Food Chain Puzzle

A blue and yellow exhibit table with a blue and white information panel on top. Sitting on the table is a toy plastic bird and rabbits.
A blue and yellow exhibit table with a blue and white information panel on top. Sitting on the table is a toy plastic bird and rabbits.

A food chain typically has a larger number of plants or animals at its base.

How it works

Arrange pieces in the three dimensional balancing puzzle, so it represents a food chain.

Things to try or ask around the exhibit

  • Place all of the corn pieces on the base. Balance the four mice on top of the corn and hang the snakes on top of the mice. What animal is left to sit on the very top?
  • What would happen if there was no corn, too many mice, or no eagles?

Background

A food chain or food pyramid shows how lots of plants or animals (such as corn or mice) are needed at the bottom to support the smaller number of animals at the top (such as eagles).

Each plant or animal eaten in a food pyramid passes energy on to the animal above. If the numbers of mice at the bottom of the food pyramid changes, this can reduce or increase number of eagles at the top.

Finding the science in your world

If a group of animals is poisoned (such as mice being poisoned during pest control activities), this not only reduces the amount of food available to carnivores in the food chain, it can also cause the poison to spread through to other animals in the food chain.