A forest is an area of land with many trees.
Many animals need forests to live and survive. Forests are
very important and grow all over the world. They are
an ecosystem which includes many plants and animals.
There are three types of forests:
A tropical forest is an ecosystem . It lies(in the equatorial
zone between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of
Capricorn. This ecosystem experiences high average
temperatures and a significant amount of rainfall.
Rainforests can be found in Asia, Australia, Africa, South
America, Central America, Mexico and on many of
the Pacific, Caribbean, and Indian Ocean islands.
Temperate forests correspond to forest concentrations
formed in the northern and southern hemisphere, or
in temperate regions. Main characteristics include:
wide leaves, large and tall trees and non seasonal
vegetation. Temperate forests can be further
distinguished by weather patterns and geographical
features that favor the predominance of certain kinds
Boreal Forest , also known as taiga, is a biome characterized
by coniferous forests consisting mostly
of pines, spruces and larches. The taiga is the world's
largest terrestrial biome. In North America it covers most
of inland Canada and Alaska as well as parts of the
extreme northern continental United States . In
northern Minnesota through the Upper Peninsula of
Michigan to Upstate New York and northern New England
and is known as the Northwood's.
ABOUT GRASSLANDS is dominated
Grasslands are areas where the vegetation
by grasses (Poaceae), however sedge (Cyperaceous) and rush
(Juncaceae) families can also be found. Grasslands occur
naturally on all continents except Antarctica. Grasslands are
found in most ecoregions of the Earth. For example there are
five terrestrial ecoregion classifications (subdivisions) of
the temperate grasslands, savannas, and
shrublands biome ('ecosystem'), which is one of
eight terrestrial ecozones of the Earth's surface.
Deserts are areas that receive very little rainfall.
Sahara, Kalahari, and Thar are some deserts on our
planet. In hot deserts, daytime temperature in summer
can reach 45° c. Annual rainfall is less to be hot, some
are very cold . Organisms such as cactus , camel,
rattlesnake, Gila monster , and kangaroo rat are found
A mountain is a large landform that stretches above
the surrounding land in a limited area, usually in the
form of a peak. A mountain is generally steeper than
a hill. Mountains are formed through tectonic
forces or volcanism. These forces can locally raise the
surface of the earth by over 10,000 feet (3,000 m).
Mountains erode slowly through the action
of rivers, weather conditions, and glaciers.
Earth's polar regions are the areas of the globe
surrounding the poles also known as frigid zones. The
North Pole and South Pole being the centers, these
regions are dominated by the polar ice caps, resting
respectively on the Arctic Ocean and the continent
When considering aquatic habitats, many
variables come to mind. Obviously, there is
a continuum of salinity ranging from
essentially distilled water at glacier faces and
high mountain streams, to other
freshwaters, to estuaries where fresh and salt
waters mix, to oceans, to hyper saline
environments such as the Great Salt Lake.
Current is another factor; water may be still
and stagnant, or flow in currents of various
velocities. Currents may be unidirectional,
such as in streams, or multidirectional, such
Freshwater ecosystems are a subset of Earth's aquatic
include lakes and ponds, rivers, streams and springs,
and wetlands. They can be contrasted with marine
ecosystems, which have a larger salt content.
Freshwater habitats can be classified by different
factors, including temperature, light penetration, and
Marine habitats can be divided into coastal and open
ocean habitats. Coastal habitats are found in the area
that extends from as far as the tide comes in on
the shoreline out to the edge of the continental shelf.
Most marine life is found in coastal habitats, even
though the shelf area occupies only seven percent of
the total ocean area.
The coastal zone of the United States contains a wide
range of natural habitats such as sand dunes, marshes,
coastal and mangrove forests, coral reefs, and
submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) beds. These
coastal habitats are economically and ecologically
valuable. They provide food, shelter, and breeding
grounds for coastal and marine species, including
commercially important species such as crabs, shrimp
Estuaries form a transition zone between river
environments and maritime environments and are
subject to both marine influences, such as tides,
waves, and the influx of saline water; and reverie
influences, such as flows of fresh water and sediment.
The inflows of both sea water and fresh water provide
high levels of nutrients in both the water column and
sediment, making estuaries among the most
productive natural habitats in the world .
Coral reefs are underwater structures made
from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Coral reefs
are colonies of tiny animals found in marine waters
that contain few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built
from stony corals, which in turn consist of polyps that
cluster in groups. The polyps belong to a group of
animals known as Cnidaria.
What is an environment?
Plants and animals live together in many different
environments all around the world.
An environment is all the living and nonliving things
in a place.
The environment is the surroundings: air, water,
plants, and animals.
Each kind of environment has many different kinds
of animal habitats.
What is a habitat?
Every animal has a habitat.
The place where an animal
or plant lives and grows
is called its habitat.
A habitat is where an
animal finds the food,
water, and shelter it
needs to live.
For example, a toucan’s
habitat is the rainforest.
Different Land Habitats
A desert is a very warm place. The air is very hot and dry.
There is very little rain. The soil is very sandy.
Most animals that live in the desert sleep during the day
because it is too hot. They come out at night to eat. They are
Some desert animals burrow in the ground during the day
Many plants have thick leaves in the desert to retain water.
Most desert animals get their water from the food
Rain Forest Habitats
A rain forest is an
environment where rain falls
almost every day.
A rain forest has warm weather
A rain forest has millions of
plants and animals.
Many of these plants are used
to make medicines to fight
diseases and illnesses.
Rain forests are located along
A forest is an
gets enough rain and
warm temperatures for
lots of trees to grow.
When the fall arrives,
the leaves will turn red,
orange, and yellow.
Once winter comes,
the trees lose their
A tundra is an environment
that is very cold and windy.
It is a treeless area.
It is the coldest environment.
The land is covered with
snow and ice most of the
Much of the land has
ground that is permafrost,
The summers are short.
You might find frogs, ducks, beavers,
turtles, dragonflies, and many kinds of fish
in a freshwater habitat.
Sharks, starfish, whales,
dolphins, lobster, and coral
are some of the animals
found in the ocean.
What would happen if an
animal’s habitat were
An adaptation is anything about an animal that helps it live
or survive in its environment.
Animals are always in danger of being eaten and have
developed many ways of protecting themselves from
Animals may find winter shelter in holes in trees or logs,
under rocks or leaves, or tunnel underground.
If animals do not adapt to their environment, they die!
Camouflage is when the animal blends
in with the surrounding environment to
help it hide.
Some animals’ fur or skin can change color.
This helps to protect them.
Some Animals Migrate
Some animals travel to far away places. This is called
Animals move from one habitat to another to survive.
Animals are looking for warmer weather or searching for
Many birds migrate in the fall. Birds can fly very long
Many fish migrate. They may swim south, or move into
deeper, warmer water.
Many insects also migrate.
Whales, butterflies, bats, hummingbirds, robins, geese,
ducks, salmon are some animals that migrate.
Some animals will grow new, thick
fur in the fall to keep warm in the winter.
An armadillo has a covering of hard plates to
protect its body.
The porcupine uses its quills for defense.
A turtle can pull its head, feet, and tail inside its
shell for protection.
The Coming Winter
As the weather gets colder, people
stay inside warm houses and wear
heavy coats when they go outside.
In the winter we get our food from
the grocery store.
What happens to the animals?
Some Animals Hibernate
Hibernation is when an animal goes through the winter into a
long, deep sleep.
One way animals can adapt to the changing environment is by
Some animals hibernate for part or all of the winter. The
animal's body temperature drops, and its heartbeat and
breathing slow down. It uses very little energy. In the fall, these
animals get ready for winter by eating extra food and storing it as
body fat. They use this fat for energy while hibernating. Some
also store food like nuts or acorns to eat later in the winter. Bears,
skunks, chipmunks, and some bats hibernate.
Insects look for winter shelter in holes in the ground,
under the bark of trees, deep inside rotting logs or in any small
crack they can find.
Some Animals Estivate
Estivate is when an animal sleeps during the summer.
What causes an animal to estivate? HEAT
Ground squirrels in the desert will estivate in their
burrows to get out of the heat.
Some toads estivate to escape the hot, dry summer.
Many amphibians and reptiles estivate, as do some
insects, snails, and fish.
How do plants help animals?
Plants provide food and shelter for many
Plants are used to make medicines to fight
disease and illnesses.
Animals use plants for shelter. For example,
birds build nests and beavers build dams.
Plants provide oxygen that we need to live.
Plants provide protection for animals hiding.
Plants are used to make clothing, paper, and
Plants also provide beauty for the Earth.
How do animals help plants?
Animals help spread seeds.
Some animals, like squirrels,
bury seeds when they store
them and forget to go back to
get them. Some of these
seeds that are left in the
ground will germinate.
Seeds attach to animals that
have fur. Later the seeds will
fall off the animal and grow
in a new place.
Insects and birds help
An ecosystem is how plants, animals, and
nonliving things in an environment effect
NEW WORDS TO LEARN
Before we discuss what a food chain is, we
need to learn these new words.
Let’s Begin . . .
Some animals do not eat other animals. They survive
on plants and are known as “herbivores”.
Carnivores the kingfisher, eat only other
Some animals, like
animals. These animals are called “carnivores”.
Some animals, like us, eat both plants and animals.
These animals are called “omnivores”.
Plants are living organisms. They need
nourishment to survive.
Plants do not eat other plants or animals.
Plants are called producers, because they produce
their own food using sunlight.
“Consume” means “eat”.
Animals are consumers because they “eat”
(consume) food provided by plants or other
What is a how each living thing gets its food.
Food chains show
A food chain is the order in which animals eat plants and
The sun is the primary source of a food chain. Plants get
their energy from the sun. Without the sun, we would not
have any plants. A food chain always starts with a plant.
Next in the food chain is an animal, because plants
cannot eat plants.
A food chain always ends with an animal.
Food chains always start
with a plant.
The beetle eats the plant.
The frog eats the beetle.
The turtle eats the frog.
The lettuce is eaten by the rabbit.
The rabbit is eaten by the fox.
The plant is eaten by the small fish.
The small fish is eaten by a larger fish.
The larger fish is eaten by the man.
The fly is nibbling on the plant.
The fly is eaten by the bird.
The bird is eaten by the cat.
Let’s Think . . .
If we suddenly had no Sun, what effect would it
have on the food chain?
Let’s Think Again . . .
What would happen if there were no carnivores?