The Tertiary Consumers – Predators to the Secondary Consumers
These carnivores are at the top of the food chain in the tropical rainforest, as they feed on the secondary consumers. In other forms of ecosystems, there are quaternary consumers that pose a threat to the tertiary consumers.
Eagles, jaguars and lions are the most common examples of tertiary consumers, since they tend to be stronger and more ferocious. However, lions are not among the dwellers of a rainforest since they are more acclimatized to dry forests, thick brushes and wide open plains. Jaguars, however, prefer to live in wet lowlands, like in the savannahs and rainforests.
A jaguar eats around 80 different varieties of secondary consumers as its prey. They hunt and stalk animals like their favorite deer, tapirs, birds, monkeys, turtles, fish, rodents and even cattle, horses, or sheep if ever they chance upon one. It is said that they rarely initiate human attacks and will do so only if they sense that they are being hunted or about to be attacked. Jaguars often hide in caves.
Most tertiary consumers have become endangered, as humans hunt them down for their furs and as formidable prize catches in hunting expeditions. Eagles have been driven out of their natural habitats, as forest lands have been cleared-out for commercial purposes.