Saturday, August 6, 2011

The World’s Top Ten Living Predators

1. Humans: 



Congratulations, we are the world’s greatest predators alive and walking the face of earth. Yes, that is true. We kill anything for anything. So be it for meat, fur, leather, fat, oil, even for research, etc., we simply KILL. Constant hunting of nearly all the visible species has rendered many to slip into the list of endangered animals. The Tasmanian wolf is one such species which died out due to relentless hunting. If we continue satisfying our greed then this very list will have just one name and it would be us.




2. Salt Water Croc:



Weighing in at an average of 800 kilograms and measuring around 19 feet from snout to tail tip, the salt water crocodile has a wide range of diet choices which include monkeys, kangaroos, humans, gaurs and even sharks. The strength of its jaw and its sudden speed while hunting on land makes it a terror to all who dare to enter its territory.




3. King Cobra:



It did not get the title of ‘king’ for nothing. The longest of all poisonous snakes in the world (18.5 ft recorded), it feeds on other snakes whether poisonous or not. People in Thailand consider this snake as sacred and sometimes play with them but it does not diminish its credibility of being one of the most dangerous predators on our list. When it is out hunting the only escape route for the prey is the jaws of the King.




4. Army Ants:




They are not the ants who roam harmlessly in your house. There are several different species of army ant, but the ones from the Amazon are the deadliest. If you have seen the scarabs which devour their prey in seconds in the movie ‘Mummy’ and the ‘Mummy returns’ then here are the real ones. Any living thing that comes in their way is covered by them as if in a blanket and the bones (if any) are left behind as they march ahead.




5. Tarantula:



Spiders instill a sense of fear amongst all animals on the planet. Tarantulas are giants in spider standards. They are stealthy and skilled hunters. Any small animal that wanders within their grasp has no chance to survive. They can reach 5 inches in length with a 12-inch leg span; tarantulas are able to quickly subdue their prey and crush them with their large fangs. As with most spiders they shower their prey with digestive juices for a great slimy treat.




6. Great White Shark:



‘Jaws’, the book and the movie with the same name on the ‘scourge of the seas’, depicts the viciousness of the animal that can make a clean slice of its prey in one bite (it has a bite force of 18000 newtons). Surely, the Great White is a danger to all the species either below the waters or even above it. Though built for the kill it is not considered to be a threat to humans.




7. Polar Bear:



A Polar bear can be 3 times the size of a Lion. Found in the arctic north, it usually hunts for seals but never misses a chance to feed on arctic whales when hungry. Despite its great strength and size, it manages to balance itself on slippery ice. The fur of this giant helps it to brave the cold climates.




8.Praying Mantis:



The name may give an impression that it is a monk amongst species but on the contrary it is one of the most dangerous predators of our times. Mantises prey on anything from small insects to small snakes. With its uniquely structured limbs, it catches its prey in a trap and devours it. There has to be a reason why a special style of Kung-Fu has been named after it.





9. Komodo Dragon:




The largest of all lizards, the Komodo dragon is a mighty reptile that weighs up to 300 pounds and can reach a length of more than 10 feet. It has speed, size and poison which make it a death machine. They are also voracious eaters as they can consume meat up to half their own body weight in a single meal.





10. Anaconda:




Oh! Its size can send a shiver down anyone’s body. With the distinction of being the world’s largest snake, the anaconda preys on anything from fish to capybaras and sometimes even small domestic animals like goats. However, the tall tales surrounding it has created its mythical reputation none of which has been scientifically proven.
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