Deserts - A Camel Thorn Tree (AcaciaErioloba) in the Namib Desert, Namibia
Antarctica, the frozen desert •The windswept ice of Victoria Land in Antarctica stretches for hundreds of desolate miles. •This area receives less precipitation than most of the worlds hot deserts.
Antarctica, the frozen desert •Ancient ice on the edge of a glacier crumbles under its own weight in Drake Passage, Antarctica. • Some parts of Antarctica havent had precipitation in over 100 years, earning the continent the nickname "frozen desert."
Antarctica, the frozen desert Snow-mantled crags, Queen Maud Land in central Antarctica.
Antarctica, the frozen desert •Icicles drape the sides of an iceberg in the waters around Antarctica. •Fifth-largest of the worlds continents, Antarctica comprises 5,500,000 square miles (14,245,000 square kilometers) of snow-topped glaciers and ice sheets with less than 5 percent ice- free.
Antarctica, the frozen desert •In the midst of an Antarctic plain rises 8,963-foot-high (2,732- meter-high) Mount Melbourne, an active volcano cone that may have erupted as recently as the 18th or 19th century. •More than 30 active and inactive volcanoes dot the frozen continent.
Antarctica, the frozen desert •Sheltered by a titanic iceberg, emperor penguins bask in the Antarctic sun. •Emperor penguins survive this harsh environment, where wind chills can reach -75 degrees Fahrenheit (-60 degrees Celsius), by huddling together in large groups to block wind and conserve warmth.
Antarctica, the frozen desert •An enormous iceberg nestles into an ice shelf in Antarctica. •Disintegrating ice shelves in Antarctica have caused alarm among scientists who warn that ice loss here could mean a disastrous rise in sea levels worldwide.
Grasslands (Prairies)Grasslands (Prairie) Ranchers herd cattle across the shortgrass prairie of Montana on their way to winter pasturelands.
Grasslands (Prairies)•An American bison stands in a field onthe Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Oklahoma. • The preserve, maintained by theNature Conservancy, is the largestpreserved portion of what was once 140million acres (362.5 million hectares) of grassland in theAmerican Midwest. There are about 2,500 American bison, which were once hunted to a few hundred animals, roaming the preserve.
Grasslands (Prairies) •A black-tailed prairie dog perks up outside his burrow in South Dakota. •These playful rodents live in well- organized underground burrows called towns that can have populations in the thousands.
Grasslands •A swarm of insects hovers over grassland in Madagascar. •The island nation has problems with locusts, insects that can destroy crops and grasslands quickly.
Grasslands (savanna) •An acacia tree stands tall as the sun rises over Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. • The savannas of the Serengeti stretch over Tanzania and Kenya, and support hundreds of species of plants and animals.
Tropical Rain Forest The Congo Basin’s 500 million acres of tropical forest, second-largest in the world after the Amazon, are known for an incredible array of wildlife including great apes, forest elephants, and some 700 species of river fish.
Tropical Rain Forest A scarlet macaw in Brazils Amazon rain forest. Thesebirds are best known for their loud cackles, four-toed feet, and brilliant plumage.
Tropical Rain Forest A fig tree in the Philippines, which produces fruit on runners that come from its trunk instead of on its branches.
Tropical Rain Forest•A lizard suns itself on a leaf in the El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico. •El Yunque is the only tropical rain forest in the U.S. National Forest system, whichprotects the 28,000 acres (11,331 hectares) in theLuquillo Mountains
Tropical Rain Forest •A monkey from the Malaysian rain forest. •Malaysia is still heavily forested, about 60 percent of the nation is tree-covered, but deforestation has proceeded rapidly during the nation’s recent economic development. • Rain forests give refuge to tremendous biodiversity and those covering Peninsular Malaysia’s highlands also give rise to the rivers which supply 90 percent of the nation’s freshwater needs.
Tropical Rain Forest •The red-eyed tree frog is an icon of the Central American rain forest. •When asleep, its green color provides effective camouflage. •When threatened, the red of suddenly- exposed eyes or legs may startle predators and enable an escape.
Tropical Rain Forest•Sunny rays penetratethe canopy of anIndonesian rain foreston Nias Island.•Rain forests areamong the Earth’smost biologicallydiverse habitats.Their fauna and floraare precious for theirown sake but can alsoaid humans. Rain forest plants, for example, produce chemicals to combat insects and disease that have led to the development of many beneficial drugs.