What is a food chain?Food chain A food chain shows how plants and animals get their energy. Producers and consumers A food chain always starts with a producer. This is an organism that makes its own food. Most food chains start with a green plant, because plants can make their food by photosynthesis. A living thing that eats other plants and animals is called a consumer. Predators and prey A predator is an animal that eats other animals. The animals that predators eat are called prey. Predators are found at the top of a food chain.
Food chains and food webs in animalsThe energy that all animals get from food begins with the Sun's energy and once it reaches Earth is transferred through food webs and food chains. In turn each part of the food chain is described starting with the producers, then the primary and secondary consumers, predator and prey. The frog fish is used as an unusual example of a top predator followed by a graphical representation of a food chain (tree, caterpillar, bird, bird of prey). Food chains can be disrupted by outside influences such as pesticides and herbicides and for the peregrine falcon this resulted in weak and damaged eggs. Populations within a food chain can change and the removal of part of the food chain can have a dramatic effect, as with deer in Britain. Not all animals eat one type of food and lots of food chains join up, which is demonstrated through graphics showing a food web and how this links to an ecosystem. But how does the story end and what happens to the energy and minerals in the top predator? This is where the decomposers come in!
Can you create a food chain for the wildlife in your area?
Watch the wildlife videos (on the Y4 home learning page) if you need help.