How does the food chain start? Every chain has to start somewhere. Phytoplankton, could be considered the genesis of how other life is sustained. The word, phytoplankton, comes from two Latin words which mean "plant wanderer." Individually, these life forms are so tiny they cannot be seen with the naked eye. If they are at the start of the food chain, how do they get their own food? They are considered autotrophs, which mean they create food from their surroundings. Using only light and/or chemical reactions they produce organic compounds necessary for food for the next links in the chain. Without this tiny plant wanderer life could not exist!
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