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    Energy flow in ecosystems through predators and prey

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    Why or why not? Are there in implications such as the weight of the predators and their prey?

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    Solution Preview

    When a bear eats a fish, some of the energy (in fact, quite a bit of it) is lost as heat. There is no such thing as a perfect engine. Whenever work is done, heat energy is released and lost to the environment. This is a consequence of the second law of thermodynamics that states that the disorder or randomness of the universe is always increasing, but local systems can maintain a high order (low entropy) so long as they expend energy to do so. It's the heat energy that is lost to the universe which always increases the randomness of the ...

    Solution Summary

    Understanding that energy flows through an ecosystem while raw materials recycle through it is very important. When organisms undergo any form of work they give off heat due to the second law of thermodynamics. This principle helps guide us to the solution. This solution contains a carefully worded and easy to understand explanation why a bear does not acquire all the energy contained in the body of a fish.