Example identifying roles in a food web
- [Instructor] We are asked, who is a secondary consumer in this diagram? So pause this video, and see if you can figure that out. Alright, now let's work through this together. So let's just make sure we understand this diagram. When we have an arrow from grasses to mouse, it means that the grasses go into the mouse's mouth. It means that the mouse eats the grasses. Similarly, the grasshopper eats the grasses. And then we have these arrows from the mouse, to the coyote, the hawk, the snake, the vulture. That means that all of these characters may eat the mouse. Likewise, a hawk eats a grasshopper. So now that we understand this diagram, let's label where these various folks fit in the food chain. So the grasses right over here, they are a primary producer. They are using photosynthesis in order to take light energy from the sun in conjunction with carbon dioxide in the air and water, in order to store energy in its bonds. Now the grasshopper and the mouse eat that grass for that energy. And so, the grasshopper and the mouse, since they directly eat that primary producer, they would be primary... Primary consumers. Consumers. And I think you see where this is going. The folks who then eat the primary consumers, so this would be the hawk, the coyote, the vulture, and the snake, these would all be secondary consumers. Secondary... Secondary consumers. And we're done. Who is a secondary consumer in this diagram? We could say the coyote's a secondary consumer. The hawk is also a secondary consumer. The vulture is a secondary consumer. And so is the snake. And as you can see, that's okay, even in a situation where some secondary consumers eat other secondary consumers. The coyote might eat a hawk, or a vulture might eat a snake, and a coyote might eat a vulture, which eats a snake, which might eat a mouse, which eats the grass. But any of these could be considered secondary consumers.
Biology is brought to you with support from the Amgen Foundation