6 Differences between Predation and Parasitism

In an ecosystem, organisms of the same species interact among themselves (intraspecific interaction) as well as with individual of other species population (interspecific interaction). At an individual level, these interactions or relationships may be beneficial or harmful. At a population level, these interactions may stabilize, reduce or enhance the population growth rate.

Predation and parasitism are interspecific interactions where in both victims are deeply harmed.
Predation vs Parasitism

Parasite host relationship is very specific or host specificity is more stringent. Each parasite is often associated with a definite host species
No specific prey predator relationship or predator may feed on many prey species without much specificity
Parasitism is an intimate association involving metabolic dependency of the parasite on the host
No such metabolic dependency in prey predator relationship
Parasite is generally smaller than the host
Predator is generally larger than the prey
Predator is very active and often intense physical effort is needed to catch the prey
Parasites are generally passive and its progression inside the host is slow and steady
Usually parasite do not kill the host
In Predation, prey is immediately killed and eaten by the predator
Often parasite completes its life cycle inside the host or hosts
No such event in predation or predator does not require prey for completion of its life cycle
Examples: mosquito is a parasite, feeding on a human while transferring the disease Malaria, lice on humans, cows (ectoparasite), tapeworms in intestines of cows, humans (endoparasite). Cuscuta (stem parasite in plants).
Lion and Zebra
Bear and Fish
Fox and Rabbit
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