A couple of weeks ago (in August), I did a science experiment about decomposing. There are three types of living things on Earth: producers, consumers, and decomposers. Producers are living things that make their own food inside, like plants. Consumers are the ones that eat producers or even other consumers. A rabbit is a consumer because he eats plants, and a coyote is a consumer because he eats rabbits. Consumers can be herbivores (plant eaters), carnivores (meat eaters), or omnivores (plant and meat eaters.) Most humans are omnivores since we eat meat and other animal products. All humans are consumers-even farmers-because we can not produce our own food inside of ourselves. Have you ever seen a mushroom or toadstool in you lawn? Then you've seen a decomposer. Decomposers help recycle nutrients and carbon back into the earth. They can be tiny, even microscopic and they break down living and non living matter.
In my science experiment, I placed some soil in an empty water bottle with the top cut off. Then I inserted some foil, spinach, paper, egg shells, orange rind, bread and saran wrap. Next I made a chart and tried to predict which items would decompose, or break down and leave behind good nutrients. I covered the bottle with saran wrap and left it in the shade for two weeks.
What do you think happened?????
If you guessed that the spinach, bread, and orange rind decomposed, then you're correct. The paper and egg shells were beginning to decompose, but the saran wrap and foil didn't even change a bit. Don't litter these items, because they will be on the ground for keeps.
Try this experiment at home, if you want to watch some decomposers in action! Coming Soon:
An Excerpt from my History Record Book: Isaac Newton
Sunday, September 7, 2008