Secondary and Tertiary Consumers - Biotic Components
Besides there are animals which depend on herbivores for food and are called secondary consumers. Since secondary consumers feed on herbivores, they are therefore carnivores. There are also animals that feed on secondary consumers. They too are carnivores, and are known as tertiary consumers. Secondary and tertiary consumers may be:
a) Predators which hunt capture and kill their prey;
b) Carrion feeders which feed on corpses; or
c) Parasites in which they are much smaller than the host and they live on it while the host is alive. They depend on the metabolism of their host for their energy supply.
There are some animals that have quite flexible food habits as they eat plants, (therefore are herbivores) and animals (therefore are carnivores). They are known as omnivores of which man himself is a good example.