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What Is The Longest Food Chain In The Animal World?

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Jack Buckby Profile
Jack Buckby answered
We don't know the longest food chain because they vary so much. There are rarely more than six links on a food chain.

What is a food chain?
A food chain is a linear diagram showing what animals eat and what their prey eats. It starts at the top with an animal that eats no other species in the chain other than the one below it in the chain and ends with a species that is eaten by no other animal in the chain except the one immediately above it.

It sounds very simple
It is simple and while useful, it is a limited tool. For example, you can apply a food chain to understand the diet of an osprey. You would say the osprey eats pike, which eats perch, which eats, shrimp. This is fine, but the osprey also eats rodents, and they aren't mentioned. A 'food web' accounts for these variations in diet and is a much more complex diagram.

How long can food chains be?
They are not precise so there is no definitive answer here. Food chains are simplifications and rarely show more than six links.

An example of a long food chain from the animal world. . .
Here's a simplified food chain with six links. You could add humans on to the end if you apply us to the term 'animal world' too.

Phytoplankton < zooplankton < fish < crab < seal < whale

Why is understanding the food chain important?
Food chains are important for ecology. They show that when you cause a change in one species, there are implications for others that are linked to it. For example, thinking about the osprey again, the bird could catch its fish in a lake. This lake suddenly changes ownership and the new owner opens it up for fishermen. They pull pike out of the water with some success. As a result, the osprey has less to eat and its numbers fall.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
As far as my knowledge is concern, its Phytoplankton -> Zooplankton -> Crustacean -> Fish -> Squid-> Seal -> Killer Whale
Elizabeth Dilworth Profile
Phytoplankton -> Zooplankton -> Crustacean -> Fish -> Squid-> Seal -> Killer Whale
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Well it depends really... It depends if your putting things like decomposers, scavangers and parasites in the chain which really complicate things. If your just keeping it simple using animals then they rarely get larger than 5 since so much energy is lost at each level. An aquatic food chain is likely to be the longest, the longest realistic, simple one I can think of without decomposers, scavangers and what not is:
Phyto Plankton - Zoo Plankton - Crustacean - Squid - Seal - Orca
 
Theres not really an official longest food chain, for the simple reason that nature doesn't really go in chains, food webs are more realistic.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I want to know for my homework
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Phytoplankton -> Zoo plankton -> Crustacean -> Fish -> Squid-> Seal -> Killer Whale

hope this helped
Shumaila Sadia Profile
Shumaila Sadia answered
In the oceans you can find the longest food chain. It is due to the fact that from the smallest in size animal to largest we can find in the oceans. For further information please visit this link.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
The 1st reply is not very long and also is found of the internet! I need the same thing, I find the same much more helpful!!

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