Q:

What is the African animal food chain?

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Quick Answer

Arkive describes the African savannah as a vast grassland ecosystem with consistently warm temperatures, making it an ideal habitat for a wide variety of animals. African food chains vary slightly depending on location, but Arkive explains that each one consists of herbivores, carnivores, scavengers, decomposers and producers.

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Full Answer

ExploringNature.org explains that the vulture and hyena are prime examples of scavengers, and producers on the African savannah include trees, grass and shrubs. Mushrooms, tiny organisms and insects such as dung beetles are Africa's decomposers.

According to Wikipedia, apex predators are at the top of any food chain. An apex predator is a predator that does not fall prey to others once it reaches adulthood. Scavengers such as vultures are not considered apex predators because they don't depend on catching live prey. Wikipedia states that the major apex predators in the African savannah include the black-backed jackal, African wild dog, African lion, cheetah, chimpanzee, honey badger, mandrill, leopard and Nile crocodile. Predators are called secondary consumers in food chains.

TheSafariGuide.net lists herbivorous animals in the African food chain, including the zebra, many different antelope species, wildebeest, giraffe and warthog. Wikipedia states the elephant, rhinoceros and hippopotamus are the three largest African herbivores and have nothing to fear from predators other than humans. Herbivores are called primary consumers in food chains.

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