Food Chain


What Eats Kelp? Photo: Stef Maruch

What eats kelp?

Kelps may look like a long seaweed, but it is an alga (singular of the word “algae.”)

In many parts of the ocean, kelps is an important part of the food web, because many creatures eat it. In addition, kelps often forms dense “forests” where fish can hide from their predators.

Many species or kinds of fish eat kelps. Kelps is also eaten by a lot of invertebrate species. (Invertebrates are animals without backbones.)

Invertebrates that eat kelp include snails and shellfish such as crabs, sea urchins, and abalone.

These shellfish are themselves eaten by other creatures. For instance, in the Pacific Ocean off the West Coast of the United States, sea otters eat a lot of abalone. Without kelp, there would be no abalone, and without abalone, sea otters would go hungry.

So, kelps forests are a good thing for sea otters!

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.
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