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carnivore, predator, scavenger (in CC amphib glossary)

fishkeeper

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An organism that feeds upon other organisms. All caudates are carnivores.
 

Daniel

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...feeding on other animal organisms. Plants are organisms, too.

Predator: feeding on living animal organisms.
 

Jennewt

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Carnivore (adj, carnivorous): an animal that feeds only on other animal organisms. In contrast, omnivores eat both plants and animals, and herbivores eat only plants. Nearly all salamanders are strictly carnivorous.

Predator: an animal that eats live prey. Nearly all salamanders are predators and strictly [carnivorous].
 

MRIGUY

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Is a predator an animal that eats live prey or one that hunts / stalks live prey?

I do not believe all carnivores are predatory
 

Jennewt

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Is a predator an animal that eats live prey or one that hunts / stalks live prey?
Is there a difference? Can you give an example (even imaginary) of an animal that would eat live prey but not hunt/stalk it? Or one that would hunt/stalk but not eat the prey? It seems like these activities are inextricably linked, but I may be not thinking hard enough.

I do not believe all carnivores are predatory
True. Some carnivores are scavengers (vultures come to mind!). Do the definitions need to be clarified? Feel free to add to what's there.
 

MRIGUY

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As you noted a vulture is a carnivore but not a predator.
Maggots are carnivorous but not predatory.
My brother eats lots of meat but is quite non-predatory (I'm a veggie so I don't count).
A venus fly trap is carnivorous but not predatory.

I could also be nuts to, so factor that in. I do agree with you on the linking though. If they can't be seperated then this discussion is really just academic.
 

John

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I saw the topic of this thread and I was already to post but MRIGUY said what I wanted to say.
 

Jan

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How are these as final definitions:

Carnivore (adj, carnivorous): An animal that feeds only on other animal organisms. In contrast, omnivores eat both plants and animals, and herbivores eat only plants. Nearly all salamanders are strictly carnivorous.

Predator: An animal that lives by preying on and capturing live animals to eat. Nearly all salamanders are predators and strictly [carnivores].

Scavenger: An animal that feeds on dead organisms, especially [carnivores] that eat dead animals rather than hunting live prey.

Detritivores: Scavengers that eat dead plant and animal material. Healthy [aquariums] contain an assortment of detritivores, which transform aquarium [detritis] into [mulm]. Soil-based [terrariums] also contain detritivores. Detritivores range in size from microscopic to easily-seen, and include creatures such as protozoa, tiny worms, snails, etc. See [Tank Critters article]. Detrivore definiton was finalized elsewhere in this glossary project.
 

SludgeMunkey

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Is there a difference? Can you give an example (even imaginary) of an animal that would eat live prey but not hunt/stalk it? Or one that would hunt/stalk but not eat the prey? It seems like these activities are inextricably linked, but I may be not thinking hard enough.


True. Some carnivores are scavengers (vultures come to mind!). Do the definitions need to be clarified? Feel free to add to what's there.


I can think of quite a few carnivores that do not hunt or stalk prey:
hydra
Venus fly traps
Alligator snapping turtles
hagfish (These guys are scavengers too AND opportunistic predators. They will eat anything that is in or around the carcass they are feeding on)
tubeworms
pitcher plants
jelly fish

I am sure there a quite a few more...


as for clarification of the terms perhaps we should go with-

predator- an organism that consumes live prey. Most caudates are predators.

carnivore- An organism that subsists on other organisms. Caudates are all carnivores.

scavenger- An animal that eats most anything it can find. (See also opportunistic predator)

and then perhaps add:

insectivore- an organism that subsists primarily on insects and other arthropods.

opportunistic predator- an organism that subsists on whatever organism is available to eat. Many caudates are opportunistic predators.
 

Nathan050793

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predator- an organism that consumes live prey. Most caudates are predators.

carnivore- An organism that subsists on other organisms. Caudates are all carnivores.

scavenger- An animal that eats most anything it can find. (See also opportunistic predator)

The only issue here, is that this goes back to the whole "plants being organisms too" thing. Additionally, the definition for scavenger could easily be confused with Omnivore. I feel like what Jan put down was the closest yet.
 

SludgeMunkey

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The only issue here, is that this goes back to the whole "plants being organisms too" thing. Additionally, the definition for scavenger could easily be confused with Omnivore. I feel like what Jan put down was the closest yet.

Agreed however, there are quite a few plants that meet those definitions, hence my use of organism.
 

Nathan050793

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Ah, that's too true. Perhaps instead of "organism," we just say "plants and animals."

Ex: Carnivore: A plant or animal that feeds only on other animal organisms. In contrast, omnivores eat both plants and animals, and herbivores eat only plants. Nearly all salamanders are strictly carnivorous. (using Jan's definition)
 

fishkeeper

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Are carnivorous plants really considered carnivorous? They don't actually "ingest" the prey but rather let it decompose and will do fine without actually being fed. I think the term(esp. for simplicity sake and in the context of this website) should be left to animals only. Thoughts?
 

Jan

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Thanks gentlemen for the input!

Regarding plants being carnivorous, there are some plant species that are referred to as this - at least some produce enzymes that provide for digestion. In that these defintions, however, are for use in a "glossary for amphibians" perhaps we can shy away from the issue of plants. If this were for a botanical glossary it may be worth the potential hair splitting and research that would be necessary to establish if these plants are truly carnivorous. If you are ameniable to this...may we stay with the formerly proposed definitions?

Thanks
Jan
 
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