Vicious Animals

Some of these fierce animals are famous for being successful hunters. They are dangerous and have few to no predators at all. However, some of them are known for their wild and vicious habits towards members of their own families and towards other species

Tasmanian Devil
Tasmanian Devil
Tasmanian devils are famous for their extremely loud and disturbing screech, keen sense of smell, and ferocity when feeding. They have the strongest bites per unit body mass of any extant predatory land mammal. Their jaw can open to 75-80 degrees, allowing them to generate a large amount of power to tear meat and crush bones; they can even bite through a thick metal wire. Tasmanian devils may sometimes hunt in groups and eating is a social event ...
for these animals. Communal eating makes much of the noise and it can often be heard several kilometers away. Tasmanian devils feed using twenty physical postures, including their characteristic vicious yawn, and eleven different vocal sounds that animals use to communicate as they feed. They can also stand on their hind legs and push each other's shoulders with their front legs and heads, similar to sumo wrestling. Adult devils may even eat young devils if they are very hungry. It is a common belief that devils will eat humans. While they are known to eat dead bodies, there are prevalent myths that they eat living humans who wander into the bush. Despite outdated beliefs and exaggerations, many devils will remain still when in the presence of a human; some will even shake nervously. They can bite and scratch out of fear when held by a human, but a firm grip will cause them to remain still.
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Tasmanian Devil
Australian Saltwater Crocodile
Australian Saltwater Crocodile
The saltwater crocodile is an opportunistic hyper carnivorous apex predator. It ambushes most of its prey and then drowns or swallows it whole. This monster is capable of prevailing over almost any animal that enters its territory. Because of its size and distribution, the saltwater crocodile hunts the broadest range of prey species of any modern crocodilian including sharks, varieties of fish, various reptiles, birds, mammals, and even humans. ...
When hunting the saltwater crocodile submerges and quietly swims over to the prey before pouncing upwards, striking suddenly. It has the strongest bite of any living animal; the saltwater crocodile drags the large prey into deep water and then drowns it or crush. It then tears the prey into manageable pieces by "death rolling" or by sudden jerks of the head.
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Australian Saltwater Crocodile
Killer Whale
Killer Whale
Killer whales or orcas are the largest members of the oceanic dolphin family and can be found in all of the world's oceans. They are apex predators, meaning that they themselves have no natural predators. They are sometimes called "wolves of the sea" because they hunt in groups like wolf packs. Orcas are famous for their sophisticated hunting techniques. They hunt varied prey and attack larger cetaceans such as minke whales, grey whales, and ...
even blue whales - the largest animals to have ever existed. In order to attack a blue whale, as many as 50 orcas will join the hunt to successfully kill the larger whale; they will take turns trying to harass and drown the blue whale in groups of six to eight to attack when one group becomes exhausted. Orcas also often attack baleen whale calves. When hunting a calf, a group of orcas chases it and its mother to exhaustion. Eventually, they separate the pair and surround the calf, drowning it by keeping it from surfacing. When hunting orcas spend most of their time at shallow depths, but may dive several hundred meters depending on their prey.
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Killer Whale
Wolverine
Wolverine
This large land-dwelling carnivore has a reputation for ferocity and strength out of proportion to its size and can kill prey many times larger than itself. Whether eating live prey or carrion, the wolverine's feeding style appears voracious and the animal even earned the nickname of "glutton". Wolverines often pursue live prey that are relatively easy to obtain, including animals caught in traps, newborn mammals, and deer (including adult moose ...
and elk) when they are weakened by winter or immobilized by heavy snow. Due to their remarkable strength and size, wolverines are also able to defend against larger or more numerous predators such as wolves or bears.
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Wolverine
Southern Giant Petrel
Southern Giant Petrel
Giant petrels are large extremely aggressive predators and scavengers, earning another common name, the stinker. South Sea whalers also used to call them gluttons. Giant petrels kill other seabirds (usually penguin chicks, sick or injured adult penguins, and the chicks of other seabirds), even those as large as an albatross, which they kill either by battering them to death or drowning. Southern giant petrels won't even hesitate to prey on the ...
adult Australasian gannet by holding it underwater and drowning it.
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Southern Giant Petrel
Komodo Dragon
Komodo Dragon
Komodo dragons are large apex predators and dominate the ecosystems in which they live. Their group behavior in hunting is exceptional in the reptile world. Although Komodo dragons eat mostly carrion, they also frequently ambush live prey with a stealthy approach. When suitable prey arrives near a dragon's ambush site, it will suddenly charge at the animal at high speeds and go for the underside of the throat. Komodo dragons can also knock down ...
large pigs and deer with their strong tails. They eat by tearing large chunks of flesh and swallowing them whole while holding the carcass down with their forelegs. Swallowing is a long process and may take 15-20 minutes to swallow a goat. In order to speed up the process, the Komodo dragon will ram the carcass against a tree to force it down its throat, sometimes ramming so forcefully that the tree is knocked down. The eating habits of Komodo dragons follow a hierarchy; the larger animals generally eat before the smaller ones. They eat a wide range of prey and occasionally may attack and bite humans. Sometimes they even consume human corpses, digging up bodies from shallow graves.
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Komodo Dragon
Leopard Seal
Leopard Seal
The Leopard seal is the second largest species of seal in the Antarctic and its only natural predator is the killer whale. It feeds on a wide variety of creatures including krill, fish, fur seal pups, and various species of penguins. When hunting penguins, the Leopard seal patrols the waters near the edges of the ice, almost completely submerged, waiting for the birds to enter the ocean. It kills the swimming penguin by grabbing the feet, then ...
shaking it vigorously and beating its body against the surface of the water repeatedly until the penguin is dead. The Leopard seal lacks the teeth necessary to slice its prey into manageable pieces so it flails its prey from side to side tearing and ripping it into smaller pieces.
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Leopard Seal
African Wild Dog
African Wild Dog
African wild dogs are the largest wild canines in Africa. They are specialized pack-hunters of antelopes, which they catch by chasing them to exhaustion. African wild dogs hunt by approaching prey silently, then chasing it in pursuit clocking at up to 66 km/h (41 mph) for 10-60 minutes. The average chase covers some 2 km (1.2 mi), during which the prey animal, if large, is repeatedly bitten on the legs, belly, and rump until it stops running; ...
smaller prey is simply pulled down and torn apart. African wild dogs adjust their hunting strategy to the particular prey species. They will rush at wildebeest to panic the herd and isolate a vulnerable individual, but pursue territorial antelope species (which defend themselves by running in wide circles) by cutting across the arc to foil their escape. Medium-sized prey is often killed in 2-5 minutes, whereas larger prey such as wildebeest may take half an hour to pull down. African wild dogs are fast eaters and a pack can voraciously consume a gazelle in 15 minutes.
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African Wild Dog
Eurasian Sparrowhawk
Eurasian Sparrowhawk
The Eurasian sparrowhawk is a major predator of smaller woodland birds. It hunts by surprise attack, using cover near woodland areas. It waits, hidden, for birds to come near, then breaks cover and flies out fast and low. A chase may follow, with the hawk even flipping upside-down to grab the victim from below or following it on foot through vegetation. It can "stoop" onto prey from a great height. The Eurasian sparrowhawk's small bill is used ...
for plucking feathers and pulling prey apart, rather than killing or cutting. Its long legs and toes are an adaptation for catching and eating birds. The great adaptation of these vicious raptors for feeding on birds has brought it into conflict with humans. In the 19th century, it was even described as "the great enemy of small quadrupeds and birds”.
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Eurasian Sparrowhawk
Least Weasel
Least Weasel
Despite its small size and adorable appearance, the Least weasel is a fierce hunter and can kill a rabbit 5 to 10 times its own weight. It usually forages undercover and is adapted for pursuing its prey down tunnels; however, it may also bolt prey from a burrow and kill it in the open. The Least weasel kills small prey with a bite to the occipital region of the skull or the neck, dislocating the cervical vertebrae. Due to its fierce nature, this ...
little predator also plays an important part in the mythology and legend of various cultures.
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Least Weasel
Fossa
Fossa
This agile predator from Madagascar has semi-retractable claws (it can extend but not retract its claws fully) and flexible ankles that allow it to climb up and down trees head-first, and also support jumping from tree to tree. The fossa is the island's largest surviving endemic terrestrial mammal and the only predator capable of preying upon adults of all extant lemur species, the largest of which can weigh as much as 90 percent of the weight ...
of the average fossa. It hunts either on the ground or in the trees. During the non-breeding season, the fossa hunts individually, but during the breeding season, they may hunt in pairs or small groups. One member of the group scales a tree and chases the lemurs from tree to tree, forcing them down to the ground where the other is easily able to capture them. The fossa is generally feared by the Malagasy people and is often protected by their fady taboo (a wide range of cultural prohibitions). The fossa is widespread throughout its native range, however, it suffers greatly from habitat destruction.
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Fossa
Burmese Python
Burmese Python
One of the largest species of snakes, the Burmese python is well-known for being a very powerful predator. To hunt its prey the python spends most of its time staying relatively still, waiting for prey to approach, then striking rapidly. It grabs the prey with its sharp teeth, then wraps its body around the animal to kill it through constriction. The python then swallows its prey whole after which powerful acids in the python’s stomach break d ...
own its meal. The entire digestive process usually takes from 8 to 14 days. The Burmese python primarily feeds on birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. Exceptionally large individuals may even eat pigs or goats, and even alligators and adult deer.
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Burmese Python
Olive Baboon
Olive Baboon
Olive baboons live in groups made up of a few males, many females, and their young. Each baboon has a social ranking, depending on its dominance. Females with high social ranks often forge friendships with multiple males at once because it enables females to gain protection from the unwanted advances of males aiming to mate with them. A female who finds a male undesirable can simply rebuff his advances by calling on her male friends to chase him ...
away. Thus, males of this species got a very ruthless reproductive strategy which is costly for females. Adult males exploit infants and often use them as shields to reduce the likelihood that other males will threaten them. Such infant-targeted aggression is definitely a reproductive disadvantage in olive baboons.
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Olive Baboon