The Ultimate Food-Web! See below for various examples of each different level of the Eco-System.
“When attacked by lions or dogs, striped and brown hyenas will feign death, though the spotted hyena will defend itself ferociously. The spotted hyena is very vocal, producing a number of different sounds consisting of whoops, grunts, groans, lows, giggles, yells, growls, laughs and whines. The striped hyena is comparatively silent, its vocalizations being limited to a chattering laugh and howling”
Striped Hyena’s are primarily known as scavengers; Yet Spotted Hyena’s, while it scavenges occasionally, are primarily considered secondary consumers. Spotted Hyena’s are active pack hunters of large sized hoofed animals. They usually catch their prey by wearing them down in long chases and dismembering then consuming them. Hyena’s will occasionally attack and kill any defenseless animal that they can overcome.
“The giraffe’s extreme altitude is a consequence of its extremely elongated neck, which can be over 2 m (7 ft) in length, accounting for nearly half of the giraffe’s vertical height. The increase in neck length results from the disproportionate elongation of the cervical vertebrae, rather than the addition of more vertebrae”
Giraffes are also considered “Browsers”, and feed off of the twigs of trees. They prefer trees with thorns on them, especially Acacai, Commiphora, and Terminalia. Giraffe are also known to eat grass and fruits. A Giraffe can eat up to 65 pounds of food a day, but if need be, can survive on as little as 15 pounds of food.
Acacia is one of the main kinds of shrubs that Giraffe eat and is considered a producer. Although the surface has thorns on it, the Giraffe’s lips and tongue are rough. The plant also has some medicinal uses; If mixed with other roots and boiled it is said to cure rabies.
Zebra’s are considered to be primary consumers and are very adaptable grazers as well. They mainly feed on grasses but will also eat shrubs, herbs, leaves and bark. Their well adapted digestive system allow them to subsist on diets of lower nutritional quality than that necessary for other herbivores.
Cheetah Family by Ran Raichberg
Cheetah’s are carnivores and also secondary consumers, usually eating animals under 88 pounds including two kinds of gazelles, the springbok antelope, and the impala. The babies of Zebra and Wildebeest are sometimes taken as well. Interestingly, Cheetah’s hunt by vision, instead of smell.
”It is the fastest of all cats, but lacks strong climbing abilities. It is the fastest land animal, reaching speeds between 112 and 120 km/h (70 and 75 mph) in short bursts covering distances up to 500 m (1,600 ft), and has the ability to accelerate from 0 to over 100 km/h (62 mph) in three seconds.”
“In Africa, wildebeest rank at the top of preferred prey (making nearly half of the lion prey in the Serengeti) followed by zebra. Most adult hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses, elephants, and smaller gazelles, impala, and other agile antelopes are generally excluded. However giraffes and buffalos are often taken in certain regions.”
“Lions are powerful animals that usually hunt in coordinated groups and stalk their chosen prey. However, they are not particularly known for their stamina—for instance, a lioness’ heart makes up only 0.57 percent of her body weight (a male’s is about 0.45 percent of his body weight), whereas a hyena’s heart is close to 1 percent of its body weight.Thus, they only run fast in short bursts, and need to be close to their prey before starting the attack.”
Lions are the Secondary consumers in the African Grasslands. They eat primary consumers such as Zebra’s, Gazelle’s, and even Buffalo. Crocodiles are also Secondary Consumers, feeding on fish, reptiles, and mammals (this one was especially interested in the baby buffalo).