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The Tale of Lucy Lake
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The Tale of Lucy Lake

A Normal Day at Lucy Lake

Ponds, meadows, and forests (or other environments where creatures live, called ecosystems) support a variety of plants and animals.

For the whole community to survive, everything eats something, and something eats it! The creature doing the eating is known as the "predator." The things the predator eats are known as "prey." For example, insects eat plants; fish eat insects; and birds eat fish. Some animals have many different sources of food, while others are more limited in what they eat. This feeding relationship among different plants and animals is known as a "food web."

When something affects one animal or plant, that problem can upset the entire ecosystem. For example, if phytoplankton (small plants and animals) in a lake die from pollution, insects that rely on it for food now have less food to eat, and they begin to die as a result. These insects are a source of food for many other animals, such as fish, birds, frogs, and salamanders. As the insects die, less food is now available for these animals, so they might start to die too.

Diagram showing the food chain.

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