from The Open University
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
Are our kids tough enough? Chinese school: Episode ThreeFriday, 4th September 2015 00:45 - BBC TwoIt's the moment of truth, the students at Bohunt school go against each other to see which education system... Read more: Are our kids tough enough? Chinese school: Episode Three
Are our kids tough enough? Chinese school: Episode ThreeAvailable until Sunday, 4th October 2015 01:45It's the moment of truth, the students at Bohunt school go against each other to see which education system... Read more: Are our kids tough enough? Chinese school: Episode Three
BBC Inside Science: El Nino, peat, citizen science and CERNAvailable for over a year
The ascent of woman: CivilisationAvailable until Saturday, 3rd October 2015 00:15
Canals: The Making of a Nation: EngineeringAvailable until Friday, 2nd October 2015 01:50
One refugee's story: A long, risky journeyPublic Radio Internation tells the story of Thair Orfahli's journey from war-riddled Syria to... Read more: One refugee's story: A long, risky journey
OpenLearn Live: 4th September 2015How do you know how well a coma patient is doing? One answer, and more free learning, across the... Read more: OpenLearn Live: 4th September 2015
Studying religionThis free course, Studying religion, will give you an opportunity to think about some of the key... Try: Studying religion now
Forensic psychologyDiscover how psychology can help obtain evidence from eyewitnesses in police investigations and... Try: Forensic psychology now
Studying mammals: Meat eaters
The powerful and majestic carnivores are the focus of many television documentaries. In...
The powerful and majestic carnivores are the focus of many television documentaries. In this unit we will delve into the lives of these fearsome hunters and explore their physical adaptations and social behaviour. This is the fifth unit in the ‘Studying mammals’ series.
By the end of this unit you should be able to:
- describe some of the characteristic features of carnivores;
- outline the dentition of carnivores and its link with diet;
- outline some of the behavioural and sensory characteristics of carnivores, with examples;
- explain, with examples, the roles that vision and smell play in the lives of carnivores;
- explain the variety of ways in which carnivores assemble in groups;
- discuss the advantages and disadvantages of group living;
- explain the factors that may influence hunting success in carnivores;
- give examples of ways in which conflict within groups is minimised.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 The hunters
- 2 The Carnivora
- 3 Characteristics of the hunters
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn and track your progress. Make your learning visible!
Studying mammals: Meat eaters
In this unit, we will examine the biology of the impressive meat eaters (e.g. wolves, lions and cheetahs), focusing in part on the biological ‘equipment’ – slashing and gripping teeth, for example – and on the less obvious behavioural characteristics that have contributed to the undoubted success of these fearsome hunters. Many of the meat eaters live and hunt in groups, which raises intriguing questions about the advantages of group living and the types of social behaviour between individuals that help maintain group coherence.
This is the fifth in a series of units about studying mammals. To get the most from these units, you will need access to a copy of The Life of Mammals (2002) by David Attenborough, BBC Books (ISBN 0563534230), and The Life of Mammals (2002) on DVD, which contains the associated series of ten BBC TV programmes. OpenLearn unit S182_8 Studying mammals: life in the trees contains samples from the DVD set. You should begin each unit by watching the relevant TV programme on the DVD and reading the corresponding chapter in The Life of Mammals. You will be asked to rewatch specific sequences from the programme as you work through the unit.
This unit is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Studying mammals (S182) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in.
This is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Natural History courses or view the range of currently available OU Natural History courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Thursday, 21st July 2011
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.