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Dolphin Food Chain: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Tawnya Eash

Tawnya has a master's degree in early childhood education and teaches all subjects at an elementary school.

Think about what you ate today. Since you are a consumer, you eat different foods in order to get energy - putting you at the top of the food chain! In this lesson, you are going to learn about what a dolphin eats to stay alive.

Food Chains

Meet Flipper. He is a common bottlenose dolphin. This amazing mammal is able to eat up to 30 pounds of fish in just one day! No wonder he has the energy to jump up to 20 feet out of the water.


Common Bottlenose Dolphin
Dolphin


Dolphins are consumers like many other animals. Consumers are animals that need to eat other plants and/or animals in order to survive. Dolphins are a type of consumer called a carnivore because they eat only meat.

Dolphins are part of an ocean food chain. Food chains show the transfer of energy between specific plants and animals that rely on each other for food.

In a typical food chain, the producers are at the bottom and the consumers are at the top. An important part of all food chains are the dead plants and animals or decomposers. Decomposers are found at each step of a food chain because many living things rely on them.


Order of a Food Chain
Food chain order


In this image of a food chain, the producers are on the bottom of the pyramid. This shows that they get a lot of energy from the sun. The producers get to use the energy directly. As you go further up the food chain, each animal only gets a portion of the original energy from the sun.

Let's take a look at how a dolphin gets all of its energy!

The Dolphin Food Chain

A dolphin is near the top of the food chain, which means it needs to rely on other animals for energy. Unfortunately, there are other animals that rely on dolphins as a source of food too!

Here's an example of a dolphin food chain. Let's examine its different parts.


Dolphin Food Chain
Food chain


Parts of the Dolphin Food Chain

All food chains begin with energy from the Sun. The Sun gives energy to producers, which make their own food.

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