# What is the longest food chain in the natural world?

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Since food chains can be as long as you want them to be, I am wondering what is the longest 'natural' food chain. Also, I don't want humans to be counted in as they are omnivores and can interfere in any part of the food chain! What is the longest food chain known to man?

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They can't practically be as long as you want because alot of energy is lost as heat as energy is transfered up the food chain, and also that fluctuating productivity levels of the whole ecosystem are maginfied up through the ecosystem, which makes it harder for top level predators. Eventually there is so little energy left, and it is often lost in draughts, seasonal migrations, etc, that species living off those below have little chance of survival. I think around 4 or 5 levels is the upper limit. It's also important to remember that omnivores, parasites, scavengers, detritivores, etc all complicate matters.

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Is there a food chain with 5 consumers? Not organisms though! What would be the 5 level of consumer be called? Because you have primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Qadternary, .....

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I'm sure you can think them up. I watched a documentary on Honey Badgers the other day. They often get eaten by leopards. They eat cobras and other snakes. Snakes eat rodents, rodents eat vegetation. So there you have five (plants, rodents, snakes, badger, leopard).

Fifth would be quinary.

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Ok. Thanx alot Skye!

Mc Donalds

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I don't get you there YT

(It's a snake.)

What???

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rofl, this is getting quite comical

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damn you alt f14 for getting that song stuck in my head!!!

rofl

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If you don't stop, I'll personally come through ur computer screen and stab you. I have trying very, VERY hard not to get addicted to that song!

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a fly, a spider, a wasp, a bird, a cat, a dog, a bear, a hunter.

theres 8

 I could have started with Grass and then a Cow that ate it and made poo for the fly, but I figured 8 was enough

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This one's better and more catchy

http://webpages.charter.net/redemption/banana/

Cellular Modular Interactive-odular

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a fly' date=' a spider, a wasp, a bird, a cat, a dog, a bear, a hunter.

theres 8

[edit'] I could have started with Grass and then a Cow that ate it and made poo for the fly, but I figured 8 was enough

Many things wrong with it. I don't really think that wasps eat spiders. On top of that, I am DEFINITELY sure that bears don't come across dogs and eat them! AND ON TOP OF THAT, NO HUMANS ALLOWED!

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How's this:

Flowers, little bugs, bigger bugs, birds, cats, dogs, parasites that kill the dog, worms (that eat the dead dog), birds, cats, dogs, parasites that kill the dog, worms (that eat the dead dog), birds, cats, dogs, parasites that kill the dog, worms (that eat the dead dog), birds, cats, dogs, parasites that kill the dog, worms (that eat the dead dog), birds, cats, dogs, and guess what? The same thing over and over.

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Well, I'm trying to avoid the the use of decomposers as Skye said in the 1 reply

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Skye you gotta get Banana Phone, and when banana phone meets Badgers....its classic

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By the way, there's wasps that paralyse spiders and leave them in mud nests with their eggs. The young hatch and eat the still-living spider.

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Well, pretty much everything organic gets re-assimilated by some other consumer eventually, so the question that will most affect the 'validity' of any chain we can come up with is:

"How much of an organism's mass has to pass on to the next trophic level before we consider the chain to be broken?"

This is of course assuming we consider each trophic level to be a link in the chain, rather than counting all consumers in the web.

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So, it can basically go on forever. Is that what you mean?

If that is the case, then, how many consumers can exist until it can go no further?

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Many things wrong with it. I don't really think that wasps eat spiders. On top of that, I am DEFINITELY sure that bears don't come across dogs and eat them! AND ON TOP OF THAT, NO HUMANS ALLOWED!

Dogs don't eat cats either.

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There you have it! I missed that out actually!

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Wasps do in fact eat spiders, Ive seen it many times (

wild dogs will kill and eat even large mountain cats that are caught alone, and many a bear has killed a wild dog, although Im sure if they eat them? but theyre not suposed to eat people either (like sharks) but its been known!

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Bears mainly feed on salmon, and veggies. They don't really intend on killing other animals unless it is for the defence of their young. Also, it is VERY unlikely that in the environment that you are talking about, that a mountain cat would eat birds as a part of its regular diet. It would be bigger animals.

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