be easily identified by brown fur, however, hairs on the shoulders and back have white tops.
- The bear subspecies used to use growls, roars and snorts to communicate with each other.
- It is a solitary animal and can be seen in the group only during the migration of salmon. It used to eat 25 fish per day during hibernation to gain fat as a reserve in the body.
- The average lifespan is 30 years in the wild and up to 40 years in captivity.
- It is also listed as one of the dangerous animals in western America.
These are the list of apex predators in the world. Kindly share and do post your comments.