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Food habits of animals

Background

Each animal has its own preference for food. The abundance of a particular variety of animal is directly linked to the availability of its preferred food. Examining the animal itself can in many cases give a good indication of what they eat. 

Aim

Observe different animals and their food habits.

Observe how their body parts help in obtaining the food and eating it.

Classify animals on their food habits. 

Activities

Observe animals to find out what kind of food it eats, what parts of its body helps it to eat, and any other interesting things about the way the animal eats. Some examples are earthworms, fish, silkworms, chickens, spiders, ants, dogs, cats, frogs, horses, cows, sheep, and squirrels. Record your observations.

Visit a zoo if possible. Observe how different kinds of animals eat, and how their body parts adapted for getting and eating food.

Classify animals on the basis of the food they eat. To begin with, make a list of animals that eat plants, those that eat flesh of other animals and those that eat both plants and animals.

Classify animals in each group further. For example among the animals that eat other animals, list those animals that eat insects. Can you go on classifying animals in each group further, again based on their food habits? Represent your classification pictorially.

Animals that eat other animals need to hunt for their food. Observe the hunting methods of animals around you. Record your observations and try to classify animals on the basis of their hunting methods.

Observe the mouthparts of animals. Based on what you observe, can you tell what sort of food they eat. For example, the butterfly has a long proboscis that helps it suck. Hence the butterfly drinks nectar from flowers. Similarly give explanations of why you believe an animal eats and how its mouthparts help it to do so.

Related Questions

Based on your observations, can you form food chains? Here is an example: nuts-squirrel-cat.

Observe similarities in a group of animals with the same food habits, for example, flesh eating animals or grass eating animals.

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