Topics in BiologyTypes of Desert and their Characteristics Characteristics of Tropical Rainforest Swamp Forest: What are Swamp Forests? Characteristics of Swamp Forests Savanna: Savanna and Grassland explained Savanna - Types of Savanna Tropical Savanna and Temperate Savanna with their Characteristics Introduction to Biomes: What is a Biome? Importance of Swamp Forests Swamp Forests - Types of Swamp Forests Ecology - Ecological Concepts explained Biology: What is Biology? Are Viruses Living Organisms? Differences Between Bone and Cartilage Skeleton: Functions of the Human Skeleton Bone: Type and Classification of Bones based on Shape Skeletal Material: Cartilage and its Functions Cartilage: Types of Cartilage Components of the Ecosystem What is Ecology? Branches of Ecology Ecosystem: What is an Ecosystem?
Academic Questions in Biology
Which of the following is a category of long bones?
The end product of photosynthesis is _____.
The above diagram illustrates a _____.
The living cells that makes up cartilages are called _____.
Which of the following statement is incorrect with regards to chitin?
Which of the following is NOT a function of the human skeleton?
Organisms that manufacture their own food through the help of sunlight or chemicals are best referred to as _____.
Organisms that begins a food chain and also manufacture their food through photosynthesis are best referred to as _____.
Nutrition is one of the basic characteristics of living organisms.
The process of nutrition may be considered as a form of chain that brings different species of organisms into interaction.
For instance, a zebra will interact with different plants in the savanna biome for the purpose of food.
Similarly, a lion interacts with a zebra for the same purpose (food).
Note: The interaction of organisms for food will always commence with producers.
Producers in food chain refers to organisms that manufacture or produce their own food.
Producers also feed from the food they manufacture while other organisms will depend on them for ready made food, either directly or indirectly.
Organisms that manufacture their own food are referred to as autotrophic organisms or autotrophs. In food chain, we often refer to them as producers.
Examples of autotrophs or producers are the green plants, blue-green algae and chemosynthetic bacteria.
Note: When autotrophs require sunlight to make their food, they are referred to as photoautotrophs and the process involved is termed photosynthesis.
Examples of photoautotrophs are all green plants and the blue-green algae.
Conversely, when autotrophs utilizes chemicals for manufacturing their food, they are referred to as chemoautotrophs and the process involved is termed chemosynthesis.
Chemoautotrophs includes methanogenic archaea, aquificae and sulfur-oxidizing epsilon proteobacteria.
A Food Chain is a diagram that shows the relationship between plants and animals within a habitat on the basis of how they rely on each other for food.
Think of habitat as a place where organisms live. They are put into 3:
- Terrestrial Habitat (Land)
- Aquatic Habitat (Water)
- Arboreal Habitat (Treetops)
The diagram below shows a Food Chain:
Image Credit: Dreamstime
A food chain begins with the producers. These producers are usually consumed by other organisms (usually herbivores); and are referred to as consumers.
Note: Organisms that directly feed on producers in a food chain are preferably called primary consumers.
Examples of primary consumers are zebra, grasshopper, antelope, rabbit and other plant feeding organisms.
Next, the primary consumers are consumed or eaten by another sets of consumers called secondary consumers.
Secondary consumers include animals like rats, lion, cats and snakes. (They can be carnivorous or ominvorous organisms).
Secondary consumers may be consumed by a third set of consumers called tertiary consumers.
Vultures and Eagles are examples of tertiary consumers.
Finally, the tertiary consumers are consumed by the last group of organisms called decomposers.
Decomposers in food chain are organisms that feed on dead organisms, bringing about their decomposition in the process. They may also be regarded as saprophytes.
Fungi and Bacteria are typical examples of Decomposers.
Note: Producers begins the food chain while decomposers signifies the end of a food chain.
Food chain can be interlinked in a habitat, giving rise to food web.
Consider the diagram below.
Using the above diagram as a point of reference, notice that the feeding pattern is interlinked.
Consider the explanations below (The diagram serves as our reference):
Grasshopper feeds on berries.
The frog feeds on the grasshopper.
A snake feeds on the frog.
A titmouse feeds on the snake.
The fox eats the titmouse.
The aformentioned observations are illustrated below:
Berries >> Grasshopper >> Frog >> Snake >> Titmouse >> Fox.
This illustration (above) is one food chain in the habitat. Notice that the food chain is linked to other food chains as illustrated in explanation 2.
Recall that the food chain in explanation 1 began with the grasshopper.
Notice that apart from the grasshopper, the greenfly and butterfly also fed on the berries.
The ladybird feeds on the greenfly.
Dragonfly feeds on the ladybird.
The frog feeds on the dragonfly.
The snake eats the frog.
The Buzzard eats the snake
This is another food chain although it has some links with the above food chain (in explanation 1).
Note: It is this linking of food chains that gives rise to a Food Web.
Also, you may have observed that apart from the dragonfly feeding on the ladybird, the titmouse also fed on the lady bird.
Also, the butterfly and titmouse fed on the berries along side the greenfly and grasshopper.
Similarly, the rabbit, mouse and grasshopper all fed on plantain.
Again, the buzzard and fox feeds on the mouse and rabbit. We can go on and on but the point to note is:
A food web shows multiple food chains or multiple feeding relationships or multiple feeding connections all linked together.
Note: Food Web always consist of more than one food chain (at least, a minimum of 2 food chains linked together).
All organism get their energy from the food they eat.
A food chain that shows the movement of energy through it is termed a food pyramid.
Note: The food pyramid is always drawn in a triangular form with the narrow edge at the top. This narrowing at the top signifies the loss of energy as we go top of the food pyramid.
The image below shows a Food Pyramid:
From the above diagram, the primary consumers (grasshoppers) fed on the grasses and gained 1,000kcal of energy. Most of this energy would probably be used for their metabolic activities like hopping, respiration, movement, reproduction and so on.
All living organism must lose energy in the form of heat to their surroundings. This is as a result of their metabolic activities.
By the time the secondary consumers consumed the grasshoppers, it was only able to get 10kcal of energy simply because the grasshoppers had already lost some energy in the form of heat to it's surroundings.
Similarly, the secondary consumers will also use some of this energy (10kcal) for it’s metabolic activities; thus losing some energy in the form of heat to the surroundings.
Finally, the tertiary consumer consumed the secondary consumers and was able to get 1kcal of energy. This is because the secondary consumers had lost 9kcal of energy in the form of heat to its surroundings.
Note: As a student, you should be able to state the 2nd law of thermodynamics because it has everything to do with the “loss of heat to the surroundings”.
The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, with regards to food chain states that:
In the course of energy transformation or transfer, some energy is lost in the form of heat to the surroundings.
Note: Energy is always lost as heat during metabolism.
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Amazing facts in Biology
Male Seahorses actually give birth to their young ones, NOT the female
All babies are born with blue eyes
Research made at the University of Vienna suggested that yawning may play an essential role in cooling the brains
All voluntary and concious activity of right handed people are controlled from the left part or hemisphere of the brain
A snail can actually sleep for 3 years 😁
An adult human being is composed of about 60% water. In fact, a newly born baby is composed of about 80% of water. This will drop to 65% after a year and finally to about 60% as the child ages
Without saliva, food can never be enjoyed. Food becomes tasteless since saliva is needed to dissolve the chemicals present in food onto the tongue’s taste buds.
Saliva also contains an enzyme called salivary amylase or "ptyalin" which helps to digest cooked starch to maltose. Maltose is a double sugar or disaccharide. Please read on sugars here
NOTABLE POINTS IN Biology
During strenuous exercises like sprinting or 🏃 running, your body may actually work in the shortage of oxygen. During this time, your body owes oxygen (called oxygen debt) and it must be replenished or repayed after the exercise is stopped. This is why you breathe excess of oxygen after you stopped the exercise.
This is the concept of anaerobic respiration
A food Chain is a diagram that shows the relationship between plants and animals within a habitat on the basis of how they rely on each other for food.
Note: Habitat is a place where an organism live. It is of three types:
The term Biology originated from two Greek words. They are:
Biology can therefore be defined is the study of life
Anything that has life is generally considered as a living organism (or organism) 🌱🐐🐓. All living organisms must be able to carry the following activities:
The above listed points are often regarded as the basic characteristics of life. You can memorize them using the acronym (MR. NIGER DAC).
The gas used in the manufacture of food by plants is Carbon dioxide or Carbon(IV)oxide or CO2.
Plants manufacture food through a process called photosynthesis. Please read on photosynthesis here
Note: Plants are the only orgnisms that take away CO2 from the atmosphere
In the Biological organization of life, it is said that cells form tissues, tissues form organs and organs form systems. There are 12 systems in the human body; these are: