Food is the energy that makes life possible for all animals.
- Plants make food by taking energy from the sun. This is called photosynthesis. The word ‘photo’ means ‘light’ and ‘synthesis’ means ‘to make things’.
- Animals cannot make food but have to eat either plants or animals to get their energy.
A food chain is a model of how energy moves from one organism to another in a community.
- All food chains start with a plant. In the sea the most common plant is phytoplankton. Phytoplankton are tiny single celled plants too small to see with the naked eye.
- Animals that eat phytoplankton are called herbivores.
- The most common ocean herbivore is zooplankton.
- Another ocean herbivore is krill. Krill is like a tiny shrimp about 5cm long. They eat mostly phytoplankton and sometimes zooplankton. Krill are a very important food for many larger animals such as fish, birds and whales.
Here are three Antarctic food chains:
Here is one food web combining the three food chains above: