The Food Chain

The Food Chain

Interdependence is clearly described in food chain. A food chain is a way of illustrating the relationship among organism in an ecosystem. It indicates who eats whom. In this manner, food energy is transferred from one organism to the next as one organism is being eaten by another.

Organism that produce or manufacture their own food are called producers. Hence, plants are the producers.

Plants and animals that fed on other plants and animals are called consumers. The kind of consumers are:

a.       Primary consumers – weeds growing on the surface of the water is a producer. An organism that eats the producer is a primary or first-order consumer. An example is a duckling that feeds directly on the weeds. Other examples of first order consumers are carabaos, cows, goats and horses that feed on grass.

b.      Secondary Consumers – Organism that eat the primary consumers are called secondary consumers. Examples are birds that feeds on worms and that eat on plant leaves; the snakes that feed on mice and that feed on grains; and crocodiles that eat on monkeys and that eat fruits.

c.       Tertiary or third order consumers – these are organisms that feed on the secondary consumers. This level of consumers is best illustrated in the following diagram.


                             1                      2                       3

Producer           consumer         consumer       consumer

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