As an entomologist I must write and review manuscripts every day. English is my second language, and luckily the main idiom for scientific writing and discussion. I am often of two minds about the best choice of verb for conveying "consuming another animal" — either "prey on/upon" or "predate". In fact for a long time I thought the second "latinized" usage was a common mistake. What do others think, please?
Predate is virtually never used in spoken English, even though predator is a commonly used word. Prey on is frequently used in day to day spoken English in the UK.
Predate is so uncommon in spoken English that someone is unlikely to even understand what it means.