A typical example of the ocean food chain is sharks eating tunas, which eat small fish. The small fishes consume plankton and crustacean, which feed on the microscopic, single-celled organism.
They form the foundation of the ocean food chain. Producers in the ocean food chain are mostly invisible, although they are great in numbers. They are one-celled organisms called phytoplanktons that cover the ocean’s upper layer. Some photoautotrophic bacteria capture the sun’s energy to produce food by photosynthesis. In the coastal areas, seaweeds and grasses also perform the same function.
Together these compounds play a significant role in producing food that sustains the entire ocean’s food chain. They also contribute more than half of the oxygen we breathe.
The second food chain level consists of groups that feed on photoautotrophs for food. In their larval stages, microscopic animals called zooplankton include jellyfish, crustaceans, and mollusks. Larger herbivores include larger fishes like surgeonfish, parrotfish, and green turtles.
Although small, herbivores are significant eaters in the food chain, only to be eaten by the succeeding food chain elements, the carnivores.
The zooplankton of level two sustains a diverse group of small carnivores such as sardines, herring, and menhaden. Secondary consumers include larger carnivores such as octopuses, feeding on crabs and lobsters, and fishes feeding on invertebrates.
Although they successfully catch prey, they also fall prey to the animals in the next level of the food chain – the tertiary consumers also called the predators.
They reside at the top of the food chain of the ocean. Tertiary consumers are enormous and fast-moving animals well-adapted to catch their prey. Top predators generally have an extensive lifespan, higher generation time, and lower reproduction rates. Such organisms include sharks, tunas, dolphins, penguins, seals, and walruses.
Thus, protecting these groups of animals is extremely important as their numbers are often slow to rebound and can affect the balance of the entire food chain.
Ocean ecosystem food chain photo
Did you know that we are currently allowing around 8 million tonnes of plastic to get into our oceans every year ? This plastic pollution is having a terrible impact on ocean wildlife, spreading through marine ecosystems, acting as a vector for pollutants and affecting our well-being, and potentially our health
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