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FOR AGES 3 YEARS TO 18 YEARS
Most of us wake up in the morning, brush our teeth, and eat breakfast.
It does not stop with breakfast. There is brunch, lunch, evening snacks, dinner, supper, and drinking lots of water too.
We are always told to eat food on time and never to skip a meal. We are also told about eating healthy or drinking enough water. We learn about different organisms and their food habits in our science textbooks. We learn about the food cycle, food chains, and different sources of food. Why is food so important?
People work to earn money to be able to buy food. We earn so that we have food to eat. It always seems like we work to eat food or is it we need to eat food to work? If we do not eat, we get hungry, our stomachs grumble loudly, and we get an uncomfortable feeling inside us. We cook and eat whenever we are hungry. If we do not eat, we get tired and even fall sick. We may even die if we starve ourselves.
So, why do we need food? Why do all animals eat food regularly? Are you looking for some answers to these questions? If yes, you have come to the right place. Keep reading and find out the answers that will clear all your doubts related to why living things eat food.
All animals need food, water, and air to survive. Food, water, and the air are essential to an animal's survival. These things help living organisms to grow and stay alive.
Food is a source of energy. All animals need food to provide energy. But, all animals, including us, do not eat the same food. All living things are naturally equipped to find food in their environment. Some animals depend on plants to survive, some animals eat other animals, and some eat both plants and animals.
Animals that eat plants to live are called herbivores. Examples include cows, deer, rabbits, koalas, and elephants. Animals that eat other animals are what we call carnivores, and some of these animals are lions, tigers, crocodiles, eagles, and wolves. Animals that can eat both plants and animals are what we call omnivores. Omnivore animals include bears, dogs, raccoons, pigs, and of course, human beings.
Plants are a major food source for the majority of living beings. Fruits, vegetables, leaves, stems, roots, and flowers are food obtained from plants. However, plants are by no means the only source of food. Meat, eggs, milk, and other dairy products are food obtained from animals. Different animals consume different food according to their needs. Just like the kind of fuel you use to power a vehicle depends on the vehicle's requirements and your choices, the same way the type of food an animal uses to power its body depends on its nature and bodily requirements.
Herbivores need to find shelter in a surrounding where plants are in abundance as plants are their source of food. Similarly, since carnivores are predators, they need to live where they can hunt their prey. However, unlike herbivores and carnivores, omnivores that eat both plants and animals have a much more flexible choice of shelter.
Food is an absolute necessity for animals to survive. If they do not get to eat food, animals eventually die. Why are they unable to continue surviving without eating?
Animals function with the help of life processes like respiration, nutrition, metabolism, excretion, reproduction, and transportation. Nutrition is vital for the other life processes to happen. Food meets the energy demands for the body's functioning. Once an animal eats food, a series of chemical processes take place inside its body. Cells need to be repaired, and new cells need to be made for the animal to live. Metabolism is the a process involving the digestion of food and the repair of cells and growth of new cells. There are two types and these are anabolism and catabolism. Anabolism refers to the generation of complex molecules from simpler molecules and the storage of energy. In contrast, catabolism is what we call the breakdown of complex molecules into simpler molecules and the release of energy.
Energy is required for any living thing to perform any function and sustain. Without energy, an animal cannot do anything. As your science teacher might have taught you in school, energy is the ability to do work, and therefore it is the fundamental form of existence. Animals need to keep eating healthy food regularly to live and, therefore, without food, animals eventually die as they will be unable to fuel their body to live.
Living things are of varying shapes and sizes. Does this affect the exact amount of food each animal eats? Generally, the amount of food required for an animal depends on various factors. However, there is an explanation as to why large animals need to eat less than smaller ones.
Large warm-blooded animals have a huge surface area and lose a lower amount of heat. Their metabolic rate is lower than smaller animals. Therefore, they can retain their body heat much longer than smaller animals with a smaller surface area.
This advantage in a large animal allows this animal to last longer without food than an animal smaller in size. When living organisms conserve body heat, they can eat less. On the other hand, smaller animals cannot conserve body heat for a long time and, therefore, have to eat more frequently.
There is no doubt regarding why animals need to eat. Food is not the only necessity for an animal to live, there are other things animals need to live.
Food, water, air, and shelter are the basic necessities of survival for living things. Therefore, all living things need food, water, air, and shelter.
Living organisms need air to intake oxygen. It is essential for respiration. Air has oxygen in it. Respiration helps in breaking down nutrients to release energy. Animal cells help combine oxygen and food to release energy.
Water helps in the breakdown of food and also helps generate energy. It also helps organisms to regulate metabolism, cleanse their bodies, and regulate body temperature. Shelter protects animals from predators as well as other natural factors like rain, heat, or cold. Like we build homes, other animals similarly have their own homes too.
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