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Author(s): Nancy Moreno, PhD, and Barbara Tharp, MS.

Different Kinds of Consumers

Procedure (cont.)

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.

Funded by the following grant(s)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

My Health My World: National Dissemination
Grant Number: 5R25ES009259
The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Number: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932

Houston Endowment Inc.

Foundations for the Future: Capitalizing on Technology to Promote Equity, Access and Quality in Elementary Science Education