Do you wonder why we should fuel cars to run? Why do we eat? The fuel produces energy to turbine and car runs. In the same way the human body too needs fuel to work and it is gained through the food we eat. The body needs proteins, minerals, water, carbohydrates, fibre, vitamin and fats to survive. To get this food we depend on other animals and plants.
What is Food chain?
How do animals and plants get energy to function? They too are interdependent on food they eat, like – small Grass Hoppers eats grass then they are eaten by frogs and these by snakes and snakes are eaten by Eagles. All species are interdependent on each other for food and we call this chain of dependence for food as Food chain.
Different Trophic levels of consumers and producer
The trophic levels show the level of an animal or plants in the food chain. The food chain illustrates the food availability to different species. Human beings get their food from plants and animals-
• Where do animals and plants get their food?
• What does animals and plants eat?
• What type of consumers are they?
The first level consists of plants or organisms that prepare their own food with the help of sunlight and through photosynthesis, hence we call them Producers and they are also called Autotrophs. The second level of food chain belongs to the animals that eat producers or vegetation/plants. These are called Primary consumers or Herbivores. The third level consumers are those animals and plants which consume Herbivores and producers as their food, so we call them as Secondary consumers or Omnivores. In the last level, the animals that eat Herbivores and Omnivores or only meat are called Tertiary consumers or Carnivores and they are of level four and last.
The food web
Think, the ants tend to eat sweets in the kitchen and we human beings also eat sweets. Here the sweets are food for both ants and humans-
• Do you remember any animal or plant that is food for different species?
• What if there is more than one predator to one plant or animal?
• What type of chain is this?
There are many animals and plants that have more than one predator, like – Grass, Mouse, and Vultures etc. The grass is eaten by Rabbit, Insects and sloths, in this case, what happens to food chain? Here the food chain is connected to other food chains to form Food Web. Individual food chain shows the interdependency of individual animals and plants for food, but in case of Food web all the food chains are interconnected for food. The food web and chains are the elements of whole ecosystem.
The food chain and webs are systems of nature that maintains order in the living organisms. So knowledge of food chain and web may spread awareness of animals and plant and their importance on our planet for everyone’s survival. To get the better understanding of Food chain and food web we can use near real Models, Visuals and Other hands-on materials of food chain and web may be used.
Check our hands-on learning activity video glimpses to know more about the ‘Food Chain – Interdependence in Living Beings’ and for many more interesting activities.