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Web of Life
Species Cards

Print and cut these cards in advance. You can adjust the numbers to match your class size, but attempt to keep the numbers proportional; eliminate top-level consumers first if necessary. Members of this food web include:

4 phytoplankton
7 zooplankton
2 rock scallop
7 northern anchovy
4 chub mackerel
1 giant Pacific octopus
1 blue shark
1 northern fur seal
1 humpback whale
1 killer whale (orca)
the sun

Phytoplankton

  • microscopic plants that drift near the ocean's surface
  • absorbs sunlight and nutrients from water
  • diatoms are one of the most common kinds of phytoplankton

Zooplankton

  • tiny animals that live near the ocean's surface and in deeper waters
  • some kinds of zooplankton feed on phytoplankton; others feed on other zooplankton
  • most are very small, though some, such as krill, grow to be several inches long

Rock scallop

  • a shellfish that lives on the ocean bottom
  • the largest living scallop; it can grow to be 4 to 11 inches long
  • eats phytoplankton, along with other small particles of food

Northern anchovy

  • a small fish that usually stays near the ocean's surface
  • feeds mostly on zooplankton
  • netlike parts of its gills strain zooplankton from water

Chub mackerel

  • swims near the ocean's surface and in deeper waters
  • feeds on krill (a kind of zooplankton), squid and anchovies

Giant Pacific octopus

  • spends most of its time on the ocean bottom
  • feeds on shrimp, crabs, scallops, abalones and clams
  • traps prey with its arms, then tears it with its sharp beak

Blue shark

  • found near the ocean's surface and in deeper waters
  • feeds on squid and fish such as anchovies and mackerel

Northern fur seal

  • spends most of its time near the ocean's surface
  • eats squid and small fish such as anchovies and herring
  • may dive 300 feet in search of prey

Humpback whale

  • found near the ocean's surface and to depths of about 130 feet
  • eats mostly krill and other types of zooplankton; sometimes eats anchovies and other small fish

Killer whale

  • usually found near the ocean's surface
  • eats other whales (such as humpbacks), seals, and fish such as mackerel

The sun

  • provides energy for plants to photosynthesize


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