Second-order consumers, also known as secondary consumers, are organisms that occupy a position in a food chain. They are often referred to simply as predators, as they get their food by eating first-order consumers, or herbivores.Continue Reading
A food web, which consists of multiple food chains linked together, has identifiable niches for organisms based on the way they get their energy. Producers sit at the bottom of the web and extract energy directly from an abiotic source, usually the sun. Producers are eaten by first-order consumers, which are almost always herbivorous animals. Herbivores are, in turn, eaten by the second-order consumers, the predators.
A typical food chain runs from grass, which is a producer, to the gazelle that eats the grass as a first-order consumer, to the cheetah, which is the second-order consumer, in this example. While there is no theoretical limit to how many layers a food web can support, as predators themselves can always be eaten by other predators, second-order consumers can be the practical limit for unproductive ecosystems, as energy is lost with each transfer up the chain.
To support a single second-order consumer, an environment must be able to support 10 times as much biomass in primary consumers, and 100 times as much among the producers at the bottom of the web.Learn more about Customer Service
In a food chain, a second-level consumer is an organism that eats a first-level or primary-level consumer. For example, in a grassland biome, a snake is a second-level consumer that eats a primary-level consumer such as a rabbit. While a second-level consumer is a carnivorous or omnivorous animal, a first-level consumer is an herbivore.Full Answer >
A quaternary consumer is an animal that is at the top of the food chain. These animals mainly eat or prey on animals below them on the food chain, such as tertiary and secondary consumers.Full Answer >
The food chain of a producer is the sun, the primary consumer, the secondary consumer and the decomposer. The producer uses the sun and nutrients in the soil to make food, and animals that consume it eventually die and fertilize the soil.Full Answer >
Genetically modified organisms, or GMO, labeling alerts consumers to the presence of genetically modified microorganisms or plants that are part of the food products that they buy. Even if the GMOs are not present, but were used in production, this must be indicated on the label. Certain products are exempt from GMO labeling, such as certain processing aids and additives.Full Answer >