Different Kinds of Consumers
2. Discuss with students the different kinds of consumers.
- Herbivores (primary consumers) feed on plants and other producers. Cows, camels, caterpillars and aphids are herbivores.
- Carnivores (secondary consumers) feed on other animals. Most consumers are animals, but a few are plants that trap and digest insects. There can be several levels of carnivores in a food chain. Lions, owls and lobsters are carnivores.
- Omnivores eat plants and animals. Pigs, dogs, humans and cockroaches all are omnivores.
- Decomposers and scavengers feed off the dead remains and waste of other organisms at any step along a food chain. Scavengers, such as vultures and flies, feed on remains of animals that have been killed or that die naturally. Decomposers live off waste products and parts of dead organisms. Many kinds of bacteria and fungi (molds and mushrooms) are decomposers. The decomposers themselves are important food sources for other organisms that live in soil, such as worms and insects.
Keywords: animals | bacteria | birds | carnivore | crustaceans | decomposer | diet | fish | flower | food | food chain | food group | food web | fruit | fungi | grasses | herbivore | insects | leaf | leaves | mammals | microbe | microorganism | molds | nutrient | nutrition | omnivore | plants | primary consumer | producers and consumers | reptiles | root | scavenger | secondary consumer | seed | snails | spiders | stem | worms | ecosystem
- Moreno, N., and Tharp, B. (2011) The Science of Food Teacher’s Guide. Baylor College of Medicine: Houston. ISBN: 978-1-888997-76-7
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My Health My World: National Dissemination
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The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
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Foundations for the Future: Capitalizing on Technology to Promote Equity, Access and Quality in Elementary Science Education