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Food chains & food webs

An Introduction to Food Webs & Food Chains

What did you eat today? Did you have a bowl of cereal? Slice of toast with some eggs? Whatever you ate, you just became part of a food chain. In fact, anytime you eat, you are part of a food chain.


  1. What is a food chain?
  2. What is a food web? 
  3. What is a producer and a consumer? 

Food Chain

A food chain is a single linear diagram. It shows the flow of food and energy through multiple organisms. It starts with an organism that creates it’s own food and then moves towards the animal doing the eating. 

Look at the image below. In the first food chain, the mouse eats the corn and the owl eats the mouse. You can see the arrow points towards the organism doing the eating. The mouse provides the owl with energy to grow and move. 

Select each ‘i’ icon for more information on food chains.

Food Web

Think about what you’ve eaten over the last week. You probably didn’t eat only one organism, in fact, you were probably apart of multiple food chains. Multiple food chains make up a food web. Food webs show the flow of energy through an ecosystem and help us understand how all organisms depend on each other for survival.

Look at the food web below. In this example the Krill can be considered a primary and secondary consumer, while the zooplankton is only a primary consumer. 

Source: https://www.coolantarctica.com/Antarctica%20fact%20file/wildlife/whales/food-web.php


  • A food chain is a series of organisms, each dependent on the next as a source of food.

  • A food web is a number of multiple interconnected food chains. 
  • A producer is an organism that creates it’s own food without consuming another organism. 
  • A consumer is an organism that eats another organism for energy. There are different levels of consumers.

Test your knowledge

Click the ‘question mark’ to test your knowledge with some questions and activities.


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