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.

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.