As far as I can tell, there isn't a real term for this. Apex predators sit at the top of the food chain and are not preyed upon. There are herbivores who are basically in the same position, such as elephants, rhinos and hippos (they're mostly herbivorous).

From what I can tell, these animals are:

  • Large (Usually larger than the predators)
  • Have a thick hide
  • Tend to be social and move in groups
  • Can use their size and other defenses to mess up any opponent

I know there is no such thing as an untouchable animal. Opportunistic predators may target the old, weak and young. At the same time, hyenas sometimes steal prey from lions.

So, what are the other common traits among these "apex" herbivores?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You already outlined them: size, group behaviour and defensive features (think of herbivore dinosaurs). $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Jul 14, 2017 at 8:27
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This is a biology question $\endgroup$
    – Raditz_35
    Jul 14, 2017 at 8:47
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe take a look at the blue whale and the rhinoceros? $\endgroup$
    – Burki
    Jul 14, 2017 at 8:54
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because is looks better suited for biology than for worldbuilding $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Jul 14, 2017 at 9:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think it might be OK for worldbuilding, but I'm voting "unclear what you are asking" - question already contains answer, both in form of specific requirements and examples. what more there is to say? Speculations on minor traits would be too broad, and answer is already there. $\endgroup$
    – Mołot
    Jul 14, 2017 at 12:23

1 Answer 1


I don't think an "Apex Herbivore" actually Needs any of those traits. The sole requirement is that nothing can/wants to eat it.

By this definition, even the Dodo was an Apex. Obviously, this is easier/more common on islands.

  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868
    Jul 14, 2017 at 16:01

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