Most successful predator besides us, statistics-wise?

Lots of predators are smart and scary and fearsome… but that doesn’t mean they have a really high kill rate. And of course, they probably shouldn’t - if they always scored, they might be so successful they’d wipe out their prey populations!

But on nature shows you hear various comments about how lions maybe succeed once in every 3 serious attempts (off the top of my head, I’m not sure that’s the actual number) giving them a 33% successful kill rate.

So do we have any idea which among the larger predators (vs. insects or microscopic 'predators" or even prey: baleen whales have a 100% kill rate! But is krill animal or plant? Anyway… I think you know what I’m after here) has the highest success rate per attempt? Is it a mammal, a bird, a reptile or a fish?

I’ll throw out a guess and say it’s some kind of predatory bird. Not because I have any information to lead me to that, it’s just that predatory birds strike me as particularly badass, all things considered: the preternatural sight and the whole flight/speed advantage.

Speaking of which, what is the fastest animal? I’d guess it’s a bird again, because of that whole flight/gravity advantage.

I saw a video that was made from a camera attached to some kind of forest-dwelling hawk’s head, and it was jaw-dropping to see the way that creature could navigate at high speed between tree trunks.

Anyway, this is me guessing - does anyone actually know which is The Baddest Ass of All?


Blue whale.

ETA: D’oh! Missed it in the OP.


Then I was right: baleen whales.

But I mean predators going after single animals (didn’t think kof anteater specifically, but it’s the same idea as baleen whales, really).

It’s a close race between divorce lawyers and amberlamps chasers…

But, seriously, while this whole thing is a bit hard to define, I’d like to throw bats out there for consideration. Airborne and agile as hell in the air with sonar to boot? They deserve some props in the badass category for sure.

House cat? I mean the guy hardly ever missed the dish of tuna.

The world’s fastest animal.

For those too lazy to click, it’s the cheetah on land, the spine-tailed swift in level flight, and the peregrine falcon in an aerial dive.

Badass? Honey badger. Don’t let the name fool you. It gets the name from the nonchalance with which it rips open beehives, munching on the larvae as the hive’s defenders sting it in vain.

Again, I guess I know my nature programs in guessing a bird.

But apart from animals that eat insects, we’re still without a candidate for best killrate of individual prey…

At what speed does eating single animals become ‘anteater speed’? If you are talking about how successful a predator is, the number of kills per time period is obviously a metric. At some point, one after another will define the winner, which will be the predator that can eat one after another faster than any other.

Nah, they miss quite often.

How do pack hunters rate? If ten wolves working together bring down a deer, does that count as one success in ten attempts, or one attempt? If the latter, then I suspect that the winner will be wolves.

But wolves don’t make a kill every day. Frogs are pretty handy at knocking down insects, however, and at a much higher rate than wolves and their prey…

Praying Mantis: if you see them, they’re not moving. Except when they’re grabbing food. It’s said if they achieved the weight of frogs, there wouldn’t be any larger creatures.

Whatever animals feeds on the slowest, dumbest prey.

I’m not looking for the greatest number of kills, I’m looking for the greatest success per attempts. And I know for sure that wolves miss a lot of the time, just like lions do.

I specifically excluded insects. Mantises are cool, though.

humpback whale, according to one docu on tv. teams of hump backs shadow a school of sardines or mackerel and they herd the fish into a bunch by swimming under them and releasing bubbles (like a purse net but MUCH MUCH MORE EFFICIENT!) when they’ve been herded tightly together, the whales punch through the pack from underneath and gulp more than a tonne at a time.

the narrator said no bigger predation exists besides man’s.

I’m gonna guess you mean the orca or sperm whale.

A whale shark eats mostly plankton so it might beat a blue whale, since krill is a lot larger than plankton.