Secondary consumers are the third organism in the food chain. They follow producers and primary consumers. Secondary consumers are often eaten by other organisms, the tertiary consumers. Secondary consumers eat primary consumers
This means that secondary consumers can either be omnivores or carnivores. These terms refer to whether or not they eat just meat or a varied diet. Omnivores can eat both plants and animals. Carnivores eat exclusively meat. Secondary consumers don’t need to have a specific diet.
What is unique about secondary consumers is that they can sometimes also be considered primary or tertiary consumers depending on the environment. For example, when squirrels eat nuts and fruits, it is a primary consumer. If a squirrel switches to eating insects or baby birds, then it is considered a secondary consumer. This type of switching can occur at any time, in any environment, depending on food and predators in the area,
Secondary consumers come in all shapes, sizes, and exist in practically every habitat on earth. Icy tundras, arid savannahs, and artic waters are just some of the extreme environments secondary consumers live in. Whether on land or in water, the one thing they have in common is the type of food they eat—primary consumers.
Secondary consumers are an important part of the food chain. They control the population of primary consumers by eating them for energy. Secondary consumers also provide energy to the tertiary consumers that hunt them.
10 best examples of secondary consumers
Let me quickly show you what these secondary consumers feed on:
- A squirrel feeds on seeds, nuts, corn, fruit, leaves, fungi and bark
- Snakes feed on insects, rodents, birds and their eggs, fish, frogs, lizards and small mammals
- Seals feed on shrimp, octopus, fish, and krill
- Owls feed on insects, spiders, earthworms, snails and crabs, fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and small mammals
- Cats feed on rodents like mice and rats
- Eagles feed on rabbits, ground squirrels and marmots, as well as birds and reptiles such as snakes
- Pythons eat rodents, birds, lizards, and mammals like monkeys, wallabies, pigs, or antelope
- Wolves will feed on small prey such as earthworms to animals as large as moose. Elk, deer, sheep, and goats
- Baboons eat fruits, grasses, seeds, bark, and roots, but also have a taste for meat. They eat birds, rodents, and even the young of larger mammals, such as antelopes and sheep.
- Dogs will feed on Thomson’s gazelles, wildebeest, reedbuck, impala, and duiker
Remember, secondary consumers, are the third organism in the food chain. Tertiary consumers feed on the secondary consumers.
10 best examples of tertiary consumers
- Polar bear
- Saltwater Crocodile
- Polar bears
- Electric eels
- Bald Eagle
- Komodo dragon