Plants are not the
only organisms that live in your biotic community. Animals live there
too. The animals that you find in your community will range from
small worms and arthropods to larger
animals like reptiles, birds or even mammals. These animals also
fall into different categories, depending on what they eat. Animals
that eat plants are called primary consumers, or herbivores.
Animals that eat other animals are called secondary consumers, or carnivores,
or sometimes predators. Some animals even eat dead plants and animals
and are called scavengers. Finding these animals can be an
adventure. Unlike the plants, most of the animals in your community
are hard to see. They are hiding from you and from each other.
Animals are also competing with each other for their basic needs, like
food and shelter. For these reasons, animals can be found in almost
every place in your biotic community. Animals that fly, like birds
and insects, are not too difficult to find. Locating other animals
may require a little hunting. The good news is that an animal usually
chooses one type of home to live in. The home it chooses will meet
its individual needs. It will be a place where they can find food.
It can be a place where they can find protection from predators.
So if you know where to look you will be able to find the animals.
Animals that you see moving around during the day are called diurnal.
Some animals sleep during the day and are awake and moving around at night.
These are called nocturnal. Nocturnal animals will most certainly
be hidden from view. These will require the most hunting. Knowledge
about the needs and habits of the animals will help you locate them in
your biotic community.