What’s primary consumers are called secondary consumers.

What’s the difference between a food chain and a food web? How are food chains different in different habitats? This lesson will teach you about all the members of a marine food chain, including producers, herbivores, and consumers.

What Is A Food Chain?

A food chain shows how each living thing gets its food, or energy, and how that energy is passed from one living thing to another. Food chains begin with plants and end with large animals. Each food chain contains producers, who make their own food, and consumers, who either eat food produced by producers or eat other animals.

This is one example of an ocean food chain.

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A food web is similar to a food chain, but it shows how multiple food chains can be connected to each other.

Marine Producers

A producer is a living thing that uses sunlight to create its own food through a process called photosynthesis. In land habitats, trees and grass are examples of producers, but this looks a little different in marine, or water, habitats. In marine habitats, the producers are phytoplankton, which are single-celled organisms that float in water.

A close-up picture of phytoplankton
An image of a manatee.
manatee

Marine Carnivores

A carnivore is an animal that eats other animals and no plants. In a marine habitat, the main carnivores are sharks and dolphins.

Sharks and dolphins are considered both tertiary consumers and apex predators because some types of sharks and dolphins can eat other types of sharks and dolphins. Sharks are usually the apex predators because they are at the top of the food chain. This means that they don’t have any predators!

Marine Decomposers

Decomposers are the recycling bins of the ocean! After all the consumers have finished with their food, decomposers work to break down dead plant and animal waste and recycle it again as new energy and nutrients. Some examples of decomposers are bacteria, worms, and crabs.

Lesson Summary

A food chain shows how all living things work together to make an environment function. In the marine environment, producers called phytoplankton use sunlight to create their own food.

Phytoplankton are then consumed by consumers like shrimp, who are then eaten by larger animals.

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