What Are the Characteristics of a Predator?

David J Laporte/CC-BY-2.0

Predators possess excellent senses to find their prey, and their bodies are engineered with fangs, sharp claws and teeth, or beaks; some are even armed with poison. Predation refers to the relationship of two animals in which a predator hunts and consumes its prey.

Birds of prey are equipped with outstanding eyesight and sensitive hearing. Other types of predators evolved to have very keen senses of smell that they use to locate their prey.

Predators are often fast. One example is the cheetah, which is known to be a predator of the African savannas. At sea, barracudas and dolphins are considered very fast swimmers that dash to catch their prey, and they’re able to swim at remarkable speeds with minimal water drag.