All plants and animals need energy, but they get that energy in different ways:

  • Plants get their energy from the sun.

  • Animals get their energy from eating other living things.

That is why plants are called producers and animals are called consumers.

PRODUCERS

Thanks to photosynthesis, plants produce their own food using the energy from the sun, water and nutrients from the soil, and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.


CONSUMERS

Animals can't produce their own food, so they need to eat plants or other animals. There are 4 groups of consumers:

  • Herbivores: animals that take their energy from plants (cows, rabbits, giraffes,...).

  • Carnivores: animals that take their energy from animals (lions, frogs, eagles,...).

  • Omnivores: animals that take their energy from plants and animals (humans, bears, racoons,...).



  • Decomposers: they are organisms that take their energy from dead animals and plants. Decomposers are very important and special, because they can break down dead organisms and turn them into nutrients that are released back in the soil. Then, plants will use those nutrients to produce their own food. Bacteria, fungi and some worms are decomposers.

So, as you have seen, all living things depend on each other to obtain energy and nutrients. We can represent these relationships with a food chain:


Food Chain.jpg
CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO MAKE IT BIGGER

With the following video you will understand all this information better.




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