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  1. ITV Report

Humans are 'wickedly efficient' super predators

Humans do not play by nature's rules and even target other apex predators. Credit: Reuters

The human race are "wickedly efficient" super-predators that do not play according to the rules of nature.

A new study highlightsthe ruthlessness of humans compared to other predators in the food chain.

The research found that humans exploit fish populations 14 times more aggressively than marine predators such as sharks and killer whales.

On land, they hunt large carnivores such as bears, wolves and lions at nine times the rate at which these predatory animals kill each other in the wild, said scientists.

Crucially, humans broke nature's rules by targeting reproductive adult prey and other carnivores.

This stands homo sapiens apart from the rest of the animal kingdom, as it is usually the juveniles of a species that tend to be the most exploited.

Professor Chris Darimont from the University of Victoria in Canada said:

Advanced killing technology mostly excuses humans from the formerly dangerous act of predation.

Hunters 'capture' mammals with bullets, and fishes with hooks and nets.

They assume minimal risk compared with non-human predators, especially terrestrial carnivores, which are often injured while living what amounts to a dangerous lifestyle.

– Professor Chris Darimont