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Earn Your Otter Badge

In this lesson we'll see who is eating whom in different habitats. Using the list of plants and animals from our own backyard we'll build a food chain and begin to think about what might happen if one link goes missing in an ecosystem. 

Ocean Food Chains

Let's look at an ocean food web and see what eats what in an underwater environment. As with all food chains we'll start with the sun. But what do you think comes next? Watch this video to see some examples of marine food chains. 

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All About Ecosystems

Before we build our own food chain, let's make sure we understand how a food chain works within a habitat or ecosystem. Your own backyard is part of a habitat and there's a lot going on right outside your door. Even if you can't see all the members of a food chain when you look out your window, they are there and they are busy contributing to the delicate balance of the ecosystem you live in. Watch this video to see how 

What's a food web?

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A food chain is a simple way to understand who eats what in an ecosystem. But ecosystems are more complicated than this simple diagram. A food web is a better explanation of what's happening in an ecosystem. A food web is made up of many food chains. You don't eat the same thing every night for dinner and neither do other organisms. So, an organism is usually part of many food chains, creating a food web. Sometimes a food web looks like a pyramid. 

AN EXAMPLE OF AN OCEAN FOOD CHAIN

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SCIENTIST NOTEBOOK

Now that you're an expert on food chains and how they work in an ecosystem, use the list of plants and animals you've seen out your own window to build a food chain in your scientist notebook. It's ok if you haven't seen all the animals in the food chain. If a link is missing, try to guess who it might be. You can look for clues like tracks, bite or claw marks, nests, burrows, and even poop to find out who is eating what in your ecosystem. 

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Books to Explore

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YOU DID IT! 

You successfully completed level seven by learning who is eating what in your own backyard!  Don't forget to add your newly earned badge to your achievement chart before getting started on the next level. 

KEEP GOING!

Now that you know how a food chain works, let's dive a bit deeper and earn your next badge.

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