Thursday, 1 December 2011

Animals that live in group

Animals living in group have better protection against becoming the prey of others. There is safety in numbers especially in the wild. They tend to share the care and protection of the young. Groups are also more likely to be able to defend a region from competing animals. Below are some examples of animals live in group.

1) horse

2) buffalo

3) cow

4) elephant

5) lion

6) ants

7) fox

8) dog

9) zebra

Animals that live solitary

Animals living in solitary do not have to share food with each other. These animals can avoid competition for space, mate and shelter too. Below are some examples of animals that live solitary.

1) polar bear

2) skunk

3) leopard

4) tiger

5) jaguar

Food web

A food web consists of two or more food chains linked together. Also, a food chain represents a series of events in which food and energy are transferred from one organism in an ecosystem to another.

In any ecosystem, many food chains overlap. Several consumers may eat the same kind of plant or animal for food. When this happen, the food chain forms a food web. A food web shows how food chains are related within an ecosystem.

Below are an examples of food web.

The five possible food chains in the habitat are :

1) grass ---- > mouse ---- > snake ---- > hawk

2) grass ---- > mouse ---- > hawk

3) grass ---- > rabbit ---- > hawk

4) grass ---- > grasshopper ---- > hawk

5) grass ---- > grasshopper ---- > lizard ---- > hawk

Each organism has a role in a food web. If there is a change in the population of a certain species, then the population of other species connected to it will also be affected.


How many food chains are there in the food webs?

Food web 1:

Food web 2:

Food web 3:

Food Chain

A food chain shows how each living thing gets its food. A food chain always starts with plant life and end with an animal.

Plants are called producers because they are able to use light energy from the Sun to produce food ( sugar ) from carbon dioxide and water.

Animals cannot make their own food so they must eat plants or animals. They are called consumers. 

Below is a simple food chain in garden.

sand art

Snail eat grass. The grass provides energy to the snail. The energy comes from the Sun. Plants use the energy from the Sun to make their own food. They are called producers.

The arrow means "it is eaten by". If the snail is eaten by a bird, the relationship is called a food chain. The snail and the bird in this food chain are called consumers because they get their food by eating plants.


Can you construct the food chains below?

Food chain 1:

Food chain 2:

Food chain 3:

Importance of Survival

Animals need food to survive. One animal species is a source of food to another. For examples, eagles eat snakes. If snakes do not survive, there will be shortage of food for eagles. The eagles may become extinct.

Different animals eat different types of food. Animals can be classified into three categories according to the food they eat.

a) Herbivores

Herbivores are animals that eat only plants and plants material. These animals are usually smaller than carnivores. Herbivores may eat leaves, berries, roots or even tree bark. Examples of herbivores are giraffes, sheeps, rabbits, cows, horses and elephants.

b) Carnivores

Carnivores are animals that eat only meat. These animals are usually fairly large and they have to eat other animals in order to obtain enough energy. Some carnivores eat insects and bugs, small animals, while other carnivores eat bigger animals. Examples of carnivores are wolves, lions, eagles, cheetahs and tigers.
c) Omnivores 

Omnivores are animals that can eat both plant material and meat. They can get their food more easily than other animals because they can eat more types of food then either herbivores and carnivores. Examples of omnivores are chickens, bears, pigs, turtles and chimpanzees. 

Animals that do not take care of their eggs

However, some of the animals do not take care of their eggs, therefore these animals produce large number of eggs to remain their species. These are the examples of animals that do not take care of their eggs.

1) turtle

The turtle lay and buried their eggs. As the eggs hatch, the young will make their own way to the water.

2) tortoise

The tortoises cover their eggs with sands and leave the eggs to hatch.

3) frog

The frogs lay their eggs in water or wet places. A floating clump of eggs is called frog spawn. The large and slippery mass of eggs are too big to be eaten.                                                  

4) cockroaches

The cockroaches lay their eggs and hide them in dark places such as in the cupboard.