Difference Between Predation and Parasitism

Main Difference

The main difference between predation and parasitism is that in predation predator catches and kills prey whereas in parasitism parasite gets benefited from the host and sometimes do not kill the host.

Predation vs. Parasitism

Predation discusses the act of preying of one specie on another specie while parasitism discusses the preparation of living as a parasite on or with another organism. Predation occurs between prey and a predator whereas parasitism is the association between a host and a parasite. Predation is the absence of any metabolic reliance on the prey; on the other hand, parasitism is the metabolic dependency on the host organism. Predation may have several kinds of preys; on the contrary, parasitism is a very precise relationship of parasite and a host. In predation, the predator uses intense physical effort and very active to catch the prey; on the flip side, in parasitism, the parasite is usually passive in its development. Predator is normally stronger and larger than the prey in predation whereas parasite is smaller in size than the host in parasitism. Predator immediately catches and kills the prey while parasite does not immediately kill the host. In predation, the predator and prey are independent of each other life cycles; on the flip side, the parasite needs and depends on the host to complete its life cycle.

Comparison Chart

PredationParasitism
The act in which an animal is preying on another animal is called predation.The act in which the practice of living as a parasite on or with another organism(host) is called parasitism.
Association
Occurs between prey and a predatorOccurs between a host and a parasite
Types
May have numerous types of preysA very precise relationship
Metabolic Dependency
Absence of any metabolic dependency on preyCompletely depend on the host for metabolic activity
Size
Normally stronger and larger than the preySmaller than the host
Progression
Uses intense physical effort and very active to catch the preyThe parasite is usually passive in its development.
Killing the Other
Immediately kills the preyDoes not immediately kills the host
Life Cycles
Independent of each other to complete their life cyclesComplete depend on the host to complete its life cycles
Examples
Bear and fish, lion and zebra, tiger and deer, etcTapeworms in cows, lice on humans, mosquito on animals, etc

What is Predation?

Predation is the connection between a predator and prey in which the predator immediately catches and kills the prey for food and energy. It is also the relationship that positively affects the predator and negatively affect the prey. Predation does not get shelter from prey instead of having from them. Predation is a source of keeping the population under control. It also acts its role in energy transfer across trophic levels. Predation provides energy to the predator and prolong its life and increases its chances to promote its reproduction. Not all predators are animals, but some carnivorous plants are also predators such as pitcher plant and the Venus flytrap. Predator first actively search for its prey. When it detects the prey, the predator judges whether to attack, and when an attack is successful, the predator immediately catches and kills the prey, and eats all of its edible parts. Predator is highly specialized for hunting with adapted acute senses like smell, vision, or hearing. In predation, the predator does not get shelter from the prey, and there is the absence of any metabolic reliance on the prey. Predation may have several kinds of prey. The predator uses intense physical effort and very active to catch the prey. Predator is normally stronger and larger than the prey in predation.

Examples

Bear and fish, lion and zebra, tiger and deer, foxes and rabbits, etc.

What is Parasitism?

Parasitism is the close association between two different species, which is harmful to one(host) and beneficial to others (parasite). A parasite obtains shelter and food from the host. In parasitism, the parasite gets nutrients from the host and in result, decrease in the health of the host. While in extreme cases, the parasite may cause diseases in the host. The parasite gets shelter, grows, and feed on the host, so this relationship is harmful to hosts. Sometimes, the parasite does not kill the host, and some may eventually kill. These are pathogenic parasites. The parasite is smaller in size than the host in parasitism.

Types of parasites

  • Endoparasites: parasites which tend to live inside the body of their host. E.g., tapeworm, flukes, bacteria, etc.
  • Ectoparasites: parasites which tend to feed and live outside the body of their host. E.g., plants, bacteria, lice, etc.

Examples

Tapeworms in cows, lice on humans, mosquito on animals, etc.

Key Differences

  1. Predation discusses the act of preying of one specie on another specie while parasitism discusses the preparation of living as a parasite on or with another organism.
  2. Predation occurs between prey and a predator whereas parasitism is the association between a host and a parasite.
  3. Predation is the absence of any metabolic reliance on the prey; on the other hand, parasitism is the metabolic dependency on the host organism.
  4. Predation may have several kinds of preys; on the contrary, parasitism is a very precise relationship of parasite and a host.
  5. In predation, the predator uses intense physical effort and very active to catch the prey; on the flip side, in parasitism, the parasite is usually passive in its development.
  6. Predator immediately catches and kills the prey while parasite does not immediately kill the host.
  7. Predator is normally stronger and larger than the prey in predation whereas parasite is smaller in size than the host in parasitism.
  8. In predation, the predator and prey are independent of each other life cycles; on the flip side, the parasite needs and depends on the host to complete its life cycle.

Conclusion

Above discussion concludes that in predation, predator catches and kills prey whereas in parasitism parasite gets benefited from the host and sometimes do not kill the host.

Author: