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In every environment, plants and animals interact. Green plants are producers. They make their own food. Animals eat these plants. They are consumers. This page explores interactions found at Utah's Great Salt Lake.
 
Look closely at the water of the Great Salt Lake. You notice it is not blue, but a slightly green color. Perhaps some clumps of green material are floating in the water. The green is algae. Algae is a small organism that makes its own food from sunlight and the water around it. This is one of the most important parts of the Great Salt Lake environment.
 
Now if you observe closely, you see a small organism swimming in the water. It is a brine shrimp. If you look in a pet store, you might see "sea monkeys" for sale. "Sea monkeys" are really brine shrimp - and they grow naturally in our own Great Salt Lake! A brine shrimp eats the algae in the lake for food. In fact, brine shrimp are one of only two animals that naturally live in the Great Salt Lake. The other animal is the brine fly.
 

Brine Shrimp are important to many birds. In fact, some birds stop by the Great Salt Lake when they are migrating, and eat a lot of brine shrimp. Many of the birds that eat brine shrimp are eaten by other birds. This is an example of how plants and animals need each other to survive.

 

Write the story!

Write a two paragraph story about an environment close to where you live. Make sure to include:

  • Names of the different plants and animals that are important to that environment.
  • Information about how the plants and animals interact. (Remember which are producers and consumers.)

Download the plug-ins: Get Adobe Acrobat Reader , and Get Quicktime Player. (The QuickTime plug-in is needed to play sounds and movies correctly.)

Want to share photos of you or your friends doing this activity? Send it in an e-mail with the following information:

  1. The title of the activity
  2. The URL (Internet address)
  3. Your name.

Remember that no pictures can be used that show student faces or student names on it. 

Teachers should view the Teacher Site Map to relate Sci-ber text and the USOE 4th grade science core.


Updated October 24, 2008 by: Glen Westbroek

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