In the new Godzilla, Godzilla is said to have feed off radiation and hibernates in modern times, feeding off radiation from the core as there is no longer enough radiation in the modern world to satisfy him. Yet the scientists describe him as an alpha predator and the M.U.T.O's as his prey, so what's the deal. Can he eat organic matter as well or did he switch to a pure radiation diet in the millennia he was hibernating?

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    From what I remember in the movie he kills them and does not eat them. He still hunts them down so I do not see how that makes him any less of a predator. – Solomon May 28 '14 at 23:24
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    @Solomon - that makes zero evolutionary sense. Hunting and killing prey takes resources. If there's nothing in it for you, the only possible benefit would be showing off in front of female for sexual selection. And Godzilla is solitary, no competition between males to show off fitness. – DVK-on-Ahch-To May 28 '14 at 23:32
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    Alpha particles are a type of radiation. He feeds on those. – Oldcat May 28 '14 at 23:41
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    @DVK Actually, killing competition for your food source does make evolutionary sense -- a dead MUTO isn't eating Godzilla's radiation, which means more for him! Take a look at ants -- they go to "war" with other colonies all the time, yet exceedingly rarely to eat them nor even to steal food from their colony, they're instead just removing competition for their food. See also any and all animals that defend their food source without intending to eat those they attack to do so. – Kromey May 28 '14 at 23:42
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    In the primordial world, their was probably plenty to go around. – Donmax May 28 '14 at 23:46
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Godzilla is an alpha predator because he's the biggest*, meanest, killingest thing out there, ever, bar none. Something gets uppity on the planet, he rampages through the nearest major metropolitan area to kill it in a 1-2-hour slugfest with ample gratuitous explosions and collapsing buildings.

Consider the backstory as presented in the latest movie: In the ancient past, when Godzilla and his fellow Daikaiju evolved, Earth was highly radioactive (relative to today). They all fed on this radiation, because that's what was readily available; but Earth has since "cooled off" quite a lot, which means scarce food available for these giant beasts. Hibernation is one survival mechanism they evolved to deal with that; killing their competition, thereby ensuring fewer beasts trying to feed on the small amount of radiation still around, is another.

Godzilla has perfected both of these survival mechanisms, making him an "alpha predator" because he does, in fact, kill for food -- it's just that he's protecting his food from other Daikaiju that would eat it instead.

(*Okay, there may have been a monster or two bigger than him, but the point still stands.)

  • Sure. I guess Godzilla just killed them because they were in his way. – Donmax May 29 '14 at 0:03

Technically, an alpha predator is an animal that is not preyed upon by any other animal (this excludes parasites). It has nothing to do with how large, vicious, or carnivorous an animal is, although large animals tend to be at the top of the food chain. Humans, chimps, grizzly bears (which are omnivorous), whale sharks (filter feeders) are alpha predators. So if Godzilla occasionally chomps on another monster and nothing specializes in eating godzillas, that would make it an alpha predator.

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    Here's a reference for that: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apex_predator However, I notice that filter-feeding whales like blue whales are not listed as examples, despite eating animal life (zooplankton), so I wonder if it might be a requirement that the animal actively hunts its prey, or that hunted prey is its main diet. Searching "blue whale" and "apex predator" doesn't seem to turn up any links from biologists or other experts who label the blue whale as one. Do you have a reference for the idea that filter feeders like whale sharks qualify as apex predators? – Hypnosifl May 29 '14 at 13:28
  • Yep, there's a list on Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_apex_predators They don't have to be active hunters or full carnivores. I figure Godzilla has carnivorous-looking teeth and jaws, so he must be eating something meaty and not just running on nuclear power. – Viergacht May 29 '14 at 19:48
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    that wiki page doesn't cite references for individual entries (though it does have a general list of refs at the bottom), and it has a warning at the top saying "This article needs additional citations for verification". If you look at an old version at en.wikipedia.org/w/… you see the only whales it mentions are orcas and sperm whales, but it lists all the same refs at the bottom of the article (meaning that whoever added those refs did so at a time when the article didn't mention any other whales). – Hypnosifl May 29 '14 at 20:08
  • I do agree that "realistically" it would make sense that Godzilla is carnivorous given his teeth, but Godzilla isn't guaranteed to make biological sense, and the question is taking the movie at its word that Godzilla "feeds" on radiation and not other life (maybe you could image he evolved from a carnivorous creature, and the teeth are just vestigial). – Hypnosifl May 29 '14 at 20:11
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    Granted, Godzilla makes almost no sense at all. To be honest, I haven't seen this movie yet so I don't know how its rubber science is justified. – Viergacht May 30 '14 at 11:31

Godzilla could of been killed by the M.U.T.O's and their thousands of babies if he didn't kill them first. It's either kill it be killed. That's why he didn't eat them. He just killed them before they killed him!

Like what James said. To become an Alpha Predator you have to kill all of the animals that are better than you and Godzilla I think found another Alpha Predator. If the M.U.T.O.s killed Godzilla then the M.U.T.O would be the new Apex Predator or Alpha Predator, but they didn't kill him, Godzilla killed them and now once again Godzilla is still the Alpha Predator.

Maybe because because full grown MUTOs are full of radiation since they feed on it too ? So by killing them Godzilla feeds on natural source of radiation,I mean radiation from living beings.Those were my two cents,they weren't elaborate on that topic in the movie at all,maybe they will explain it better in sequels.

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