The Dirt on Decomposers: Crash Course Kids #7.2


[INTRO MUSIC] Have you ever had to take out the garbage? Kind of gross, right? But someone’s got to do it. And we’re not the only things that make waste; trees
drop their leaves and animals drop, well, other stuff. So what happens to all that
waste that’s created in nature? It turns out that waste – as gross as it may seem – is actually a good source of energy
for lots of different living things, like bacteria, some fungi, insects, and worms. These organisms, called
decomposers, break down waste and the remains of dead plants
and animals to get energy. Which is a bonus for the rest of us
because, thanks to decomposers, there’s a lot less waste than dead stuff lying around. Now, if you’ve been paying
attention so far in our little talks here, you’ll remember that all living
things need energy to survive. And energy flows through a system of living things,
moving from plant, to animal, to other animals, in a what-eats-what model called a food chain. We use food chains to see how energy
flows between living things in an ecosystem. So decomposers are living things too, and since
they need energy to live just like anybody else, they need a spot in the food chain. But where do decomposers fit
in an ecosystem’s food chain? Let’s take a look at a simple little ecosystem
to see where they might find a home. Plants like this apple tree are able to
grab the energy that comes from the Sun. They use this energy to take water, nutrients, and a
little bit of gas from the air, to create chemical energy. The tree stashes some of that energy in
its fruit, which happens to be… delicious. If an apple from that tree falls to the
ground and gets nibbled on by a mouse, some of the energy from the apple is
going to be transferred to the mouse, and if the mouse is unfortunate enough to be spotted
by an owl, it’s going to end up as an owl brunch, and the energy from that
mouse will be transferred to the owl. Apple—mouse—owl.
That’s a simple enough food chain, right? Everyone has their place in it – the system works! But decomposers can live and work in
more than one spot in this food chain. They can show up anytime there’s waste to break down, like the leftover apple that the mouse
didn’t eat, or the owl’s droppings. Decomposers break those things down into
smaller parts, like nutrients and other chemicals. These chemicals go into the ground, and are taken up
by plants so they can use them to make more energy, and the process starts all over again. Not to get all ‘Lion King’ on you, but I’m thinking
that this really closes up the circle of life, right? And since we’re talking about circles and cycles,
let’s recycle some of these ideas one last time. Decomposers breakdown waste in an ecosystem into
nutrients, and plants use those nutrients to make energy, and that energy goes up the food chain all over again. And like I mentioned before, decomposers
don’t just put energy back into the food chain, they also keep waste from piling up in an ecosystem. So while we might kind of forget that
insects or worms or fungi are there, remember that we need them to clean up waste. Losing the decomposers in a food
chain would COMPLETELY mess up the nice balance that all living things have going on. Which… okay, yes, I guess means
that I’ll finally clean up my desk. Until next time! [OUTRO MUSIC]

100 thoughts on “The Dirt on Decomposers: Crash Course Kids #7.2

  1. As a teacher I love these videos for my students but you talk way too fast! I have ESL students who need more time to comprehend your information.

  2. when your mom said hey jimmy take out the dog punch punch punch no jimmy for a walk…..oh……..lets go doggy hey jimmy the dogs dead dumb

  3. Am I the only one that came here for school lol. Do you like anime lol. YOU are the best. You should be my science teacher lol

  4. why do u break everything๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜ค๐Ÿ˜ˆ๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ’ฉ

  5. hey does anyone think this is the best science show? first of all:it has video game easter eggs :D!!!!!!!! and second of all:ITS AWESOME AND SHES FRICKIN KEWL ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. Great video…but WAY too fast, and it sounds strange at .75 speed. Too bad. ๐Ÿ™

  7. or the worm comes out of the ground the bird eats the worm and the hawk
    eats the bird, that an easy one too. also, love your youtube channel.

  8. Speaking of cycles and nutrients could you add the biogeochemical cycles to this video? ๐Ÿ™โค๏ธ

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