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PYRAMID OF NUMBER

Pyramid of number refers to the number of individual organisms at each trophic level which decreases progressively from the first to the last trophic level in a food chain. Pyramid is a diagrammatic representation of food chain in which producers form the base and the carnivores form the apex.

In a food chain or food web, there are relative number of organisms at different trophic levels. Normally, the number of organisms decreases progressively from the first to the last trophic level. For example:

Grasses -> Grasshoppers -> Lizards -> Hawks

The number of grasses eaten by grasshoppers is greater than the number of grasshoppers, while the number of grasshoppers eaten by lizards is greater than the number of lizards and finally the number of lizards eaten by hawks is greater than the number of hawks.

From this explanation, one discovers that there is a progressive decrease in the number of organisms from the first to the last trophic level. The diagrammatic representation of this progressive decrease in the number of organisms along the food chain is called pyramid of number.

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