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Predation - Practice Questions & MCQ

Edited By admin | Updated on Sep 18, 2023 18:34 AM | #NEET

Quick Facts

  • Predation is considered one of the most asked concept.

  • 10 Questions around this concept.

Solve by difficulty

Which of the following describes a facultative predator?

 

  

Why do some predators only target a particular kind of prey?

Concepts Covered - 1

Predation

 

  • It is an interspecific interaction, where an animal called predator kills and consumes the other weaker animal called prey. This is a biological control method.
  • Predation as nature’s way of transferring the energy fixed by the plants to higher trophic levels.
  • Although animals eating plants are categorised separately as herbivores, they are, in a broad ecological context, not very different from predators.

Role of Predators in an ecosystem:

  • Predators keep prey populations under control. But for predators, prey species could achieve very high population densities and cause ecosystem instability. 
  • Biological control methods adopted in agricultural pest control are based on the ability of the predator to regulate prey population. 
  • Predators also help in maintaining species diversity in a community, by reducing the intensity of competition among competing prey species. 
  • In the rocky intertidal communities of the American Pacific Coast the starfish Pisaster is an important predator. 
  • In a field experiment, when all the starfish were removed from an enclosed intertidal area, more than 10 species of invertebrates became extinct within a year, because of interspecific competition.

Strategies adapted by prey to avoid predation:

  • If a predator is too efficient and over exploits its prey, then the prey might become extinct and following it, the predator will also become extinct for lack of food. 
  • This is the reason why predators in nature are ‘prudent’. 
  • Prey species have evolved various defenses to lessen the impact of predation. 
  • Some species of insects and frogs are cryptically-coloured (camouflaged) to avoid being detected easily by the predator. 
  • Some are poisonous and therefore avoided by the predators. 
  • The Monarch butterfly is highly distasteful to its predator (bird) because of a special chemical present in its body.
  • Interestingly, the butterfly acquires this chemical during its caterpillar stage by feeding on a poisonous weed.

Adaptations in plants to deter herbivores:

  • For plants, herbivores are the predators. 
  • Nearly 25 percent of all insects are known to be phytophagous (feeding on plant sap and other parts of plants). 
  • The problem is particularly severe for plants because, unlike animals, they cannot run away from their predators.
  • Plants therefore have evolved an astonishing variety of morphological and chemical defences against herbivores. 
  • Thorns (Acacia, Cactus) are the most common morphological means of defence. 
  • Many plants produce and store chemicals that make the herbivore sick when they are eaten, inhibit feeding or digestion, disrupt its reproduction or even kill it. 
  • The weed Calotropis grows in abandoned fields. The plant produces highly poisonous cardiac glycosides and that is why you never see any cattle or goats browsing on this plant. 
  • A wide variety of chemical substances that we extract from plants on a commercial scale (nicotine, caffeine, quinine, strychnine, opium, etc.,) are produced by them actually as defences against grazers and browsers.
     

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Predation

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Books

Reference Books

Predation

Biology Textbook for Class XII

Page No. : 233

Line : 16

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