Humans are not nature’s top predator

A new study proves that our preconception that humans are nature’s top predator is misleading.

We’re consuming more meat than we did 50 years ago, but we’re still more herbivore than carnivore, according to research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

From 1961 to 2009, there has been an increase in humans’ consumption of meat, largely because of a more meat-rich diet in India and China.

Overall, humans stand at 2.2 out of a possible 5.5 on the trophic scale, a measurement in ecology that reveals our place in the food chain. This puts us very close to rabbits (2), which eat only plants, and quite far from polar bears and orcas (5.5), which have no predators and eat only other animals.

All this might help change our pre- conception that humans are nature’s top predator, says lead researcher Sylvain Bonhommeau.

About the Author

Yan Barcelo

Yan Barcelo is a journalist in Montreal.

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