Sauropsida ("lizard faces") is a group of amniotes that includes all existing reptiles and birds and their fossil ancestors, including the dinosaurs, the immediate ancestors of birds. Sauropsida is distinguished from Synapsida, which includes mammals and their fossil ancestors.
Birds of prey are birds that hunt for food primarily via flight, using their keen senses, especially vision, and superb flying skills. They are defined as birds that primarily hunt vertebrates, including other birds. Their talons and beaks tend to be relatively large, powerful and adapted for tearing flesh. In most cases, the females are considerably larger than the males. The term "raptor" is derived from the Latin word rapere (meaning to seize or take by force) and may refer informally to all birds of prey, or specifically to the diurnal group. Because of their predatory lifestyle, often at the top of the food chain, they face distinct conservation concerns.
Many species of bird may be considered partly or exclusively predatory; however, in ornithology, the term "bird of prey" applies only to birds of the families listed below.