All living things need energy in order to live and they get this energy from the food they eat. All food chains start with plants and end with animals. Plants are called, "producers" because they produce their own food from sunlight, water and the nutrition they get from the soil.
Animals are called, "consumers" because they cannot prepare their own food and are directly or indirectly dependent on plants for their energy.
Some animals eat plants and some eat animals for energy.
Animals that eat only plants to get energy are called herbivores. For example- deers, cows, grasshoppers.
Animals that eat only animals to get energy are called carnivores. For example- Tigers, Lions, Snakes.
Animals that eat both plants and animals to get energy are called omnivores. For example- monkeys and bears.
A simple food chain starts with grass, which is eaten by rabbits. Then the rabbits are eaten by foxes.
A big food chain starts with acorns, which are eaten by mice. The mice are eaten by snakes, and then finally the snakes are eaten by hawks. At each link in the chain, energy is being transferred from one animal to another.
Marine food chain- A marine food chain starts with phytoplankton which are eaten by small fishes, then the small fishes are eaten by medium sized fishes, and at last, the medium sized fishes are eaten by big fishes.
Food web- The arrows in a food chain show the flow of energy. A network of many food chains is called a food web.