The Food Chain of a Tiger

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  • 0:01 What Is a Food Chain?
  • 1:00 Tigers
  • 1:38 Food Chain of the Bengal Tiger
  • 2:08 Food Chain of the…
  • 2:41 Importance & Threats
  • 3:35 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Amanda Robb

Amanda holds a Masters in Science from Tufts Medical School in Cellular and Molecular Physiology. She has taught high school Biology and Physics for 8 years.

This lesson explores the food chain of a tiger. We'll learn what a food chain is and what different types of tigers live in the world. Then, we'll cover two specific food chains for different species of tigers.

What Is a Food Chain?

A food chain is a diagram showing the linear transfer of energy between different organisms. That sounds awfully fancy, doesn't it? Well, let's break it down. In the animal kingdom, energy flows as food; every creature gets what it needs by eating. The food chain basically shows which animals eat others in an ecosystem. It's a chart that shows who eats who!

Now, the base of the food chain is always composed of producers, or organisms that make their own food. These are usually green plants. Primary consumers eat the producers and are also called herbivores. Secondary consumers are carnivores, also known as the meat-eaters, because they eat the primary consumers. Finally, at the top of the food chain are tertiary consumers, or the top predators. These organisms eat the primary and secondary consumers and keep the food chain in balance. Each level on the food chain is called a trophic level.

diagram of a food chain


Six sub-species make up the species of tigers alive today. All tigers live in the grasslands and forests of East Asia, ranging from Southeast Asia in Malaysia up to Eastern Russia and Siberia. Weighing over 700 pounds and running speeds of 40 miles an hour, tigers are a formidable enemy and a top predator in the jungle. Their paws grow as large as dinner plates, allowing them to take down prey as large as elephants and rhinos. Now that we know about tigers and some food chain basics, let's get into the food chains for two subspecies of tiger: the Bengal tiger and the Siberian tiger.

Food Chain of a Bengal Tiger

The Bengal tiger lives primarily in India. Bengal tigers are fierce predators and eat many grazing primary consumers, such as Indian bison and sambar, a large deer species native to India. However, as a tertiary consumer, they also eat secondary consumers like the wild boar. The wild boar in turn eats herbivores like small lizards, rodents, fish, and insects. The rodents eat grasses, fruits, and seeds present in the forest, which are the producers.

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