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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ All these spikes evolved originally as a way of preventing predation by larger fish.
▪ Below low water mark, predation by lobsters may be significant.
▪ It is a reflex born of predation by voracious crabs that nip at the tender tubeworm plumes with their claws.
▪ It would therefore appear that the ensuring of successful pollination must override the importance of losses due to seed predation.
▪ The abandonment of trees makes the species, especially the young, prone to ground predation.
▪ The effects of this predation could be devastating.
▪ This odd reversal of polygyny has been attributed to a very high rate of ground predation whereby clutches are easily lost.
▪ Under natural conditions some bands die out due to severe drought, disease, or increased predation.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Predation \Pre*da"tion\, n. [L. praedatio, fr. praedari to plunder.] The act of pillaging.
--E. Hall.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 15c., "act of plundering or pillaging," from Latin praedationem (nominative praedatio) "a plundering, act of taking booty," from praedari "to rob, to plunder," from praeda "plunder, booty, prey" (see prey (n.)). Zoological sense recorded from 1907.


n. act of predating

  1. n. an act of plundering and pillaging and marauding [syn: depredation]

  2. the act of preying by a predator who kills and eats the prey


In an ecosystem, predation is a biological interaction where a predator (an organism that is hunting) feeds on its prey (the organism that is attacked). Predators may or may not kill their prey prior to feeding on them, but the act of predation often results in the death of the prey and the eventual absorption of the prey's tissue through consumption. Thus predation is often, though not always, carnivory. Other categories of consumption are herbivory (eating parts of plants), fungivory (eating parts of fungi), and detritivory (the consumption of dead organic material ( detritus)). All these consumption categories fall under the rubric of consumer-resource systems. It can often be difficult to separate various types of feeding behaviors. For example, some parasitic species prey on a host organism and then lay their eggs on it for their offspring to feed on it while it continues to live in or on its decaying corpse after it has died. The key characteristic of predation however is the predator's direct impact on the prey population. On the other hand, detritivores simply eat dead organic material arising from the decay of dead individuals and have no direct impact on the "donor" organism(s).

Selective pressures imposed on one another often leads to an evolutionary arms race between prey and predator, resulting in various antipredator adaptations. Ways of classifying predation surveyed here include grouping by trophic level or diet, by specialization, and by the nature of the predator's interaction with prey.

Usage examples of "predation".

Many of its young would fall to starvation, competition with their siblings, or predation by birds and carnivores.

Many of them fell to predation, but that was the way of things: Enough of them would survive.

But here the selective influence of predation would be, if anything, in the direction of making the cries quieter.

Like its behavior, its body was optimized for a lifestyle dominated by inexorable predation, with long, powerful legs for instantaneous acceleration and a streamlined rib cage built around a tremendous set of lungs for sustained speed.

Despite the passage of twenty-some years and the increasingly obvious predation of the PRH, the arguments against keeping the Basilisk System had not quieted in the least.

Since the fall of Okrannel, and the loss of its navy, the pirates have largely been unimpeded in their predation of the lower sea.

Her predations are kept to a minimum while our armies are honed by fighting her.

The Jeranese have not thought about the predations of foreign armies marching through their nation?

As a consequence of these predations the game had been severely reduced in numbers, and even the quagga had become something of a rarity within the immediate environs of the town and castle.

Why, given the superb solid-oak construction and high-quality brass reinforcement, I daresay the Criterion Patented Brassbound Pie Safe could withstand even the predations of our friend the bruin.

Its size means that predation by browsers that can survive its defenses only damages a small portion of the main body.

Vast numbers of sexual predation reports waited years until someone was willing to break the code of silence surrounding them.

You can lock yourself up in a box made of lead, And be safe from the fallout and all cosmic ray But no such protection will save your poor head, For the elements comprising your body betray You with unstable isotopes that leak radiation, Subjecting your neurons to steady predation.

That was the only evidence of nonmotile predation occurring in their immediate vicinity.

The Ovines wanted very much to be free of predation, and this promised that.