The Pyramid of Life: Introduction (01:35)
A tiny fraction of the sun's energy reaches Earth, determining climate and ecosystem diversity. Plant life has adapted to specific conditions and converts luminous energy to chemical energy for other living beings to consume.
Approximately 90% of the mass of all living beings are plants. Chlorophyll enables them to transform carbon dioxide and water to carbohydrates and oxygen, used by other living beings. Most photosynthesis occurs in phytoplankton; learn about the food chain.
The Food Chain (06:42)
Learn about plant, primary, secondary, tertiary and scavenger trophic levels. Animal size increases, total biomass decreases, and energy is lost during ascent from the pyramid’s base. Atoms and molecules move cyclically; learn about the carbon cycle.
Man and the Food Chain (01:27)
Humans exploit most trophic levels through farming and raising livestock. Learn about ecological degradation and global warming. Our survival depends on conservation efforts.
The Pyramid of Life: Summary (01:46)
Plants provide energy for other living beings in the food chain including herbivores, carnivores, and scavengers. Energy is lost during ascent from the pyramid's base. Human industrial activity is endangering our survival.
Credits: The Pyramid of Life (00:48)
Credits: The Pyramid of Life
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