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Examples of Food Chains

Food chain refers to the sequence of events in an ecosystem, where one organism eats another and then is eaten by another organism. It starts with the primary source like the sun or hydrothermal vents where producers make food, continues with consumers or animals who eat the food, and ends with the top predator.

Food Chains on Land

  • Butterfly – small birds – fox
  • Carrots – rabbit – snake – eagle
  • Corn – chick – snake – man
  • Dandelions – snail – frog – bird – fox
  • Dead plants – centipede – robin
  • Decayed plants – worms – birds – eagle
  • Fruits – bats – eagles
  • Fruits – monkeys – monkey-eating eagle
  • Grass – antelope – tiger – vulture
  • Grass – cow – man
  • Grass – deer – eagle
  • Grass – earthworms – bird – snake
  • Grass – grasshopper – frog – snake – eagle
  • Grass – prairie dogs – coyotes
  • Grass – rabbit – snake – owl – hawk
  • Grass – snail – bird – fox
  • Hazel tree – wood mouse – tawny owl
  • Herring – salmon – bear
  • Juniper berries – rabbit – fox
  • Leaves – ants – anteaters
  • Leaves – caterpillar – birds – snake
  • Leaves – giraffes – lion
  • Nuts – squirrels – hawk
  • Oak leaf – caterpillar – blue tit
  • Plants – mice – badgers – bobcats
  • Plants – mule deer – mountain lion
  • Rice – rat – owl
  • Sun – berries – bear
  • Sun – grass – ant – echidna – dingo
  • Sage brush – elk – wolf
  • Shark grass – earthworm – chicken – snake
  • Sun – bamboo – pandas
  • Sun – eucalyptus leaves – koalas
  • Sun – grass – mice – lion
  • Sun – grass – zebra – lion
  • Weeds – elephants – vulture
  • Weeds – zebra – lion – coyote
  • Willow shoots – musk oxen – wolf

Food Chains in Water

Here are examples of food chains in aquatic environments:

  • Algae – otocinclus catfish – osprey
  • Algae – mosquito larva – dragonfly larva – fish – racoon
  • Crayfish – catfish – humans
  • Insect – fish – humans
  • Mayflies – trout – humans
  • Phytoplankton – copepod – fish – squid – seal – orca
  • Phytoplankton – copepod – bluefish – swordfish – human
  • Phytoplankton – copepod – bluehead wrasse – striper
  • Phytoplankton – zoo plankton – anchovy – tuna – humans
  • Phytoplankton – zoo plankton – fish – seal – great white shark
  • Phytoplankton – zoo plankton – herring – harbor seal
  • Plankton – shrimp – herring – cat
  • Plankton – snail – mackeral – shark
  • Plankton – snail – tuna – dolphin
  • Plankton – threadfin shad – bass – humans
  • Seaweed – periwinkle – rag worm – curlew
  • Turtles – alligators – humans
  • Watercress – mayfly larva – stickleback

Chemosynthetic Food Chains

  • Bacteria – clams – octopi
  • Bacteria – copepods – shrimp – zoarcid fish
  • Bacteria – tube worms – zoarcid fish
  • Microbes – ridgeia tubeworms – spider crab – octopus
  • Microbes – shrimp – crabs
  • Mussels – brachyuran crabs – octopi
  • Mussels – shrimp – anemone
  • Tube worms – crabs – shrimp – zoarcid fish

All plants and animals are part of a food chain. These examples of food chains are only a small part of the food chains; but, they are included to show the variety of plants and animals involved in any particular food chain.


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