Make-a-Dolphin Make-a-Dolphin Make-a-Dolphin Make-a-Dolphin

The purpose of this activity is to create a 40-pound dolphin using the following food chain:  diatoms, copepods, oysters, crabs, and fish

Assume that a dolphin feeds only on fish.

Assume that only 10% of what a dolphin eats is used to grow to adulthood.

The averaage weight of an adult dolphin is 40 pounds.

Assume that only 10% of what any organism consumes is used to grow to adulthood.

Assume there are five feeding levels in the chain that feeds a dolphin.

The levels are represented by a different organism that is the food for the organism above it on the food chain.

Assume the chain includes: diatoms, copepods, oysters, crabs, fish and then the dolphin


How many pounds of diatoms?

How many pounds of copepods?

How many pounds of oysters?

How many pounds of crabs?

How many pounds of fish?












Hint: Since only 10 percent of the material at each level is used to build the organism at the next higher level, it will take 400 pounds of fish to make one 40 pound adult dolphin.





Hint 2:

4 000 000 pounds of ________________;
400 000 pounds of ________________;
40 000 pounds of ________________;
4 000 pounds of ________________ and
400 pounds of ________________
to make one 40 pound ________________

Dr. Robert Sweetland's Notes ©