Student Exploration: Food Chain
Vocabulary: consumer, ecosystem, equilibrium, food chain, population, predator, prey, producer
Prior Knowledge Questions (Do these BEFORE using the Gizmo.)
The Food Chain Gizmo™ shows a food chain with hawks, snakes, rabbits, and grass. In this simulation, the hawks eat snakes, the snakes eat rabbits, and the rabbits eat grass.
Producers are organisms that do not need to eat other organisms to obtain energy
Which organism is a producer in this food chain?.
Where does the producer get its energy?
Consumers must eat other organisms for energy. Which organisms are consumers in this food chain?
The SIMULATION pane of the Gizmo shows the current population, or number, of each organism in the food chain.
What are the current populations of each organism?
Hawks: Snakes: Rabbits: Grass:
Select the BAR CHART tab, and click Play (). What do you notice about each population as time goes by?
If populations don’t change very much over time, the ecosystem is in equilibrium.
Compare the equilibrium populations of the four organisms. Why do you think populations decrease at higher levels of the food chain?.