Dictionary > Tertiary consumer

Tertiary consumer

Definition
noun, plural: tertiary consumers
Any organism that consumes or feeds largely on primary and secondary consumers
Supplement
An ecological pyramid is a representation in the shape of a pyramid to show the feeding relationship of groups of organisms, and the flow of energy or biomass through the different trophic levels in a given ecosystem. In this pyramid, the organisms are grouped into different trophic levels. A trophic level is a position in the ecological pyramid that classifies organisms according to the mode by which they obtain their nourishment. Producers (autotrophs) are found at the base (bottom position) of the pyramid. They are capable of manufacturing their own food by utilizing inorganic sources and processing them such as by photosynthesis. Consumers are found on the next trophic level. They are not capable of photosynthesis and therefore derive their nourishment directly from other organic matter. They feed on producers and/or other consumers. At the top of the pyramid is the group of detritivores or decomposers, which break down dead organic matter.
Consumers are organisms that derive their nutrients largely from an organic matter, such as animals and plants. These organisms rely on hunting, parasitism, predation, etc. in order to obtain food. In a food chain, consumers may be grouped into primary consumers, secondary consumers, and tertiary consumers. Tertiary consumers are largely comprised of carnivores that feed largely on the primary consumers and secondary consumers. For instance, carnivores that feed on other carnivores are considered as tertiary consumers.
Synonym(s):

  • third-level consumer

Compare:

  • primary consumer
  • secondary consumer
  • See also:


    You will also like...

    Golgi apparatus (3-D illustration)
    Role of Golgi Apparatus & Endoplasmic Reticulum in Protein Synthesis

    The endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus are the organelles involved in the translation step of protein synthesis a..

    Thermographic image of face and neck
    Regulation of Organic Metabolism, Growth and Energy Balance

    The human body is capable of regulating growth and energy balance through various feedback mechanisms. Get to know the e..

    Genetic Mutations
    Chromosome Mutations – II

    This tutorial is a continuation of the first lesson on chromosomal mutation. Here, find out the chromosomal aberrations ..

    Body temperature regulation by the hypothalamus
    Temperature Regulation in Animals

    This tutorial elucidates body temperature regulation. Know the details here to learn how the body sets the body temperat..

    Regulation of Biological Systems
    Regulation of Biological Systems

    Regulation of Biological Systems tutorials are focused on the modulation of biological systems from cell to population l..

    Types and Causes of Brain Damage
    Types and Causes of Brain Damage

    This tutorial describes the different types and causes of brain damage. Find out how genetics, physical injury, lack of ..

    Related Articles...

    No related articles found

    See all Related Topics