2 minute read


algae (AL jee) — most algae are tiny, plant-like living things, seaweeds are also algae

caiman (KAY muhn) — a kind of crocodile found in South America

caribou (KA ri boo) — a large mammal of the deer family, caribou are related to reindeer

decomposers (dee kuhm PO zurs) — living things such as fungi and bacteria that get food by breaking down the remains of plants or animals

diatoms (DYE at uhms) — a kind of plankton that have a glass-like shell around their bodies

dinoflagellates (DYE noh fla juh luhts) — a type of plankton that have long, whiplike flagella (tails) on their bodies

energy (EN ur jee) — the ability to do work, iIt is measured in joules

environment (en VYE ruhn muhnt) — the natural world of the land, oceans, and air

extinct (ek STINGKT) — when a particular kind of animal or plant dies out completely

herbivore (HUR buh vor) — an animal that eats only plant food

joule (jool) — a unit for measuring energy or work done

minerals (MIN ur uhl) — simple chemicals found in the ground

nitrates (NYE trayts) — chemicals containing the elements nitrogen and oxygen

nutrients (NOO tree hunts) — simple substances that animals need for food

omnivore (OM nuh vor) — an animal that eats a mixture of animal and plant foods

phytoplankton (FYE toh plangk tuhn) — plankton that can make their own food, as plants do

plankton (PLANGK tuhn) — microscopic and very small living things that drift with the ocean currents

predator (PRED uh tur) — an animal that catches and eats other animals

primary consumer (PRYE muh ree kuhn SOO mur) — any animal that eats plants or other producers

producer (pruh DOO sur) — a plant, or any other living thing that can make its own food

productivity (pruh DUHK tiv uh tee) — the amount of plant life that can grow in a particular environment

scavenger (SKAV uhn jur) — an animal that feeds on dead and rotting animals or other kinds of waste

secondary consumer (SEK uhn der ee kuhn SOO mur) — an animal whose main food is primary consumers

species (SPEE sheez) — a group of very similar animals that can breed together to produce healthy offspring

tertiary consumer (TUR shuh ree kuhn SOO mur) — an animal whose main food is secondary consumers

Additional topics

Science Encyclopedia for KidsFood Chains and Webs