Instead of viewing the prey cycle as a linear food chain, it is helpful to view predator and prey relationships in the tropical rainforest as an interconnected food web. The predatory cycle in the tropical rainforest is complex as the rainforest is home to many different types of organisms, from tiny insects to large cats and birds of prey.
The predator and prey cycle in the tropical rainforest typically follows general patterns.
- Insects eat plants, fungi, decaying matter, and smaller insects.
- Spiders eat insects.
- Birds eat spiders.
- Birds are eaten by larger predators, primarily mammals.
- At the center of the food web are the big cats, which would be at the top of the food chain, if one were to view the prey cycle in a linear fashion.
This, however, is by no means an exhaustive breakdown of the tropical rainforest's predator and prey relationships or the many variations and exceptions that exist.