|Predator | Apex predator | Epifaunal carnivore | Nektobenthic carnivore | Infaunal carnivore | Insectivore | Microcarnivore | Molluscivore | Piscivore | Scavenger | Epifaunal scavenger | Infaunal scavenger | Omnivore|
Apex predators (also alpha predators or superpredators) are predators that as adults are not preyed upon in the wild under normal circumstances. Some can be superpredators in some environments but not others (e.g., tuna). These species are often at the end of long food chains, where they have a crucial role in maintaining and determining the health of ecosystems. Even those not dangerous to humans (e.g., owls) are formidable predators in their respective niches.
Due to their placement atop the food chain, many (but not all) apex predators are also keystone predators. For instance, the Great White Shark is an apex predator, but it is not a keystone predator: it has not been demonstrated to regulate prey species within the ecosystem. The gray wolf, on the other hand, is both an apex predator and a keystone predator, as it keeps populations of deer (or caribou), hares, and beavers in control. Humans are themselves superpredators, and under some conditions, so are dogs, particularly if large, in packs, attack-trained, or fight-trained.
In polluted environments apex predators can be vulnerable to pollutants. These get concentrated in their bodies.