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Food Chains

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Esther Graziano

on 25 May 2011

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Transcript of Food Chains

Food Chains Do you like to play games? If you do, you will need energy! Every time you run or jump, you are using up
energy in your body! How do you get the energy to play? That's right! You get energy from the food you eat! Similarly, all living things get energy from their food so that they can move and grow! As food passes through the body, some of it is
digested. This process of digestion releases energy! A food chain shows how each living thing
gets its food. Plants are called producers, because they are able to use
light energy captured from the sun to produce energy, sugar,
from carbon dioxide and water. What is this process called? That's right! Photosynthesis! Plants and algae are examples of producers! Animals that eat ONLY plants are called herbivores.
In the food chain they are first order, or primary consumers. Carnivores that eat herbivores are called secondary
consumers, or second order consumers. Carnivores that eat other carnivores are called tertiary, or
third order consumers. Then, there are decomposers (bacteria or fungi)
which feed on decaying matter.

Decomposers speed up the decaying process that releases mineral salts back into the food chain for absorption by plants; nutrients. In a food chain, energy is passed from one link to another.

When a herbivore eats, only a fraction of the energy becomes new
body mass; the rest of the energy is lost as waste or used up by the
herbivore to carry out its life processes (movement, digestion, etc.).

Therefore, when the herbivore is eaten by a carnivore, it passes only
a small amount of total energy to the carnivore.

The carnivore needs to eat many herbivores to get enough energy to grow!
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