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World of Animals: Deadly Predators

World of Animals: Deadly Predators

World of Animals: Deadly Predators

The zebra didn’t see it coming – one moment there was peace, and the next it was trying to escape the jaws of a lion, an apex predator looking for lunch. One of Africa’s most voracious hunters, the lion has adapted itself to the environment, but it’s not the only animal that has done so. In World of Animals Deadly Predators, come face to face with some of the world’s greatest hunters. Uncover the birds of prey that use their speed to their advantage, and meet the sharks that stalk their prey in the ocean. Explore the vicious marsupials in Australia, and take a look at how wild cats and dogs have forged a fearsome reputation. But not all killers are as well known as tigers, eagles and spiders. Discover some surprising critters that hunt down their dinner, and find out which small animal manages to capture and kill an astonishing 95% of its prey.

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Future Publishing Ltd
Frequency:
One-off
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in this issue

1 min.
welcome to book of deadly predators

The zebra didn’t see it coming–one moment there was peace, and the next it was trying to escape the jaws of a lion, an apex predator looking for lunch. One of Africa’s most voracious hunters, the lion has adapted itself to the environment, but it’s not the only animal that has done so. In World of Animals Deadly Predators, come face to face with some of the world’s greatest hunters. Uncover the birds of prey that use their speed to their advantage, and meet the sharks that stalk their prey in the ocean. Explore the vicious marsupials in Australia, and take a look at how wild cats and dogs have forged a fearsome reputation. But not all killers are as well known as tigers, eagles and spiders. Discover some surprising critters that…

1 min.
surprising predators

When you think of a predator, what comes to mind? A huge lion, stalking prey on the Serengeti? A colossal polar bear, cruising the sea ice for a meal? These top hunters are experts at tracking down prey, but predators come in all shapes and sizes. From tiny insects to hungry plants, the natural world has plenty of surprising hunters. Evolutionary adaptations have helped predators develop unique abilities–like that of the short-tailed shrew. Or there’s just a can-do attitude like the honey badger, coupled with a handy immunity to poison. There are even animals such as the mongoose and the king cobra, who live in a perversely harmonious relationship of being each other’s predator and prey simultaneously. Read on to find out more about these crazy hunters and how they’ve evolved…

1 min.
ladybirds

There are 50 species of ladybird in the UK, easily recognisable as friendly garden visitors with bright wing cases and adorable spots. But these little critters have a surprising appetite! From the moment it hatches, a ladybird is hungry, and aphids are the name of the game. Their predatory habits come in very handy–ladybirds are loved by gardeners for their intense appetite for these pests. Aphids are tiny little insects that suck fluids from plants–they reproduce very quickly and can stunt plant growth, especially irritating for growing fruit and vegetables. An adult ladybird can munch down as many as 50 aphids per day–ladybird larvae are almost as ravenous–and one study even purported that in a lifetime, a ladybird can eat 5,000 of these little pests, making them a welcome addition to…

2 min.
carnivorous plants

1 Nepenthes 1> Some species like the tropical pitcher plants of Southeast Asia use a ‘pitfall trap’ to catch prey. The large, modified leaf adopts a jug-like shape which is filled with digestive fluid. Designed to attract prey such as foraging insects like moths, beetles and flies, the unsuspecting critters drop into the bucket-like leaf where they are promptly digested. 2 A sticky situation 2> The ‘flypaper’ approach is one of the most common traps that carnivorous plants will employ. It works in exactly the way that you would think: bright colours and a super-sticky organic goop that looks like honeydew or water sets the trap, luring insects into a false feast. Once landed the prey is immobilised, and a leaf will typically curl over the prey to digest and extract valuable nutrients…

2 min.
honey badger

Having garnered internet fame for a hilariously overdubbed National Geographic video, many of us are now aware that honey badgers just don’t care. And while they sort of do care really, there’s also some truth in the fact that this little member of the weasel family has one of the feistiest attitudes in the animal kingdom and hunts like an absolute maniac. Native to Africa, India and the Middle East, honey badgers are pretty unfussy when it comes to diet. They’ll track down their own meals and also happily scavenge from others. Using an acute sense of smell, long, strong claws and sharp teeth, these badgers seek out anything from small insects, lizards, scorpions, birds and snakes to larger prey like small foxes, antelope or wild cats. This crazy critter also isn’t…

1 min.
chimpanzee

As many primate species like gorillas and orangutans are vegetarian, it can be quite surprising to learn that chimpanzees are predators. These great apes are omnivorous, and will just as happily tuck into fruit and leaves as well as bark, eggs, insects and small animals such as monkeys, bush pigs and rodents. Primatologist Jane Goodall was one of the first to witness chimps hunting for meat in the wild. Although meat only makes up a small percentage of their diet, it’s now known that small groups will hunt together, working as a team in order to catch prey. Some groups of chimps are such effective predators that in one area of Uganda they have hunted their favourite prey–the red colobus monkey–almost to local extinction.…