The Food Web of the Atlantic Ocean

Instructor: Ebony Potts

Ebony has taught middle and high school physical science, life science & biology. She's also been an assistant principal and has a doctorate in educational administration.

Do you know where organisms of the Atlantic ocean would fit in on a food web? In this lesson you will learn what a food web is and view an example food web containing Atlantic ocean creatures.

Food Web of the Atlantic Ocean

You have finally arrived at your favorite aquarium! You can't wait to see the Atlantic Ocean adventure movie. It is all your friends have talked about since you found out about the field trip. 'I heard the theater makes you feel as if you are really in the ocean!' Krishna says. Andre says, 'My cousin came here last week, and he said that he thought he was going to be eaten by a great white shark!' As your classmates go on and on in excitement, your mind begins to wander. What would it be like to live in the Atlantic ocean? What would you eat? What might eat you? As the movie begins, you let your imagination run wild, as the sounds of the waves from the speakers take you deep into the Atlantic Ocean. In this lesson, we'll take a look at the Atlantic Ocean and its food web.

The Atlantic Ocean

The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean on earth following the Pacific ocean. The Atlantic ocean covers one fifth of the Earth and borders the Americas, Africa and Europe. Much of the climate is determined by the air masses that flow over the ocean. These air masses also are responsible for many of the hurricanes that develop over the Atlantic.

As a result of its massive size and the many continents that it touches, almost every sea creature imaginable lives in, on or around the Atlantic ocean. Sea turtles, plankton, kelp, sponges, sharks, dolphins, jellyfish and many more, reside here. There are nearly as many types of organisms that live in and around the Atlantic ocean as there are creatures that live above it.

Atlantic Bluefin Tuna
blue fin tuna

Food Chains, Food Webs & the Atlantic Ocean

A food chain is a linear, 1-directional diagram of the feeding relationships between organisms in an area. A food chain simply shows what organism eats another organism. Food chains do not give a good summary of all that happens in an ecosystem. The reason for this is, because they only show the feeding relationships of a small number of organisms, in one directional pattern. A food web is a combination of multiple food chains that show the feeding relationships of an ecosystem in a multi-linear, multi-directional way. A food web gives a more accurate and comprehensive view of how organisms interact in an environment.

Food webs contain some or all of the following:

  1. Producers - plants in an ecosystem
  2. Herbivores - plant eaters
  3. Omnivores - eat both plants and meat
  4. Carnivores - eat only meat

Some examples of these types of organisms in the Atlantic ocean are:

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