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Food Web: Glossary

B

bacteria
microscopic living organisms which can cause illness, participate in fermentation or decompose
bison
large animal related to the cow found in North American plains

C

cannibals
any life form that eats its own kind
carbon dioxide
a gas that plants use in the making of food
carnivores
animals that eat other animal life
circulating
to move in a circular pattern
crayfish
a freshwater creature smaller but similar to a lobster

D

decomposer
a life form that breaks down dead plant and animal tissues into simpler substances
decomposition
the process done by the decomposer
dependent
relying on something else to complete a task

E

energy
the ability to work

F

food chain
a system that carries energy through living organisms
fungi
a living organism from the family that includes molds, mushrooms, and yeasts

H

herbivores
animals that eat plants

I

illness
unwell - to be sick

L

larvae
the young of certain organisms

M

maggots
the young of certain flies
microbes
microscopic living organisms
minerals
a type of matter that is neither plant nor animal and is often found in soil

N

nutrients
matter that gives nourishment

O

omnivore
animals that eat both plants and animals

P

photosynthesis
the process plants use to turn sunlight and carbon dioxide into sugar energy
predators
animals who hunt their food
primary consumers
the first level of the food chain after producer - an herbivore or omnivore which eats plant life
process
a series of actions in a system
produce
to cause
producers
plants are the producers in the food chain because they are the cause of passing food energy

S

scavengers
an animal or other organism that does not kill its own food, but eats off of food left by other forms of life
secondary consumer
a carnivore or omnivore which eats primary consumers
shrew
small rodent similar to a mouse or rat
survival
to continue to live

T

tertiary
third in order, rank, level, stage, formation, etc.

W

wild
in the natural part of the world - not cared for by humans
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