Attention Getting Question:
Are you a producer, consumer, or decomposer?
Have you heard the saying “You are what youeat”? When it comes to determining if an organism is a producer, consumer, or decomposer, it is all about what you eat!
Organisms or living things get their energy by producing, consuming, or decomposing food. Let’s take a look at how organisms get energy from the food they eat.
Producers are organisms that make their own food. Plants are producers because they take energy from the sun, water, and carbon dioxide (or the air you breathe out) in order to make their own food in a process called photosynthesis. Plants are vital producers because they provide food or energy for people and animals to consume. From root to fruit, many parts of a plant are edible for people and animals.
Another example of a producer is the algae that grows in bodies of water. Algae are the green organisms that you see on the surface of the water or growing on rocks in the water. They provide natural food for the fish.
Imagine a meadow full of lush, green grass. It is home to many animals that eat grass. Grasshoppers, rabbits, and deer all eat plants and are considered consumers.They are also herbivores.Consumers are organisms that eat other living things.
Scientists divide consumers into three groups: herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores. Herbivores are organisms that only eat plants. Carnivores are organisms that only eat animals. Omnivores are organisms that eat both plants and animals. Most people are omnivores, and all people are consumers since our body can’t make its own food.
A snake is a predator to a grasshopper, a hawk is a predator to a rabbit, and a wolf is a predator to a deer. The grasshopper, rabbit, and deer are all considered prey.Snakes, hawks, and wolves are consumers and carnivores because they eat other animals. They are also predators to many animals. Predators hunt and eat other animals for food. Prey are the animals that get hunted and eaten by other animals. Animals have adaptations that help them catch prey or hide from predators.
After a wolf attacks and kills a deer for food, he will leave a part of the dead carcass behind. Then a buzzard may come by to eat some of the dead remains. Other decomposers may join the buzzard in eating the decaying animal. A decomposer is an organism that feeds on dead materials and wastes. They include maggots, earthworms, bacteria, and other organisms too small to see without a microscope. Decomposers are helpful by disposing of decaying materials and wastes. They also enrich the soil with nutrients needed for plant growth.
Organisms or living things can be divided into three categories based on the way they get energy. Producers are organisms that make their own food. Consumers are organisms that eat other organisms. Herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores are three ways to describe consumers. Decomposers are organisms that feed on dead materials and wastes.