Ecosystems Vocabulary

Ecosystems Vocabulary
Adaptation - a body part, body covering, or behavior that helps an animal survive in its
Behavioral adaptations - certain activities or actions that living things do to meet
their needs for food, water, shelter, and protection
Camouflage - a color or shape in an animal's body covering that helps it blend into its
Consumer - a living thing that eats, or consumes other living things to get food energy.
Consumers cannot make their own food
Decomposers – a living thing that breaks down the bodies of dead plants and animals
and helps the food energy inside the dead bodies get back into the soil, the water, and
the air
Ecosystem – the interaction of a community of organisms with their surroundings, may
be as small as a puddle or as large as a rainforest
Environment - everything that surrounds and affects a living thing, the environment
includes non-living things, such as water and air, as well as other living things
Food chain - shows how energy passes from one living thing to another living thing, it
follows a single path as different creatures eat each other for energy
Food web – show how plants and animals are interconnected by different paths; in a
food web many living organisms are connected to one another by the foods they eat
and what eats them
Habitat - the place where an animal lives and the physical characteristics of an
animal's surroundings, habitats provide water, food, shelter and space
Instinct- a behavior an animal is born with and does not have to learn
Nocturnal animals- animals and insects that hunt for food and water during the night
and early morning hours
Niche – the role that an organism plays in the food web of that community (this includes
how it produces young, and how it gets shelter, food, and water).
Physical adaptations – an animal’s body color, body covering, beak type and claw
Predator - an animal that hunts and eats other animals for food
Prey - an animal that is taken and eaten by another animal (predator) for food
Producers - living things that use water, air, and sunlight to make their own food and
food energy