In ecology, predation describes biological interaction where a predator feeds on its prey. Predators may or may not kill their prey prior to feeding on them, but the act of predation always results in the death of its prey and the eventual absorption of the prey’s tissue through consumption. It can often be difficult to separate our various types of feeding behaviors.
The key characteristic of predation however is the predator’s direct impact on the prey population. On the other hand, detritivores simply eat dead organic material arising from the decay of dead individuals and have no direct impact on the “donor” organism.