Utah's Plants and Animals - Let Me Tell You a Story!

In every environment, there are many interactions between plants and animals. Green plants are producers that make their own food. These plants will be eaten by animals that are known as consumers. This page will explore interactions found at Utah's Great Salt Lake.

Look very close at the water of the Great Salt Lake. You will notice that it is not blue - but a slightly green color. Perhaps you will see some clumps of green material floating in the water. The green of the water is algae. It is a small organism that makes its own food from sunlight and the water around it. This may be one of the most important parts of the Great Salt Lake environment.

Now if you observe closely, you will see a small organism swimming in the water. It is a brine shrimp. If you looked 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 called 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 later 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 the names of the different plants that are important to the environment as well as the animals which live there.
  • Include information about how the plants and animals interact.
  • Hint: Remember which are producers and consumers.
utah state board of education This Sci-ber Text was developed by the Utah State Board of Education and Utah educators.