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food chain click to hear : food chain

Order of the relationships of predation and dependence among living organisms.
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See food chain in : french | spanish
autotrophs inorganic matter heterotrophs decomposers secondary consumers tertiary consumers carnivores herbivores primary consumers basic source of food carnivores

autotrophs click to hear : autotrophs

Organisms capable of making their own food from inorganic matter and solar energy.

inorganic matter click to hear : inorganic matter

Matter of mineral origin, converted by bacteria; the nitrogen, salts and water it retains serve as food for plants.

heterotrophs click to hear : heterotrophs

Organisms that feed on organic matter that is already broken down, since they are unable to feed on mineral compounds.

decomposers click to hear : decomposers

Organisms that break down organic matter (dead animals, excrement, plant residue) into mineral components that can be reused by plants.

secondary consumers click to hear : secondary consumers

Carnivores that feed on herbivores.

tertiary consumers click to hear : tertiary consumers

Carnivores that feed on other carnivores.

carnivores click to hear : carnivores

Animals that feed mainly on meat.

herbivores click to hear : herbivores

Animals that feed on plants.

primary consumers click to hear : primary consumers

They feed on autotrophic organisms and are therefore usually herbivores.

basic source of food click to hear : basic source of food

Vegetables are at the base of the food chain for all other consumers; they are eaten raw or converted into meat by animals.

carnivores click to hear : carnivores

Animals that feed mainly on meat.