Communities

Writing
Writing
Codidact Meta
Codidact Meta
The Great Outdoors
The Great Outdoors
Photography & Video
Photography & Video
Scientific Speculation
Scientific Speculation
Cooking
Cooking
Electrical Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Judaism
Judaism
Languages & Linguistics
Languages & Linguistics
Software Development
Software Development
Mathematics
Mathematics
Christianity
Christianity
Code Golf
Code Golf
Music
Music
Physics
Physics
Linux Systems
Linux Systems
Power Users
Power Users
Tabletop RPGs
Tabletop RPGs

Dashboard
Notifications
Mark all as read
Q&A

What is the most efficent way of killing prey much larger than yourself?

+2
−0

The title sums it up pretty well - I'm basically trying to envision the ultimate predator of much larger prey. A couple of requirements:

  1. The predator must weigh 44 kilograms or more (Megafauna)
  2. It must be specialized in killing said prey
  3. It must be something that could plausibly evolve
  4. It must be terrestrial and have legs
  5. It must be endothermic
  6. It shall hunt in an environment roughly similar to a savannah
  7. The predator mustn't use tools to hunt, only its body

Pack predators are allowed, but let's limit it to less than 20 individuals in a single hunting group (So no swarming). It can be terrestrial, aquatic or aerial, and parasitoidism is allowed, but not preferred.

On the prey's size - basically, assume that the maximum mass of the prey will be 200,000 kilograms, and that the minimum will be roughly 10x the size of the predator. The closer the prey is to the maximum, the better.

I define efficiency as essentially "the likelihood of a hunting attempt being successful".

As for what I'm looking for in answers, I'd like them to describe as much as is necessary - if only one method or aspect is required for the task, then the rest of the details can be left for me to decide.

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.
Why should this post be closed?

This post was sourced from https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/q/124119. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

1 comment thread

General comments (1 comment)

2 answers

+3
−0

The Honey Badger is known to kill water buffalo by ripping out their scrotum and letting them bleed out. Mostly out of spite I think for being disturbed, they mostly eat small game, honey, bee larvae, insects.

Something evolved to eat large prey has to be a pack animal or it would be a waste of food if it is not shared.

Something fast and poisonous could fit your requirements like a Cheetah with Komodo Dragon saliva and Piranha teeth. :-)

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.

0 comment threads

+1
−0

I would suggest a large flying predator with a straight, thin, sharp horn. For evolutionary support consider a swordfish or narwhal tusk.

The predator is evolved for a sneak swooping attack from behind on the larger prey, basically it flies silently (As owls have evolved to do), does a sharp U-turn above its prey, in the air. It has strong neck muscles that with a jerk stabs its horn through the eye of the prey into its brain, causing a massive brain hemorrhage.

An equally quick jerk back withdraw this stabbing instrument very quickly, and it resumes flight for escape.

If the horn is broken, it is shed and a new one regrows relatively quickly; it really only needs to be long enough to penetrate from eye to a major brain artery.

I would make them social animals for just this reason; the huge prey is enough to feed the whole flock for a month (for evolutionary support, vultures will eat long dead animals), so if one member loses its horn it still eats for the month it takes to regrow the horn.

The advantage of this approach is the prey can hardly develop armor plating for its eyes and still see; the eye with the optic nerve to the brain is a weak point on most animals, and a relatively small brain injury can be quite fatal. If there is bone behind the eye, part of the specialization in the strike is the hunter's horn is precisely the width of the optic nerve for THIS prey, and they find that hole 95% of the time. Several hunters could attack the same animal, if the first fails and breaks its horn, the next guy takes his chance.

This is also not a venom (most venoms kill more than one kind of prey). Many dinosaurs evolved bone plates on the their body and foot-thick skin to thwart direct attacks; they can't defeat this attack that way.

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.

0 comment threads

Sign up to answer this question »

This community is part of the Codidact network. We have other communities too — take a look!

You can also join us in chat!

Want to advertise this community? Use our templates!

Like what we're doing? Support us! Donate