Do you know what a food chain is? We’re not talking about fast food chains that sell chicken or burgers here! A food chain is a series of living things that consume each other in a certain place or environment. Let’s look at our example!
Producers – In our example, we can start from the bottom of the chain with grass and other plants. These plants produce their own food from air and water, using sunlight and nutrients in the soil. They don’t eat any other creatures, so we call them producers.
Consumers – Consumers are creatures that eat other things and can’t produce their own food like plants can. In our example, we have an insect that can eat plants, then a mouse that can eat the insect, then a snake that can eat the mouse, and finally a bird that can eat the snake. Normally, big animals are at the top of the food chain while small animals are at the bottom.
Decomposers – To “decompose” means to break something down or take it apart. Some living things, including insects and, in our example here, mushrooms, use chemicals to break down other creatures. If you look at the picture, you can see that every plant and animal on every step of the food chain has an arrow pointing to the mushrooms. This means that when the grass or the insect, mouse, snake or bird dies, the mushroom will break them down and use them for food.
So what do you think – do mushrooms belong at the top of the food chain or the bottom?
And what about you?!