Food Chains Worksheets:
What is a Food Chain? –
Every organism must eat to survive. Plants make their own food using
water and sunlight through a process called photosynthesis. They also
draw nutrients from the soil in which they live.
Food Webs –
Every living organism is
part of a food chain. In fact, many are part of multiple food chains that
are connected to each other by common links, a concept that is called a
"food web." This picture shows a simple food chain.
QUESTIONS: Food Webs –
Which term is a more accurate representation of the relationship
between organisms in an ecosystem, food chain or food web? Why?
Dead plants, animals, and animal waste are collectively known as
"organic matter." Organisms that break down dead plants and animals
and return their nutrients to the soil are called decomposers. There are
more than a hundred thousand kinds of decomposers.
QUESTIONS: Decomposers –
Which of the following is NOT a compound that decomposers release back
into the soil?
The Human Food Chain –
Humans are considered to be at the top of the
food chain because they eat both plants and
animals, but nothing usually eats humans. Like
all food chains, plants are at the foundation of
the human food chain.
Biodiversity is a contraction of the phrase biological diversity, which means
that there are many kinds of living organisms that are all different from -
and related to - each other.
Producers and Consumers –
The plants and animals in an ecosystem are dependent on one another
for their survival. The relationship between organisms with regards to who
eats what (or who) is most simply represented by a concept called a food
Scavengers and Detrivores –
A scavenger is an organism that eats dead or decaying
matter. A scavengers can be an animal, a bird, or an insect.
Scavengers are important to an ecosystem because they eat
and help break down what is left of dead animals and plants.
Photosynthesis and Food Chains –
The energy that all organisms need to survive is created or consumed in
the form of food. Animals eat plants and other animals for food, but most
plants do not eat other organisms for energy.
Types of Food Chains –
A predator is an animal that hunts other animals and eats them. The
animal that is eaten is called the prey. An animal that eats other animals is
called a carnivore.