Food Chain: Explanation, Examples, Types, Significance & Facts

A food chain is a linear sequence of organisms through which nutrients and energy pass as one organism eats another. A energy is never created or destroyed. A food chain shows how this energy, flows occurs. Organisms of different species can interact in many ways. A food chain is a series of organisms that eat one another so that energy and nutrients flow from one to next. For example, if you eat a hamburger that might be a part of the food chain like grass- cow-human.

Examples of the food chain:

Examples of the food chain

Examples of terrestrial and aquatic food chains


  • plants – deer – wolf
  • grain – rat – owl
  • sun – berries – raccoon
  • algae – mosquito larva – dragonfly – fish
  • crayfish – large-mouthed fish – humans
  • insect – frogs – snakes
  • photosynthesis sun – euglena – cladocerans
  • Cyanobacteria – phagotrophic protists – planktonic larvae.

 Types of food chains: 

Types of food chains

Types of Food Chains. Food Chains. Grazing food chains. Predatory food chains. Parasitic food chains. Detritus/ saprophytic food chains.

  1. Detritus food chain:

Detritus food chain:

Detritus food chain is the type of chain which interacts with the dead organic matter into microorganisms and then goes to organisms feeding on detritus and their predators. It depends on the direct solar energy. For example, such type of food chain operates in the decomposing accumulated litter in a temperate forest.

  1. Grazing food chain:

Grazing food chain

The grazing food chain is a type of food chain which starts from the green living plants which go top grazing herbivores. It depends on the solar radiation. Fish sequence or the grasses -rabbit -Fox sequences are the examples, of grazing food chain.

Significance and facts of the food chain:

Significance and facts of the food chain

  • The studies of food chain help understand the feeding relationship and the interaction between organisms in any ecosystem.
  • There are two types of components in a food chain, producer, and consumer. A producer is the one that creates the energy and consumer is the one that uses the energy.
  • A producer is also known as an autograph.
  • Plants are producers and other living things are consumers.
  • There are total 4 types of consumers in the animal kingdom: Carnivore, Herbivore, Omnivore, and Scavenger.
  • Carnivores only eat other animals.
  • Herbivore only eats plants.
  • An Omnivore is the one who eats both plants and other animals.
  • A Scavenger eats dead animals.
  • They also help us to appreciate the energy flow mechanism and matter circulation in the ecosystem and understand the movement of toxic substances in the ecosystem.
  • The study of food chain helps us to understand the problems of bio-magnification.
  • Plants start a food chain. They use sunlight as energy to make their food.
  • Plants are eaten by insects. This insect is eaten by a bird. A bird is eaten by a large mammal.
  • When this mammal dies, it decomposes and consumed by bacteria and fungi as food.

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