Archive for the ‘biomass’ Category

An animal’s efficiency in converting food into biomass is around 10%

January 12, 2008

Every time that an animal eats a plant or another animal, the conversion of food biomass into the consumer’s biomass involves an efficiency of much less than 100%: typically about 10%.  That is, it takes around 10,000 pounds of corn to grow a 1,000 pound cow.  If instead you want to grow 1,000 pound of carnivore, you have to feed it 10,000 pounds of herbivore grown on 100,000 pounds of corn.

Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond