Where does your food come from?
For many of us the answer may well be "the supermarket!"
Actually, almost all of our food comes from plants and other animals. Animals such as sheep eat grass and other similar plants. When the sheep has grown to a suitable size, we kill the sheep and eat it. In the seas and oceans small fish such as mackerel are eaten by bigger fish such as trout. The trout might themselves be eaten by even bigger fish such as sharks, or they are caught by us for our food.
Food chains are very useful diagrams which show us the feeding patterns of different animals. We can read a food chain and understand not only what an animal feeds on to get its food, but also what other animals may eat that particular animal for food.
The different plants and animals in a food chain are connected by arrows. The direction of the arrow shows us which animal is being eaten. The arrow always goes from the prey (the animal being eaten) to the predator (the animal that is eating). Food chains always start with plants. We call these plants producers.
producer prey predator
A simple food chain for the fish above would look like this:
mackerel trout shark