Food web challenge

This Nature Challenge was created by Seek (by iNaturalist):

Your mission:

Every species in a community is connected in a food web. Producers capture energy from the sun, herbivores eat plants, carnivores eat other animals, and decomposers consume dead organisms. Seek out different levels in your local web of life, and learn how each one enables other species to survive.

  • Find 6 different plants (producers)
  • Find any 3 grasshoppers, crickets, locusts, butterflies, moths, caterpillars, or plant-eating mammals (herbivores)
  • Find 2 different arachnids, mantids, or meat-eating mammals (carnivores)
  • Find 2 fungi (decomposers)

What is Seek? And how do you participate?

Seek (by iNaturalist) is a kid-safe app that helps you get outside and explore your local plants, animals, and fungi. Ask your parent or educator to visit the iNaturalist website to learn more. Or, they can click here for more information.

New challenges are released at the start of each month. To participate, you will need access to the app on a phone or tablet device. You can seek out plants, animal, and fungi in your backyard, local park, or nature reserve. Give it a go and become a naturalist today!

Learn more about food webs

Credit: Crash Course Kids

More resources for parents & educators:

Art challenge: fantastic food web

Your art challenge: Pick a forest, grassland, desert, wetland, coral reef, or other natural space that you live near or that you are interested in learning about.

Create a colorful drawing or painting that shows the different producers (plants), consumers (herbivores, carnivores), and decomposers (fungi, bacteria, worms) in that natural place. Draw arrows or lines to show how the different parts of the food web are linked. You may need to do some research online or at the library to learn about the plants, herbivores, predators, and decomposers in the ecosystem that you chose.

To share your art with us, parents or guardians can email us using the contact information on our About Us page.

July Species of the Week!

Meet a new species each week related to the challenge.

Week 1: skunkbush sumac

Image: © Chris Duvall (CC BY-NC) via iNaturalist

Week 2: mule deer

Image: © Craig Martin (CCO), public domain, via iNaturalist

Week 3: mountain lion

Image of mountain lion © pfaucher (CC BY-NC) via iNaturalist

Week 4: western giant puffball

western giant puffball

Image of western giant puffball © James Maughn (CC BY-NC) via iNaturalist

You may like these stories and activities

Mountain lions are apex predators

a simple food chain with a plant, deer, and mountain lion

Keep a nature journal!

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