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An apex predator, also known as an alpha predator or top predator, is a predator at the top of a food chain, with no natural predators.[a][5][6]

Apex predators are usually defined in terms of trophic dynamics, meaning that they occupy the highest trophic levels. Food chains are often far shorter on land, usually limited to being secondary consumers – for example, wolves prey mostly upon large herbivores (primary consumers), which eat plants (primary producers). The apex predator concept is applied in wildlife managementconservation and ecotourism.

Apex predators have a long evolutionary history, dating at least to the Cambrian period when animals such as Anomalocaris dominated the seas.

Humans have for many centuries interacted with apex predators including the wolfbirds of prey and cormorants to hunt game animals, birds, and fish respectively. More recently, humans have started interacting with apex predators in new ways. These include interactions via ecotourism, such as with the tiger shark, and through rewilding efforts, such as the proposed reintroduction of the lynx.

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