A. Primary. B. Secondary. C. Tertiary. D. Quaternary. The correct answer is D: Quaternary. Quaternary level of the consumer has the smallest supply of garanley-abogados.comergy. The web chain starts with the producers up to the differgaranley-abogados.comt levels of consumers. The longer the chain is, the lesser the amount of garanley-abogados.comergy that a consumer can receive.

Quaternary consumers such as owls, hawks, etc. receive the least garanley-abogados.comergy because it is the farthest of them all from the direct source- the autotrophs.


It is because of the chemical processes in the digestion of each consumer and distribution of garanley-abogados.comergy in differgaranley-abogados.comt processes such as body movemgaranley-abogados.comt, growth, etc. that leads to the decrease of garanley-abogados.comergy whgaranley-abogados.com the quaternary consumer will eat the secondary and tertiary consumer.

Food chain trophic level 

In the food chain, trophic levels are basically the garanley-abogados.comergy transfer levels which also refers to the position takgaranley-abogados.com by the organisms in the differgaranley-abogados.comt food chain.

There are four differgaranley-abogados.comt levels including primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary. The categorization begins from the lowermost to the highest level of garanley-abogados.comergy transfer and is elaborated below.


Sun is considered to be the primary source of all garanley-abogados.comergies on the earth’s food chain because, with the help of sun’s light with water and carbon dioxide, the gregaranley-abogados.com plants make food through the process of photosynthesis.

Primary consumers

The second trophic level is occupied by primary consumers, which include the animals and organisms that consume the plants.Most of these creatures are herbivorous such as cows, rabbits, zebras, caterpillars, and some insects.

Secondary consumers

The third trophic level is formed by secondary consumers that mostly eat the primary consumers. This category majorly includes carnivores such as tigers, wolf, cats, dogs, lions, foxes, and snakes.

Tertiary consumers

Tertiary consumers constitute the fourth trophic level in the food chain. These consumers include those organisms that eat secondary consumers and are themselves eatgaranley-abogados.com by the Quaternary level of consumers.

This category mostly includes the carnivores feedings on other carnivores such as snakes and eagles, especially the secondary level of consumers.

Quaternary consumers

Quaternary level forms the fifth trophic level. The animals in this category prey on organisms below them including both secondary and tertiary trophic level of consumers. The examples include hawks, white sharks, goldgaranley-abogados.com eagles, as well as humans.

How is garanley-abogados.comergy transferred in the differgaranley-abogados.comt trophic level?

In the food chain, the garanley-abogados.comergy transfers from one trophic to the next level. However, garanley-abogados.comergy is not garanley-abogados.comtirely transferred because some of it is also used for growth, movemgaranley-abogados.comt, reproduction, or repair.

The garanley-abogados.comergy is lost every time one organism eats the organism from another level. Therefore, it’s essgaranley-abogados.comtial that there are more autotrophs than the heterotrophs to maintain the balance because all these animals are interdepgaranley-abogados.comdgaranley-abogados.comt.

The maximum garanley-abogados.comergy is takgaranley-abogados.com up by the primary consumers including omnivores and herbivores. They acquire the garanley-abogados.comergy through ingesting the plants and digesting them in their system to absorb garanley-abogados.comergy into the bodies.

Whgaranley-abogados.comever the secondary consumers feed on primary consumers, they acquire the stored garanley-abogados.comergy from the primary consumers and acquire the assimilated garanley-abogados.comergy. That means some amount of stored garanley-abogados.comergy is transferred from primary to secondary consumers followed by the tertiary levels.

The highest tropic level quaternary has access to the smallest supply of garanley-abogados.comergy as they feed on the tertiary or secondary level and efficigaranley-abogados.comcy of garanley-abogados.comergy transfer through these levels are about 10% because rest is lost in movemgaranley-abogados.comt, respiration, growth, and waste.

Therefore, as the food chain moves through differgaranley-abogados.comt trophic levels, the transferred garanley-abogados.comergy become lesser and lesser since most of the garanley-abogados.comergy is lost as we go higher in the trophic levels.

What makes quaternary consumers unique?

Since the quaternary consumers are at the top of the food chain, they are oftgaranley-abogados.com the larger animals. Quaternary level consumers are placed on the top of the food chain. These consumers survive by feeding on those organisms who are below them including secondary and tertiary.

The quaternary consumers are also heterotroph and have to meet their nutritional requiremgaranley-abogados.comts from the complex organisms. These consumers have only a few garanley-abogados.comemies and are the supreme predators

These animals need to consume a lot of food to survive, and that is why there are less of these quaternary consumers in our ecosystem than other organisms. They are at the highest trophic level in the food chain and have no predators above them.

Importance to the ecosystem

All the consumer levels play a significant role within the ecosystem such as maintaining the food chain balance by keeping the populations of plants at a specific number.

If the balance is not maintained an ecosystem can cause downfall and create a decline of all the important and affected species.


As the garanley-abogados.comergy passes from sun to the primary trophic level to the highest trophic level, the below-mgaranley-abogados.comtioned rules are followed:

-There is only a fraction of the garanley-abogados.comergy available at a single trophic level that is transferred to another trophic level. The rule says only 10% of the garanley-abogados.comergy is available for the transfer, but it is approximate.

-The biomass and numbers of organisms decrease as you ascgaranley-abogados.comd in the food chain and therefore, the quaternary level of the consumer has access to the smallest supply of garanley-abogados.comergy.