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Net (Web) Of Life

Age 10, group

45 minutes, indoors or outdoors

Objective

Analyze the food chain through a game.

Materials

  • Food chain cards
  • "I Consume" list
  • 21 pieces of yarn or string (each 6 to 8 feet long)
  • 21 cardboard anchors
  • tape

Get Set

  • Duplicate and cut out food chain cards.
  • Tie one end of each piece of yarn to cardboard anchor.
  • Distribute one piece of yarn with anchor to each player.

Go catch

  • Have each individual tape a card on his/her chest.
  • Form a circle.
  • Read "I Consume" list.
  • The person representing the species doing the consuming throws the anchor end of the string to the person representing the species that is being consumed. (If more than one species is being consumed, choose one.)
  • Individuals representing plankton, kelp, copepods and other food sources throw the yarn to a species that consumes that food.
  • Continue until the list is done.
  • Discuss the food chain concept:
    • Creatures at the bottom of the food chain are more plentiful because so many other creatures depend on them.
    • Each strand of yarn or string is a link in the food chain.
    • What would happen if one of the links were broken?
    • How do fishermen and fisherwomen make sure they do not disrupt the food chain? (regulations, licensing, permits, etc.)

Sailing

  • Visit an aquarium and discover an ecosystem.
  • Inventory creatures in the food chain.

I Consume List

I am a thresher shark, and I consume anchovies, Pacific sardines and other small bait fish.

I am a California halibut, and I consume anchovies, squid and other small fish.

I am an anchovy, and I consume plankton and anchovy eggs.

I am a king salmon, and I consume krill, anchovies, Pacific sardines and Dungeness crab larvae.

I am a rock crab, and I consume clams, barnacles, snails, abalone and oysters.

I am a Pismo clam, and I consume (filter feed on) plankton and other minute food particles.

I am a bocaccio rockfish, and I consume smaller rockfish, anchovies and squid.

I am a Pacific mackerel, and I consume small fish, squid and tiny crustaceans (shellfish).

I am an albacore tuna, and I consume small fish, squid and crustaceans.

I am a California spiny lobster, and I consume algae, small sardines and red sea urchins.

I am a red sea urchin, and I consume kelp (mainly drift kelp).

I am a California market squid, and I consume small crustaceans.

I am a swordfish, and I consume squid, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and small crustaceans.

I am a red sea cucumber, and I consume mud, scand and detritus (decaying organic matter).

I am a spot prawn, and I consume shrimp and plankton.

I am a Pacific sardine, and I consume copepods and plankton.

I am plankton (microscopic plant or animal), and I produce food from nutrients in the water.

I am kelp. I absorb nutrients from water and produce food for plant-eating species such as sea urchins.

I am a Dover sole, and I consume shrimp, brittle stars and polychaete worms.

I am a copepod (a tiny marine crustacean). I am consumed by many creatures, including mackerel and squid.

I am detritus (organic particles in decaying marine life). I am consumed by scavenger fish and shellfish and sea cucumbers.


Food Chain Cards

CUT ALONG DASHED LINES
ALBACORE TUNA
BOCACCIO ROCKFISH
CALIFORNIA HALIBUT
DOVER SOLE
KING SALMON
PACIFIC MACKEREL
PACIFIC SARDINE
SWORDFISH
ROCK CRAB
THRESHER SHARK
CALIFORNIA MARKET SQUID
CALIFORNIA SPINY LOBSTER
RED SEA CUCUMBER
RED SEA URCHIN
PRAWNS (SHRIMP)
ANCHOVIES
PLANKTON
CLAMS
KELP
DETRITUS
COPEPODS

California Seafood Council, PO Box 91540,		Santa Barbara, CA 93190 +1-805-569-8050