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211

feeding

OLogy Series
biology
card
211

feeding

OLogy Series
biology

All living organisms need energy to live. Organisms such as plants get this energy from the Sun. But animals get this energy from what they eat. Some animals search for food in large groups, while others search alone. No matter how an animal obtains its food, all organisms, from the largest whale to the tiniest microbe, are part of an ecosystem’s complex food web.

Trick or Treat
While some fish chase down their prey, others rely on camouflage or other "tricks" to catch an unsuspecting victim. The green, frilly leafy sea dragon is barely visible among the seaweed, where it waits for its next meal to drift by. Some fish tempt their prey with elaborate appendages called "lures." Lures work like little fishing rods. For example, the lure of the frogfish can be quite ornate, closely mimicking the appearance of a small fish, shrimp, or worm. When the lure isn’t waving in front of potential prey, it sits in a protective slit. If the lure is bitten off, it can regenerate!

What do you call an animal that eats both plants and animals?

omnivores

plantivores

junkivores

Are you right?

Correct!

Animals that eat both other animals and plants are called omnivores. They eat it all! Many animals, including humans, are omnivores.

Some animals eat in large groups because it helps them to:

find food more easily

escape from predators

make friends with other animals

Are you right?

Correct!

Animals that feed in large groups (flocks, herds, pods, etc.) often do this to help protect themselves against predators. While some members of the group are eating, others keep watch for predators that could sneak up on the herd and attack.

Term: Feeding
Why they do it: for energy to stay alive; to grow, move, think, reproduce, and perform all the other functions necessary for their survival
The three main nutrients in food: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
Types of animal diets: Carnivores eat other animals, herbivores eat plants, and omnivores eat both plants and other animals.

Image credits: courtesy of AMNH.