Biology 7

Tropical Rainforest

http://www.ducksters.com/science/ecosystems/rainforest_biome.php

 

One of the most fascinating biomes on planet Earth is the tropical rainforest. It is filled with _______________trees, interesting plants, _______________insects, and all sorts of animals.

What makes a forest a rainforest?

As you might have guessed from the name, rainforests are forests that get a lot of _______________. Tropical rainforests are located in the tropics, near the _______________.

Rainforests are also very humid and warm. Because they are close to the equator, the temperature stays between _______________ degrees C for most of the year.

Where are the world’s rainforests?

There are three major areas of tropical rainforests:

  • Africa – The major tropical rainforest in Africa is in the southern _______________portion of the continent with the _______________River running through it. There are also rainforests in western Africa and Madagascar.
  • Southeast Asia – Much of _______________Asia is considered part of a tropical rainforest biome. It runs all the way from Myanmar to _______________.
  • South America – This is the world’s _______________tropical rainforest. It covers much of the northern part of South America as well as the southern portion of Central America. The area is often called the Amazon basin and has the _______________and Orinoco Rivers running through it.

 

Biodiversity

The tropical rainforest has the most biodiversity of all the land biomes. Despite only covering around 6% of the Earth’s surface, scientists estimate that around _______________of the planet’s animal and plant species live in the world’s rainforests.

 

 

equator, rain, tall, giant, Amazon, Congo, New Guinea, half, 25 and 28, central, largest, south-east

 

Layers of the Rainforest

The rainforest can be divided up into three layers: the canopy, the understory, and the forest floor. Different animals and plants live in each different layer.

 

 

  1. _______________ – This is the top layer of trees. These trees are usually at least 100 feet tall. Their branches and leaves form an umbrella over the rest of the layers. Most of the plants and animals live on this layer. This includes monkeys, birds, insects, and reptiles of all sorts. Some animals can live their entire lives without leaving the canopy to touch the ground. This layer is the loudest layer with the animals making lots of noise.
  2. _______________ – Beneath the canopy is the understory. This layer is made up of some shorter trees and shrubs, but mostly the trunks and branches of the canopy trees. This layer is home to some of the larger predators like snakes and leopards. It is also home to owls, bats, insects, frogs, iguanas, and various other animals.
  3. _______________- Because of the thickness of the canopy, very little sunlight makes it to the forest floor. This layer is home to lots of insects and spiders. There are also some animals that live on this layer including deer, pigs, and snakes. This layer is the quietest layer as animals sneak around in the dark making little noise.

Sometimes scientists refer to a fourth layer called the _______________. This is made up of tall trees that grow above the canopy.

What makes this biome so important?

The rainforests are important to the world for many reasons. One reason is that they act as the Earth’s lungs by producing around 40% of the world’s _______________. Since all of us need oxygen to live, that reason ranks pretty high. The rainforests also provide a number of important drugs to help sick people and cure _______________. It is believed by many that there are even cures for _______________waiting for us to discover in the rainforest. The rainforest is also home to many species of animals and is a beautiful and irreplaceable part of nature.

The Disappearing Rainforests

Unfortunately, human development is killing off much of the world’s rainforest. Around _______________ of the world’s rainforests have already been lost. Environmentalists are doing what they can to help countries preserve this vital biome.

Facts About Tropical Rainforests

  • Surprisingly, the soil in a rainforest is shallow and has little _______________.

In the Amazon rainforest there are over 2,000 species of butterflies.

  • They are home to interesting “flying” animals such as squirrels, _______________, and frogs.
  • It is estimated that 25% of the ingredients in medicines today come from the rainforest.
  • Rainforests impact the temperatures and _______________patterns throughout the world.
  • One fifth of the world’s freshwater supply is in the _______________rainforest.
  • Every second, a section of rainforest the size of a _______________field is cut down.
  • Only about 2% of the sunlight hits the forest floor.

 

The canopy, The forest floor, emergent layer, The understory, diseases, oxygen, cancer , nutrients, snakes, football , Amazon , weather , 40%

 

 

Hummingbirds – The World’s Smallest Birds

http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-hummingbirds/

Hummingbirds, the world’s _____________birds, are called hummingbirds for the whirring or humming _____________their wings make. These tiny birds can beat their wings up to _____________times per second.

Hummingbirds use a lot of energy flying. In fact, they must _____________constantly to fuel their active bodies. Hummingbirds can eat almost _____________their body weight in one day! That’s like you eating around 400 _____________each day. Hummingbirds use their tongues to suck the _____________out of flowers. They also eat bugs.

Jaguars – The Big Cats http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-jaguars/?print=1

What’s the difference between a jaguar and a leopard? Both have a tawny coat with black markings, but jaguars are _____________and stockier. Leopards live in Africa and _____________. They also live in Central and South America.

Jaguars are big cats. Only tigers and _____________are bigger. Males weigh up to ___________________, while females are smaller. Like all cats, jaguars are carnivores. They hunt their prey by stalking it through the _____________and trees. Then they pounce for the kill. Jaguars eat _____________, turtles, cattle and even caiman, which are like alligators.

Fun Facts about Jaguars for Kids

  • Jaguars are nocturnal. They lounge around during the day and _____________
  • Some jaguars are black with spots. They are sometimes called panthers, but they’re really jaguars.
  • The native South American word for jaguar, “yaguara”, means animal that kills in a single bound.

Jaguars _____________ in lakes and rivers.

 

 

love to swim, hunt at night, larger , grass ,wild pigs, lions , 250 pounds, Asia, nectar , hamburgers , smallest , sound , 200 , eat , twice

 

 

 

 

Savanna Grasslands

http://www.ducksters.com/science/ecosystems/savanna_biome.php

The savanna is a type of grasslands biome. The savanna is sometimes called the tropical grasslands.
________________________________

  • Grasses and trees – The savanna is a grassland with scattered trees and shrubs.
  • Rainy and dry seasons – Savannas have two distinct seasons in regards to precipitation. There is a rainy season in the summer with around 15 to 25 inches of rain and a dry season in the winter when only a couple of inches of rain may fall.
  • Large herds of animals – There are often large herds of grazing animals on the savanna that thrive on the abundance of grass and trees.
  • Warm – The savanna stays pretty warm all year. It cools down some during the dry season, but stays warm and humid during the rainy season.

 

  1. What kind of plants are there in the savanna? (2)
  2. What is the difference between the two seasons?

3.In which season should you take warmer clothes with you to the savanna?

  1. Which is closer ( nearer ) to the eqator?: The savanna or the desert?

5.How many percent of Africa belongs to the savanna?

 

_______________________________

Savannas are generally found between the desert biome and the rainforest biome. They are mostly located near the equator.

The largest savanna is located in Africa. Nearly half of the continent of Africa is covered with savanna grasslands. Other major savannas are located in South America, India, and northern Australia.
____________________________________

One of the most spectacular sights in nature is the animals of the African Savanna. Because the savanna is so rich in grasses and tree life, many large herbivores (plant eaters) live here and congregate in large herds. These include zebras, wildebeests, elephants, giraffes, ostriches, gazelles, and buffalo. Of course, where you have lots of herbivores, there must be predators. There are many powerful predators roaming the savanna including lions, hyenas, cheetahs, leopards, black mambas, and wild dogs.

The plant eating animals have developed ways at avoiding predators. Some animals like the gazelle and ostrich use speed to try and outrun predators. The giraffe uses its height to spot predators from far off and the elephant uses its shear size and strength to keep predators away.

  1. Why do the zebras, elephants, giraffes and gazelles belong to one group?
  2. Name three animals that can eat them.
  3. Which plant eater is a fast runner?
  4. How can slower predators catch their prey?

 

 
At the same time predators of the savanna have adapted their own special skills. The cheetah is the fastest land animal and can run in bursts of 70 miles per hour to catch its prey. Other animals, like lions and hyenas, hunt in groups and trap the weaker animals away from the protection of the herd.

One reason that so many different kinds of plant eating animals can live on the savanna is that different species have adapted to eat different plants. This may be a different type of plant or even plants at different heights. Some animals are built to eat low grass while others, like giraffes, are designed to eat leaves high up in trees.

___________________________

The majority of the savanna is covered in different types of grasses. There are also lots of trees scattered about the savanna. Some of these trees include the acacia tree and the baobab tree.

The plants need to be able to survive the dry season and drought in the savanna. Some store water and energy in their roots, bulbs, or trunks. Others have roots that go deep into the ground to reach the low water table.

  1. Why don’t the elephants and zebras fight for feeding areas?

11.Where can plants keep lots of water in their body?

  1. For which group of animals or plants does the savanna fire mean a catastrophy?
    _____________________________

    Fires are an important part of the savanna. During the dry season fires clear out old dead grass and make way for new growth. Most of the plants will survive because they have extensive root systems that allow them to grow back quickly after a fire. The trees have thick bark which helps them to survive. The animals generally can run to escape the fire. Some animals burrow deep into the ground to survive. Insects generally die by the millions in a fire, but this provides a feast to many birds and animals.

    ________________________________

    Overgrazing and farming has destroyed much of the savanna. When overgrazing occurs, the grasses don’t grow back and the savanna can turn into desert. In Africa, the Sahara desert is expanding into the savanna at the rate of 30 miles per year.

    ________________________________

  • Many animals of the savanna are endangered due to overhunting and loss of habitat.
  • The grassland in Australia is called the Bush.
  • Many animals migrate out of the savanna during the dry season.
  • Some animals in the savanna, like vultures and hyenas, are scavengers which eat other animal’s kills.
  • The African savanna boasts the largest land animal, the elephant, and the tallest land animal, the giraffe.
  • The baobab tree can live for thousands of years.
  • The savanna has the highest biodiversity of herbivore animals of any biome.
  • Many of the animals in the savanna have long legs which helps them when migrating long distances.

 

Is the savanna in danger?

Characteristics of the Savanna

Plants in the Savanna

Facts About the Savanna

Where are the major savanna biomes?

Fires in the Savanna

Animals in the Savanna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chimpanzees – The Most intelligent Animals on Earth http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-chimpanzees/?print=1

You might think chimpanzees are monkeys, but they belong to the ape family. They’re related to gorillas, orangutans and us! That’s right – we are related to chimpanzees. Chimpanzees live in 20 countries in Africa. They live in a variety of habitats, such as forests, woodland areas and dry savannahs.

Chimpanzees are among the most intelligent animals on earth. They use tools to catch food. They use sticks to find termites and rocks to crack open nuts. They can learn new things.

Chimpanzees eat fruit and plants, but they also hunt. They eat lizards, frogs and even small monkeys. Chimps are endangered. People cut down trees in their habitat. The chimps have no place to go.

 

Ostriches – The Largest Birds

http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-ostriches/

When you think of birds, you probably think of the small, charming birds chirping in your backyard. The ostrich, though, is bigger than your dad! Ostriches are the largest birds. They can grow 9 feet tall and weigh over 350 pounds.

Ostriches live in the African savannah. They can’t fly, but they’re fast runners. They can run up to 43 miles per hour for short periods. Most of the time, they run at around 30 miles per hour. Ostriches eat seeds, plants and grain. They also munch on insects and small animals.

Ostriches have powerful legs and clawed toes. One strong kick can kill a lion.

Giraffes – The Tallest Mammals

http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-giraffes/

What if you could look in a second story window without even standing on your tiptoes? Giraffes can. Giraffes are the tallest mammals. Their legs are 6 feet long and so are their necks. Wild giraffes live only in Africa, but you can see them at the zoo.

Giraffes have only two predators, besides humans, crocodiles and lions. Giraffes are most vulnerable when they are taking a drink at a watering hole. They have to spread their legs wide to lower their necks. In this awkward position, they are easy prey for predators. Usually one giraffe keeps watch while another one gets a drink. If a giraffe is attacked, it kicks its attacker with its long legs and sharp hooves.

Fun Facts about Giraffes for Kids

  • Giraffes have hearts that are 2 feet long.
  • Giraffes sleep only five to 30 minutes every day. Usually they stand up to sleep. They only lie down if another giraffe can stand watch.
  • Giraffes can run up to 35 miles per hour.
  • These tall animals need a lot of food to keep them going. They eat up to 75 pounds of leaves every day. They love the leaves from acacia trees. These trees have long thorns but giraffes can eat around the thorns.
  • Giraffes have sticky tongues that can be 21 inches long!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zebras in Africa

http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-zebras/

What’s black and white striped all over? Zebras, of course! Scientists aren’t sure why zebras have stripes, but they believe the stripes might camouflage zebras from predators. Some scientists think the stripes keep insects away or even act as sunscreen. Nobody knows for sure, but each zebra’s stripes are as unique as your fingerprints.

Zebras live only in Africa. Like wild horses, zebras live in herds with a male, or stallion, leading a group of females and babies. Young male zebras join other males until they are big enough to have their own herd.

Fun Facts about Zebras for Kids

  • Sometimes zebras will gather by the thousands to migrate to new feeding areas. Family herds stay together even when they’re in these large groups.

Lions and other large predators hunt zebras. If lions attack, zebras will make a circle and try to fight them off.

  • A mother zebra keeps other zebras away from her baby for a few days. Once the baby recognizes its mother’s voice, they rejoin the herd.
  • Zebras are endangered. Finding food and water is hard for them. Some people hunt them for their skins or meat.

Lions Facts for Kids

<<<<<<<<<<<<<http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-lions/HYPERLINK “http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-lions/?print=1″HYPERLINK “http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-lions/?print=1”>>>>>>>>>>>>>

If you love Disney’s The Lion King, you probably love lions too. These big cats really do seem royal. Lions are the biggest of the big cats after tigers. Most males weigh around 400 pounds, while females weigh around 290 pounds. The biggest lion ever recorded weighed over 800 pounds! That’s like four of your dad!

Most lions nowadays live in special reserves in Africa. These are places set aside for them where they cannot be hunted or hurt. Less than 300 Asian lions live in the Gir forest in India and another 200 live in zoos. Lions are an endangered species.

Fun Facts About Lions For Kids

  • Lions are the only cats that live in groups called prides. A pride has several females, their cubs and a few males.
  • The females do most of the hunting. They work together to bring down prey. This keeps them safer than if they hunted alone.
  • Males have an important job too. They patrol their territory and protect the young cubs. They also make sure cubs get enough food.

 

Compare these 5 animals.

name:

home:

habitat:

food:

body:

speciality:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Desert

http://www.ducksters.com/science/ecosystems/desert_biome.php

We’ve all seen deserts in the movies. They are full of miles and miles of sand dunes. However, not all deserts are like this. Many deserts are rocky with scattered plants and shrubs. There are even deserts that are icy and cold. On this page we will describe the hot and dry deserts.

 

a,…………………………………
Deserts are primarily defined by their lack of rain. They generally get 10 inches or less rain in a year. Deserts are characterized in an overall lack of water. They have dry soil, little to no surface water, and high evaporation. They are so dry that sometimes rain evaporates before it can hit the ground!

b,……………………………….

Because deserts are so dry and their humidity is so low, they have no “blanket” to help insulate the ground. As a result, they may get very hot during the day with the sun beating down, but don’t hold the heat overnight. Many deserts can quickly get cold once the sun sets. Some deserts can reach temperatures of well over 100 degrees F during the day and then drop below freezing (32 degrees F) during the night.

c,……………………………………

The largest hot and dry desert in the world is the Sahara Desert in Northern Africa. The Sahara is a sandy desert with giant sand dunes. It covers over 3 million square miles of Africa. Other major deserts include the Arabian Desert in the Middle East, the Gobi Desert in Northern China and Mongolia, and the Kalahari Desert in Africa.

d,………………………………………

Animals have adapted to survive in the desert despite its extreme temperatures and lack of water. Many of the animals are nocturnal. Meaning they sleep during the heat of the day and come out when it is cooler at night. These same animals sleep in burrows, tunnels under the ground, during the day in order to stay cool. Desert animals include meerkats, camels, reptiles such as the horned toad, scorpions, and grasshoppers.
Animals that live in the desert also have adapted to needing little water. Many get all the water they need from the food they eat. Other animals store up water that they can use later. The camel stores up fat in its hump while other animals store up reserves in their tails.

e,………………………………
Only certain types of plants can survive the harsh environment of the desert. These include cactus, grasses, shrubs, and some short trees. You won’t see a lot of tall trees in the desert. Most of these plants have a way to store water in their stems, leaves, or trunks so they can survive a long time without water. They also tend to be spread out from each other and have a large root system so they can gather up all the water possible when it does rain. Many desert plants are armed with sharp spines and needles to help protect them from animals.

f,……………………………………

Because the desert is so dry, the wind will grind pebbles and sand into dust. Occasionally a big wind storm will gather up this dust into a huge storm. Dust storms can be over 1 mile high and so thick with dust you can’t breathe. They can travel for over a thousand miles, too.

g,………………………………………..

Currently deserts cover around 20% of the world’s land, but they are growing. This is called desertification and is caused by different factors including human activities. The Sahara Desert is expanding at the rate of around 30 miles per year.

Facts about the Desert Biome

  • The giant saguaro cactus can grow 50 feet tall and live for 200 years.
  • Plants that store water in their stems are called succulents.
  • Some desert trees have deep taproots that grow up to 30 feet deep in order to find water.
  • The elf owl will sometimes live inside a cactus during the day and then come out at night to hunt.
  • Dust storms from the Gobi Desert have been known to reach Beijing, China nearly 1,000 miles away.
  • Camels can go without water for a week. A thirsty camel can drink 30 gallons of water in less than 15 minutes.

Camels – The Big and Awkward Desert Animals http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-camels/?print=1

What animal carries a refrigerator on its back? The camel. Well, not exactly, but a camel’s humps do store fat, which the camel uses for energy when food is scarce. In fact, these humps are so efficient that a camel can go for up to several months with no food. They can even survive up to one week without water.

Fun Facts about Camels for Kids

Dromedary camels live in the Middle East. They have one hump. Bactrian camels live only in China and Mongolia. They have two humps.

  • People in the Middle East use camels like horses. They ride them and use them to carry things. Camels can carry up to 200 pounds.
  • Camels look big and awkward, but they can move as fast as a horse.
  • Camels have long eyelashes and a protective eyelid to keep out sand in the desert. They can even close their nostrils.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. How do animals survive in the desert?
  2. Hot in the Day, Cold at Night
  3. What plants can live here?
  4. What makes a desert a desert?
  5. Expanding Deserts
  6. Dust Storms
  7. Where are the major hot and dry deserts?

 

 

Temperate Forest

 

location:

temperature:

number of seasons:

amount of rain:

layers of the forest:

types of trees:

animals ( min. 4):

How can animals survive winter? ( 4):

 

 

 

http://www.ducksters.com/science/ecosystems/temperate_forest_biome.php

All forests have lots of trees, but there are different types of forests. They are often described as different biomes. One of the main differences is where they are located in relation to the equator and the poles. There are three main types of forest biomes: the rainforest, the temperate forest, and the Taiga. Rainforests are located in the tropics, near the equator. Taiga forests are located far north. Temperate forests are located in between.

What makes a forest a temperate forest?

  • Temperature – Temperate means “not to extremes” or “in moderation”. In this case temperate is referring to the temperature. It never gets really hot (like in the rainforest) or really cold (like in the Taiga) in the temperate forest. The temperature is generally between minus -5 degrees C and 35 degrees C.
  • Four seasons – There are four distinct seasons: winter, spring, summer, and fall. Each season is about the same length of time. With only a three month winter, plants have a long growing season.
  • Lots of rain – There is lots of rain throughout the year, usually between 700 and 1400 mm of rain.
  • Fertile soil – Rotted leaves and other decaying matter provide a rich, deep soil that is good for trees to grow strong roots.

Where are the temperate forests located?
They are located in several locations around the world, around halfway between the equator and the poles.

Plants of the Temperate Forests
The plants of the forests grow in different layers. The top layer is called the canopy and is made up of full grown trees. These trees form an umbrella throughout most of the year providing shade for the layers below. The middle layer is called the understory. The understory is made up of smaller trees, saplings, and shrubs. The lowest layer is the forest floor which is made up of wildflowers, herbs, ferns, mushrooms, and mosses.

The plants that grow here have some things in common.

  • They lose their leaves – Many of the trees that grow here are deciduous trees, meaning they lose their leaves during the winter. There are a few evergreen trees as well that keep their leaves for the winter.

Animals of the Temperate Forests
There are a wide variety of animals that live here including black bears, mountain lions, deer, fox, squirrels, skunks, rabbits, porcupines, timber wolves, and a number of birds. Some animals are predators like mountain lions and hawks. Many animals survive off of nuts from the many trees like squirrels and turkeys.

Each species of animal has adapted to survive the winter.

  • Remain active – Some animals stay active during the winter. There are rabbits, squirrels, fox, and deer which all stay active. Some are just good at finding food while others, like squirrels, store up and hide food during the fall that they can eat during the winter.
  • Migrate – Some animals, like birds, migrate to a warmer place for the winter and then return home come springtime.
  • Hibernate – Some animals hibernate or rest during the winter. They basically sleep for the winter and live off of fat stored in their body.
  • Die and lay eggs – Many insects can’t survive the winter, but they lay eggs that can. Their eggs will hatch come spring.

Facts About the Temperate Forest Biome

  • Many animals have sharp claws to climb trees such as squirrels, opossums, and raccoons.
  • Much of the forests in Western Europe are gone due to overdevelopment. Unfortunately, the ones in Eastern Europe are now dying from acid rain.
  • A single oak tree can produce 90,000 acorns in one year.
  • Trees use birds, acorns, and even the wind to spread their seed throughout the forest.
  • Deciduous is a Latin word that means “to fall off”.
  • There were no ground living mammals in the New Zealand forests until people arrived, but there were lots of varieties of birds.
  • Black bears will put on a 5 inch layer of fat before going to sleep for the winter.

Chameleons – Can They Change Their Colors?

<<<<<<<<<<<<<http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-chameleons/HYPERLINK “http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-chameleons/?print=1″HYPERLINK “http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-chameleons/?print=1”>>>>>>>>>>>>>

You’ve probably heard that a chameleon can change its color/ body temperature to match its surroundings, but this isn’t really true. Some chameleons change colors to show / hide themselves; others change colors based on how they’re feeling. Chameleons have some of the most brilliant colors of any reptiles. They can have spots of orange, yellow, red, blue or green. Chameleons live in Africa, Asia and southern / northern Europe. The largest ones grow to almost 2 / 20 feet ( 1 foot= 30 cm )long. The smallest one is smaller than your thumb!

The panther chameleon changes its color to yellow or red when it’s angry/ hungry. When a chameleon is cold, it will become lighter / darker in color. Light / Dark colors attract heat better than light ones.

 

Guess: True or False?                                                          True           False

  1. Geckos like warm weather. m               o
  2. They can be more than 50 cm long. c                 k
  3. They can make sounds to communicate. h                 n
  4. They are usually active by day. k                 a
  5. They can lose their tails. i                  a
  6. They can walk even on ceilings. c                 e
  7. They are useful animals. a                 s

 

 

Raccoons

Raccoons are about the size of a medium dog. They have a bushy, ringed tails and a black mask across their faces. They look cute, but they are wild animals. They can bite and scratch and some carry diseases.

Raccoons live throughout the United States. They live in forests and woodlands, but they also live near farms and even in cities.

Raccoons are omnivores. They eat almost anything, including  fish, nuts, fruit, lizards, insects and the occasional squirrel or mouse. Raccoons can get into trouble with people. They dig through trash cans. They eat dog food and might even go under your house or into the attic. They also love  vegetable gardens. They are awake during the night and sleep in the day. Most raccoons only live two or three years. Some are hit by cars. Others are eaten by predators or get sick.

Raccoons often dip their food in water, but scientists don’t think they are washing it. They probably just like the feeling of the water on their paws.

 

 

 

 

 

Grasslands

 

location:

name (3) :prairie, steppe, pampa

weather:temperature:

precipitation/ rain:

soil:

animals:coyote

plants:oat

usage:agriculture

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejjRYMEZ02s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvJcBBTxQ7g

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvDKLElOjB4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wh196ABKAxs

 

 

http://www.ducksters.com/science/ecosystems/grasslands_biome.php

The grasslands biome can be divided up into the temperate grasslands and tropical grasslands. On this page we will discuss the temperate grasslands. Tropical grasslands are also called savannas.
What are grasslands?

Grasslands are wide expanses of land filled with low growing plants such as grasses and wildflowers. The amount of rain is not enough to grow tall trees and produce a forest, but it is enough to not form a desert. The temperate grasslands have seasons including a hot summer and a cold winter.

Where are the major world grasslands?

Grasslands are generally located between deserts and forests. The major temperate grasslands are located in central North America in the United States, in Southeast South America in Uruguay and Argentina, and in Asia along the southern portion of Russia and Mongolia.

Types of Temperate Grasslands

Each major area of grasslands in the world has its own characteristics and is often called by other names:

  • Prairie – Grasslands in North America are called the prairies. They cover around 1.4 million square miles of the central United States including some of Canada and Mexico.
  • Steppes – The steppes are grasslands that cover southern Russia all the way to the Ukraine and Mongolia. The steppes stretch over 4,000 miles of Asia including much of the fabled Silk Road from China to Europe.
  • Pampas – The grasslands in South America are often called the pampas. They cover around 300,000 square miles between the Andes Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean.

Animals in the Grasslands

A variety of animals live in the grasslands. These include prairie dogs, wolves, turkeys, eagles, weasels, bobcats, foxes, and geese. A lot of smaller animals hide down in the grasses such as snakes, mice, and rabbits.

The North American plains were once full of bison. These large herbivores ruled the plains. It is estimated there were millions of them before the Europeans arrived and began slaughtering them in the 1800s. Although there are numerous bison in commercial herds today, there are few in the wild.

Plants in the Grasslands

Different kinds of grass grow in different areas of the grasslands. There are actually thousands of different kinds of grasses that grow in this biome. Where they grow usually depends on the amount of rain that area gets. In wetter grasslands, there are tall grasses that can grow up to six feet high. In dryer areas the grasses grow shorter, maybe only a foot or two tall.

Types of grasses that grow here include buffalo grass, blue grama grass, needle grass, big bluestem, and switchgrass.

Other plants that grow here include sunflowers, sagebrush, clover, asters, goldenrods, butterfly weed, and butterweed.

Fires

Wildfires can play an important role in the biodiversity of the grasslands. Scientists believe that occasional fires help to rid the land of old grasses and allow for new grasses to grow, bringing new life to the area.

Farming and Food

The grassland biome plays an important role in human farming and food. They are used to grow staple crops such as wheat and corn. They are also good for grazing livestock such as cattle.

The Shrinking Grasslands

Unfortunately, human farming and development has caused the grassland biome to steadily shrink. There are conservation efforts going on to try and save the grasslands that are left as well as the endangered plants and animals.

Facts about the Grassland Biome

  • Forbs are plants that grow in the grasslands that aren’t grasses. They are leafy and soft-stemmed plants such as sunflowers.
  • Prairie dogs are rodents that live in burrows under the prairies. They live in large groups called towns that can sometimes cover hundreds of acres of land.
  • It is thought that there were over a billion prairie dogs on the Great Plains at one point.
  • Other grassland animals need the prairie dog to survive, but the population is declining.
  • Only around 2% of the original prairies of North America still exist. Much of it has been turned into farmland.
  • Fires on grasslands can move as fast as 600 feet per minute.

 

Antelope – The Bovine Family http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-antelope/?print=1

Antelope are in the bovine family. They are related to cows, sheep and goats. More than 90 species of antelope live in Africa and Asia. The pronghorn antelope lives in western America and Mexico, but it’s not really an antelope. Pronghorns lose their antlers every year like deer. True antelope keep their antlers.

Speaking of horns, antelope horns are beautiful and interesting. Kudu antelope have antlers that grow in spirals. The impala antelope has ridged antlers. Other antlers, like those of the wildebeest, are curved and sharply pointed.

Fun Facts about Antelope for Kids

  • Antelope are herbivores. They graze on grass or munch on leaves.

They’re smart. They follow the rains to find tender grass. Some follow zebras because the zebras eat the tough outer grasses, leaving tender, young grass for them.

  • Antelopes have hooves made for their habitat. The klipslinger antelope has tiny suction-pad like pads on its hooves to help it climb steep rocks. Antelope that live in the desert have wide, flat hooves to help them walk on the sand.
  • Duikers antelope sometimes eat bugs or even small birds. Other antelope can stand up on their hind legs to get to the leaves in trees.

 

Prairie Dog

  • What do prairie dogs look like?

    Prairie dogs are small little furry animals. They grow to just over a foot tall and have a tail that is 3 to 4 inches long. They typically weigh between 2 to 4 pounds. They have brown fur, black eyes, and short limbs with claws.

  • Are they really dogs?

    Prairie dogs are not really dogs, but are a type of rodent or ground squirrel. They got the name “dog” from the dog-like bark sound they make.

  • Where do they live?

    They live primarily in the central part of the United States in the Great Plains. They live in areas that have a wide range of temperatures from very cold to extremely hot.

  • Prairie dogs are perhaps most famous for the burrows that they make. They build large burrows under the ground with numerous entrances. Their burrows are typically 6 to 10 feet deep and are made up of long tunnels and chambers. Some of the chambers have specific uses such as nursery chambers for young prairie dogs, nighttime chambers, chambers for the winter, and places to listen for predators.
  • What do prairie dogs eat?

    Prairie dogs are omnivores, meaning they eat plants. They eat roots, seeds, grasses, and leafy plants.

 

Coyotes – All You Need To Know http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-coyotes/?print=1

You probably don’t have wolves living in your backyard, but you just might have coyotes. These small wild dogs live all over the United States. They can adapt to many types of areas. They live in the desert, the mountains, the plains and even in cities.

Coyotes are carnivores, but they eat fruit and vegetables too. In fact, they might even get in your garden to snack on berries or melons.

Fun Facts about Coyotes for Kids

  • Coyotes weigh only about 20 pounds, making them the size of a medium dog.

They have long fur that is brownish red, grey or white. Coyotes have a bushy tail like a fox.

  • Coyotes raise their pups in dens or holes in the ground.
  • They usually have two to four pups.
  • Coyotes make high yipping sounds. These sounds get louder and faster when they close in on prey. A coyote’s yipping sounds a little scary if you’ve never heard it before.
  • Even though coyotes look like dogs, they’re wild. If you see one, yell and back away slowly.

 

Taiga Forest

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEPiwbtOZfM

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gN4PRKZdP5Q&list=PLmqecn8eUvFzeWKr3Kc21FGN4xSJs438-&index=9

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gN4PRKZdP5Q&index=9&list=PLmqecn8eUvFzeWKr3Kc21FGN4xSJs438

 

location In Canada, Russia
types light and dark
seasons a short warm summer, long cold winter
temperature -60  + 37
reasons for the temperature snow reflects heat, sunlight hits the ground in a low  angle, cold winds
animals bears, eagles, wolves, migrating birds, salmon, lynx
plants evergreens
speciality survival, mammuth
human’s effect cut down trees, hunt animals
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.ducksters.com/science/ecosystems/taiga_forest_biome.php

The Taiga is one of the three main forest biomes. The other two are the temperate forest and the tropical rainforest. The taiga is the driest and coldest of the three. The taiga is sometimes called the boreal forest or the coniferous forest. It is the largest of all the land biomes.

What makes a forest a taiga forest?

The taiga has several characteristics that distinguish it from the other forest biomes:

Evergreen trees – This forest is covered with evergreen, or coniferous, trees. These are trees that don’t drop their leaves, or needles, in the winter. They keep their leaves so they can soak up as much sunlight for as long as possible. The dark green color of their leaves also helps them to soak up more sun and gain more energy through photosynthesis.

  • Cold weather – The taiga has the coldest weather of the forest biomes. Winters can get as cold as -60 degrees F. Winter can last for six months with the temperature averaging below freezing. Summers are warmer, but very short.
  • Dry – The precipitation is only slightly more than the desert or the tundra. Average precipitation is between 12 and 30 inches per year. It falls as rain in the summer and snow in the winter.
  • Thin layer of soil – Because the leaves don’t fall from the trees, like in the temperate forest, the layer of good soil is thin. Also, the cold weather causes a slow rate of decay taking it longer for nutrients to get back into the soil.
  • Short growing season – With a long winter and short summer, plants don’t have a lot of time to grow in the taiga. The growing season only lasts for around three months. This compares to at least six months in the temperate forest and a year round growing season in the rainforest.

Where are the taiga forests located in the world?

These forests are located in the far north typically between the temperate forest biome and the tundra biome. On the globe this is between 50 degrees latitude north and the Arctic Circle. The largest taiga forest covers much of northern Russia and Siberia. Other major taiga forests include North America (Canada and Alaska) and Scandinavia (Finland, Norway, and Sweden).
Plants of the Taiga

The dominant plant in the taiga is the coniferous evergreen tree. These trees include spruce, pine, cedar, and fir trees. They grow close together forming a canopy over the land, like an umbrella. This canopy soaks up the sun and only lets a little bit of sunlight through to the ground.

The conifers of the taiga produce their seeds in cones. They also have needles for leaves. Needles are good at holding in water and surviving the harsh cold winds each winter. The trees also grow in a cone shape. This helps the snow to slide off their branches.

Under the canopy of the trees, few other plants grow. In some moist areas plants such as ferns, sedges, mosses, and berries will grow.

Animals of the Taiga

The animals of the taiga must be able to survive the cold winters. Some animals, like birds, migrate to the south for the winter. Insects lay eggs that can survive the winter and then die. Other animals, like squirrels, store up food for the winter while others hibernate by going into a long, deep sleep.

Predators of this biome include the lynx, wolverines, hawks, and wolves. Other animals include moose, the snowshoe hare, deer, bears, chipmunks, bats, and woodpeckers.
The …………………….  is  a wild animal with a bushy tail & a pointed muzzle (nose).

 

The …………………….  is a stocky shaggy-coated North American carnivorous mammal.

 

The …………………….  is a smaller cat that lives in North America, has a double pointed beard, a short tail, and black tufts at the tip of its ears.

 

The …………………….  is one of the largest mammals in the Eastern Woodlands.

 

The …………………….  is a wild carnivorous mammal that is the largest member of the dog family, living and hunting in packs.

 

The …………………….  is a  type of rabbit that has large furry feet and that turns white in the winter and brown in the summer.

 

The …………………….  is a large northern deer with enormous flattened antlers in the male.

 

canada lynx, wolverine, moose, snowshoe hare, black bear, wolf, fox

 

https://quizlet.com/27646924/taiga-animals-flash-cards/

 

 

Capercaillie

 

A huge woodland grouse, the large black males are unmistakable. They spend a lot of time feeding on the ground, but may also be found in trees, feeding on shoots. localised breeding species, found in Scottish native pinewood, a rare and vulnerable habitat, and in commercial conifer plantations. The UK capercaillie population has declined so rapidly that it is at very real risk of extinction (for the second time) and is a ‘Red List’ species.

 

https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/bird-and-wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/c/capercaillie/index.aspx

 

 
Animals that live here have certain characteristics that help them to survive:

  • They generally have thick fur or feathers to keep them warm.
  • Many animals have sharp claws and are good at climbing trees.
  • They have large feet to allow them to walk on the snow without sinking.
  • Many of them change colors from white fur in the winter, to help them hide in the snow, to brown fur in the summer, to help them hide in the trees.

Facts About the Taiga Biome

  • Taiga is a Russian word meaning forest.

Many years ago the taiga was covered with icy glaciers.

  • The word boreal means northern or “of the north wind”.
  • The occasional wildfire is good for the taiga as it opens up area for new growth. The trees have adapted to fires by growing tough bark. This will help some of them survive a mild fire.
  • Many of the forest floor plants are perennials that come back each summer after laying dormant for the winter.
  • These forests are endangered and shrinking due to logging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tundra

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4b91MGt-Bg4&list=PLmqecn8eUvFzeWKr3Kc21FGN4xSJs438-&index=10

 

 

Snow fox:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2SoGHFM18I

 

T/F

  1. It can hear field mice.
  2. The mouse was under three metres of snow.
  3. The snow fox needs concentration and silence.
  4. Its ears can capture very quiet noises.
  5. It usually finishes hunting with success.
  6. It might use the Earth’s magnetic field somehow.
  7. If the snow fox faces the North Pole, it will be more successful.

 

http://www.ducksters.com/science/ecosystems/tundra_biome.php

 

 

 

 

 

The Tundra

The tundra biome is a cold and …………..plain where harsh conditions make it hard for plants and animals alike to survive. Around 20% of the Earth’s land surface is covered with tundra.
Characteristics of the Tundra Biome

It’s cold – The tundra is the …………of the biomes. The average temperature in the tundra is around -18 degrees F. It gets much colder in the winter and warmer during its ………..summer.

  • It’s dry – The tundra gets about as much precipitation as the average…………., around 10 inches per year. Most of this is snow.
  • Permafrost – Below the top soil, the ground is permanently …………..year round.
  • It’s barren – The tundra has few nutrients to support plant and animal life. It has a short growing season and a slow rate of decay.

Two Types of Tundra

  • Alpine tundra – Alpine tundra is the area of land high in the ………..above the tree line.
  • Arctic tundra – The Arctic tundra is located far north in the northern hemisphere along the………………. There are large areas of tundra in northern North America, northern Europe, and……………….

northern Asia, frozen, treeless, Arctic Circle, desert, mountains, coldest, short

 

Tundra Seasons
The tundra has two distinct seasons: a long ………and a short………….. Being so far north, the tundra has long …………..in the winter and long …………in the summer.
The winter lasts around 8 months and is extremely cold. In the middle of winter the sun may not ………for weeks. The tundra is …………and often covered with snow during the winter and will reach temperatures of -60 degrees F.
The summer is shorter and is marked by the other extreme of the sun not…………. In the middle of summer the sun will be up for 24………… During the summer the temperatures may reach 50 degrees F causing the snow ………..in areas and wetlands to form.

 

winter, frozen, hours, to melt, days,           nights, summer, rise, setting
What is permafrost?
Permafrost is a layer of ground below the topsoil that remains frozen throughout the year. This layer is generally only a few feet below the surface. Permafrost prevents trees from growing in the tundra because trees need to have deep roots and they can’t grow in the frozen ground.
Plants in the Tundra
Plants that grow in the tundra include grasses, shrubs, herbs, and lichens. They grow in groups and stay ………..to the ground to stay protected from the icy………… They tend to have shallow roots and flower ………….during the short summer months.
Most of the plants in the tundra are ………….that come back each year from the same root. This allows them to grow during the summer and save up …………….as they lay dormant for the winter. They also tend to have hairy stems and …………leaves. This helps them in absorbing energy from the sun.

 

low, winds, quickly, nutrients, dark, perennials
Animals in the Tundra
The tundra has a lot more / less  animal activity during the summer than the winter. This is because most birds / lizards migrate north / south for the summer, insects lay eggs that wait for the summer to hatch, and some mammals / birds hibernate for the winter. There are even some animals, like the caribou, which migrate north / south for the winter.
There are some animals that have adapted to winter in the tundra. Some of them change coats from brown / white in the summer to brown / white in the winter so they can blend in with the snow. These include the arctic hare, the ermine, and the desert / arctic fox. During the summer, the tundra will be full of mammals / insects. Wetland areas will be filled with mosquitoes. There will also be a lot of bird activity as they come to eat the insects and fish. Animals will be more active, coming out of hibernation or migrating from the noth / south.

 

 
Facts about the Tundra Biome

  • The word tundra comes from a Finnish word tunturi, which means treeless plain or barren land.
  • The tundra is a very fragile biome that is shrinking as the permafrost melts.
  • Lemmings are small mammals that burrow under the snow to eat grasses and moss during the winter.

Polar bears come to the tundra for the summer where they have their babies.

  • Animals in the tundra tend to have small ears and tails. This helps them to lose less heat in the cold. They also tend to have large feet, which helps them to walk on top of the snow.
  • Plants that grow in tight groups to protect themselves from the cold are sometimes called cushion plants.
  • The Inuit people of Alaska live on the tundra.
  • Reindeer Facts for Kids

Reindeer are also known as Caribou. In Europe they are called Reindeer all the time. America we called them Caribou in the wild and when domesticated we call them Reindeer.

Scientific Name: Rangifer Tarasndus.

  • Reindeer live in the Northern parts of North America including Canada and Alaska also in Europe, Russia and Greenland. Lets us not forget with Santa at the North Pole.
  • They live on tundras. A tundra is a vast flat, treeless Arctic Region.
  • Reindeer are herbivores meaning they are plant eaters.
  • They eat lichen a type of moss, grass and plants.
  • A reindeer can live up to 15 years in the wild.
  • A reindeer has brown soft fur with white fur on their neck and parts of their back.

Did you know that reindeer are the only deer in which both male and females grow antlers. They shed their antlers in the winter.

 

 

 

OFI:Élet a tundrán:

https://player.nkp.hu/play/86331/false/undefined

 

A sarkvidék állatai:

https://player.nkp.hu/play/77402/false/undefined

 

faj     testméret    kültakaró            táplálk.      védekezés

                                                                           a hideg ellen

 

1.

2.

3.

 

 

 

 

Polar Bears – The Biggest Bears http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-polar-bears/?print=1

Polar bears sure make playing in the snow and ice look fun. In fact, these animals have such thick coats that sometimes they get too warm. Then they dive in the icy water to cool off. Their coats are very thick, but they also have lots of body fat, which keeps them warm too.

All polar bears live in the north. They live in Alaska, Canada, Russia, Norway and Greenland. They are strong hunters. Their favorite food is seal. Polar bears can smell a seal up to 20 miles away! They wait on the ice for seals to come up for air. They also eat caribou, grass, walrus, beached whales and seaweed.

 

 

Fun Facts about Polar Bears for Kids

Polar bears sleep in caves during the winter. Mama bears have babies during their winter nap. The babies nurse and play until mama wakes up.

  • Polar bears play and slide in the ice and snow.
  • Polar bears are the biggest bear in the world. Males weigh almost 2,000 pounds. That’s almost as much as a small car!
  • Polar bear cubs are very small. They’re about the size of a stick of butter!
  • Polar bears have 2 to 4 inches of fat under their skin.

 

 

 

 

 

Tengervíz

  sarkvidéki trópusi
hőingadozás    
oldott oxigén    
élőlények száma    
víz színe    
előnye  
hátránya  

 

  mélység testfelépítés jelentőség
zöldmoszat      
barnamoszat      
vörösmoszat      

 

 

 

Marine

 

 

http://www.ducksters.com/science/ecosystems/marine_biome.php
There are two major aquatic or water biomes, the marine biome and the freshwater biome. The marine biome is primarily made up of the saltwater oceans. It is the largest biome on planet Earth and covers around 70% of the Earth’s surface. Go here to learn more about the world’s different oceans.

Types of Marine Biomes

Although the marine biome is primarily made up of the oceans, it can be divided up into three types:

  • Oceans – These are the five major oceans that cover the world including the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Southern Oceans.

Coral reefs – Coral reefs are small in size when compared to the oceans, but around 25% of marine species live in the coral reefs making them an important biome. Go here to learn more about the coral reef biome.

  • Estuaries – Estuaries are areas where rivers and streams flow into the ocean. This area where freshwater and saltwater meets, creates an ecosystem or biome all its own with interesting and diverse plant and animal life.

Ocean Light Zones

The ocean can be divided up into three layers or zones. These layers are called light zones because they are based on how much sunlight each area receives.

  • Sunlit or euphotic zone – This is the top layer of the ocean and it gets the most sunlight. The depth varies, but averages around 600 feet deep. The sunlight provides energy to the ocean organisms through photosynthesis. It feeds plants as well as small little organisms called plankton. Plankton are very important in the ocean because they provide the food basis for much of the rest of ocean life. As a result, around 90% of ocean life lives in the sunlit zone.
  • Twilight or disphotic zone – The twilight zone is the middle zone in the ocean. It runs from about 600 feet deep to around 3,000 feet deep depending on how murky the water is. There is too little sunlight for plants to live here. Animals that live here have adapted to living with little light. Some of these animals can produce their own light through a chemical reaction called bioluminescence.
  • Midnight or aphotic zone – Below 3,000 or so is the midnight zone. There is no light here, it is completely dark. The water pressure is extremely high and it is very cold. Only a few animals have adapted to live in these extreme conditions. They live off of bacteria that get their energy from cracks in the Earth at the bottom of the ocean. Around 90% of the ocean is in this zone.

Animals of the Marine Biome

The marine biome has the most biodiversity of all the biomes. Many of the animals, such as fish, have gills that allow them to breathe the water. Other animals are mammals that need to come to surface to breathe, but spend much of their lives in the water. Another type of marine animal is the mollusk which has a soft body and no backbone.

Here are just a few of the animals that you will find in the marine biome:

Fish – Sharks, swordfish, tuna, clown fish, grouper, stingray, flatfish, eels, rockfish, seahorse, sunfish mola, and gars.

  • Marine mammals – Blue whales, seals, walruses, dolphins, manatees, and otters.
  • Mollusks – Octopus, cuttlefish, clams, conch, squids, oysters, slugs, and snails.

Plants of the Marine Biome
kelp forest:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-Qj_LCae8A
There are thousands of species of plants that live in the ocean. They rely on photosynthesis from the sun for energy. Plants in the ocean are extremely important to all life on planet earth. Algae in the ocean absorbs carbon dioxide and provides much of the Earth’s oxygen.

 

Facts About the Marine Biome

  • Over 90% of the life on Earth lives in the ocean.
  • The average depth of the ocean is 12,400 feet.
  • Around 90% of all volcanic activity takes place in the world’s oceans.
  • The Mariana Trench is the deepest point in the ocean at 36,000 feet deep.
  • The largest animal on Earth, the blue whale, lives in the ocean.
  • Humans get most of their protein by eating fish from the ocean.
  • The average temperature of the ocean is around 39 degrees F=4 degrees Celsius

 

Shark Family http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-sharks/?print=1

From scary movies to beachside signs, sharks have a hair-raising reputation. But are they really as scary as they’re portrayed? The truth is, only 25 species (out of 368 species) attack humans, and only about 100 people each year are attacked by sharks. More people die every year from bee stings, natural disasters or lightning strikes, and tens of thousands die in car and road accidents. The bull shark is the shark most often responsible for attacks, because it swims in the same shallow waters preferred by swimmers.

Sharks are ancient animals. They’ve been on earth for at least 25 million years. Sharks, unlike most fish, don’t have bones, but cartilage, which is a soft, sinewy substance. They have several rows of teeth and might have as many as 3,000 teeth in their mouths at one time. When one tooth falls out, another one moves forward to replace it.

Fun Facts About Sharks for Kids

It’s hard to see in the murky waters of the deep, but sharks have excellent vision. Their night vision is better than a cat’s or a wolf’s.

  • A shark’s sense of smell is 10,000 times better than a human’s.
  • Sharks can detect electrical impulses, including another animal’s beating heart. That’s a little creepy, isn’t it?
  • Sharks are picky eaters. They often take one bite of something before they decide to go in for the kill. This is why they often swim away after “tasting” a human.

Sharks have several rows of teeth and might have as many as 3,000 teeth in their mouths at one time.

 

Whales – The Toothed and Baleen Whales http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-whales/?print=1

When you think of whales, do you think of Shamu, the black and white orca whale at Sea World? Or, perhaps you think of the huge whale that swallowed Pinocchio in the Disney movie. Both images are correct. There are two types of whales: toothed whales and baleen whales.

Most whales have teeth. Toothed whales are smaller than baleen whales and they only have one blowhole. Baleen whales don’t have teeth. Instead, they have baleen, which is sort of like a sieve or coffee filter in their mouths.

Fun Facts about Whales for Kids

  • There are over 75 species of whale.

Whales are thought to be one of the smartest animals on Earth.

  • Whales can talk to each other through chirps, squeaks or whale songs.

Dolphins are a type of whale.

  • Whales are expert divers and swimmers. The sperm whale can dive to a depth of two miles deep and hold its breath for more than two hours!
  • Whales migrate from cold arctic or Antarctic waters to warmer waters to have babies.

 

 

 

Coral Reef

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2BKd5e15Jc

 

 

http://www.ducksters.com/science/ecosystems/coral_reef_biome.php

The coral reef is one of the major marine biomes. Although it is a relatively small biome, around 25% of the known marine species live in coral reefs.

What is a coral reef?

At first glance, you may think that coral reefs are made up of rocks, but they are actually live organisms. These organisms are tiny little animals called polyps. Polyps live on the outside of the reef. As polyps die, they become hard and new polyps grow on top of them causing the reef to grow.

Does the coral reef eat?

Since polyps need to eat to stay alive, you can think of the coral reef as eating, too. They eat small animals called plankton as well as algae. The algae get their food from the sun by using photosynthesis. This is why coral reefs form close to the surface of the water and in clear water where the sun can feed the algae.

Where are coral reefs located?

Coral reefs need warm, shallow water to form. They form close to the equator near coastlines and around islands throughout the world.

A significant portion of the world’s coral reefs are located in Southeast Asia and near Australia. The largest coral reef is the Great Barrier Reef located off of Queensland, Australia. The Great Barrier Reef stretches for 2,600 miles.

Types of Coral Reefs

There are three main types of coral reefs:

  • Fringe reef – Fringe reefs grow close to the shore line. It can be attached to the shore or there may be a narrow strip of water called a lagoon or channel between the land and the coral reef.
  • Barrier reef – Barrier reefs grow further from the shore line, sometimes several miles from the shore.
  • Atoll – An atoll is a ring of coral surrounding a lagoon of water. It starts out as a fringe reef around a volcanic island. As the coral grows up, the island sinks into the ocean and just the ring of coral is left. Some atolls are so big that people live on them. An example of this is the Maldives.

Zones of the Coral Reef

After a period of time, coral reefs develop zones. Each zone is inhabited by different kinds of corals, fish, and ocean life.

  • Shore or inner reef zone – This area is between the crest and the shoreline. Depending on the shape of the reef, this area can be full of life including fishes, sea cucumbers, starfish, and anemones.
  • Crest reef zone – This is highest point of the reef and where the waves break over the reef.
  • Fore or outer reef zone – As the reef wall falls off, the waters get calmer. Around 30 feet deep, you will generally find the most populated part of the reef along with lots of different types of coral species.

Coral Reef Animals

All sorts of animals live around a coral reef. This includes many different types of corals such as star coral, brain coral, column coral, cactus coral, and finger coral.

Some of the most strange and interesting creatures in the world live here. Many animals attach themselves to the reef covering nearly every square inch. They include sponges, starfish, anemones, cucumbers, snails, and clams. Also, there are lots of fish swimming around such as cuttlefish, sharks, lionfish, pufferfish, clownfish, and eels. There are 1500 species of fish and 400 species of coral that live on the Great Barrier Reef alone.

Coral Reef Plants

The majority of the plants living on the coral reef are various species of sea grass, seaweed, and algae.

Why are the coral reefs important?

Besides being beautiful, a tourist attraction, and an important part of planet Earth, coral reefs have a positive impact on many people throughout the world. This includes food from fishing, protection of coastlines from erosion, and even medical discoveries such as medicines for cancer.

Are they in danger?

Yes, the coral reefs are slowly being destroyed. Since they grow at such a slow rate, they are disintegrating faster than they can be repaired. Much of the damage is caused by humans, primarily from pollution and overfishing. Even tourists can damage the reefs by standing on them, touching them, or bumping into them with their boats.

Facts About the Coral Reef

  • Coral reefs grow very slowly. Large reefs grow at the rate of 1 to 2 cm per year. It’s estimated that some of the largest reefs took as long as 30 million years to form.
  • Some animals in the coral reef have symbiotic relationships. This means they help each other to survive. The clown fish and the anemone are one example of this.
  • Different types of coral grow into different shapes. Some look like mushrooms, some trees, fans, honeycombs, flowers, and even brains.
  • The Great Barrier Reef is so big it can be seen from outer space.

Some coral reefs have turned white because they lose their algae when the water gets too salty or warm.

  1. Are they in danger?
  2. Coral Reef Plants
  3. What is a coral reef?
  4. Coral Reef Animals
  5. Why are the coral reefs important?
  6. Where are coral reefs located?
  7. Zones of the Coral Reef
  8. Does the coral reef eat?
  9. Types of Coral Reefs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chameleons – Can They Change Their Colors?

<<<<<<<<<http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-chameleons/HYPERLINKhttp://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-chameleons/?print=1″HYPERLINKhttp://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-chameleons/?print=1

You’ve probably heard that a chameleon can change its color/ body temperature to match its surroundings, but this isn’t really true. Some chameleons change colors to show / hide themselves; others change colors based on how they’re feeling. Chameleons have some of the most brilliant colors of any reptiles. They can have spots of orange, yellow, red, blue or green. Chameleons live in Africa, Asia and southern / northern Europe. The largest ones grow to almost 2 / 20 feet ( 1 foot= 30 cm )long. The smallest one is smaller than your thumb!

The panther chameleon changes its color to yellow or red when it’s angry/ hungry. When a chameleon is cold, it will become lighter / darker in color. Light / Dark colors attract heat better than light ones.

 

 

 

Chameleons – Can They Change Their Colors?

<<<<<<<<<http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-chameleons/HYPERLINKhttp://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-chameleons/?print=1″HYPERLINKhttp://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-chameleons/?print=1

You’ve probably heard that a chameleon can change its color/ body temperature to match its surroundings, but this isn’t really true. Some chameleons change colors to show / hide themselves; others change colors based on how they’re feeling. Chameleons have some of the most brilliant colors of any reptiles. They can have spots of orange, yellow, red, blue or green. Chameleons live in Africa, Asia and southern / northern Europe. The largest ones grow to almost 2 / 20 feet ( 1 foot= 30 cm )long. The smallest one is smaller than your thumb!

The panther chameleon changes its color to yellow or red when it’s angry/ hungry. When a chameleon is cold, it will become lighter / darker in color. Light / Dark colors attract heat better than light ones.

 

 

 

 

Chameleons – Can They Change Their Colors?

<<<<<<<<<http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-chameleons/HYPERLINKhttp://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-chameleons/?print=1″HYPERLINKhttp://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-chameleons/?print=1

You’ve probably heard that a chameleon can change its color/ body temperature to match its surroundings, but this isn’t really true. Some chameleons change colors to show / hide themselves; others change colors based on how they’re feeling. Chameleons have some of the most brilliant colors of any reptiles. They can have spots of orange, yellow, red, blue or green. Chameleons live in Africa, Asia and southern / northern Europe. The largest ones grow to almost 2 / 20 feet ( 1 foot= 30 cm )long. The smallest one is smaller than your thumb!

The panther chameleon changes its color to yellow or red when it’s angry/ hungry. When a chameleon is cold, it will become lighter / darker in color. Light / Dark colors attract heat better than light ones.

 

 

 

 

Guess: True or False?                                                                       True                False

  1. Geckos like warm weather. m                    o
  2. They can be more than 50 cm long. c                      k
  3. They can make sounds to communicate. h                      n
  4. They are usually active by day. k                      a
  5. They can lose their tails. i                       a
  6. They can walk even on ceilings. c                      e
  7. They are useful animals. a                      s

 

 

Guess: True or False?                                                                       True                False

  1. Geckos like warm weather. m                    o
  2. They can be more than 50 cm long. c                      k
  3. They can make sounds to communicate. h                      n
  4. They are usually active by day. k                      a
  5. They can lose their tails. i                       a
  6. They can walk even on ceilings. c                      e
  7. They are useful animals. a                      s

 

 

Guess: True or False?                                                                       True                False

  1. Geckos like warm weather. m                    o
  2. They can be more than 50 cm long. c                      k
  3. They can make sounds to communicate. h                      n
  4. They are usually active by day. k                      a
  5. They can lose their tails. i                       a
  6. They can walk even on ceilings. c                      e
  7. They are useful animals. a                      s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tundra

The tundra biome is a cold and …………..plain where harsh conditions make it hard for plants and animals alike to survive. Around 20% of the Earth’s land surface is covered with tundra.
Characteristics of the Tundra Biome

It’s cold – The tundra is the …………of the biomes. The average temperature in the tundra is around -18 degrees F. It gets much colder in the winter and warmer during its ………..summer.

  • It’s dry – The tundra gets about as much precipitation as the average…………., around 10 inches per year. Most of this is snow.
  • Permafrost – Below the top soil, the ground is permanently …………..year round.
  • It’s barren – The tundra has few nutrients to support plant and animal life. It has a short growing season and a slow rate of decay.

Two Types of Tundra

  • Alpine tundra – Alpine tundra is the area of land high in the ………..above the tree line.
  • Arctic tundra – The Arctic tundra is located far north in the northern hemisphere along the………………. There are large areas of tundra in northern North America, northern Europe, and……………….

northern Asia, frozen, treeless, Arctic Circle, desert, mountains, coldest, short

 

Tundra Seasons
The tundra has two distinct seasons: a long ………and a short………….. Being so far north, the tundra has long …………..in the winter and long …………in the summer.

 

 

 

The Tundra

The tundra biome is a cold and …………..plain where harsh conditions make it hard for plants and animals alike to survive. Around 20% of the Earth’s land surface is covered with tundra.
Characteristics of the Tundra Biome

It’s cold – The tundra is the …………of the biomes. The average temperature in the tundra is around -18 degrees F. It gets much colder in the winter and warmer during its ………..summer.

  • It’s dry – The tundra gets about as much precipitation as the average…………., around 10 inches per year. Most of this is snow.
  • Permafrost – Below the top soil, the ground is permanently …………..year round.
  • It’s barren – The tundra has few nutrients to support plant and animal life. It has a short growing season and a slow rate of decay.

Two Types of Tundra

  • Alpine tundra – Alpine tundra is the area of land high in the ………..above the tree line.
  • Arctic tundra – The Arctic tundra is located far north in the northern hemisphere along the………………. There are large areas of tundra in northern North America, northern Europe, and……………….

northern Asia, frozen, treeless, Arctic Circle, desert, mountains, coldest, short

 

Tundra Seasons
The tundra has two distinct seasons: a long ………and a short………….. Being so far north, the tundra has long …………..in the winter and long …………in the summer.
The winter lasts around 8 months and is extremely cold. In the middle of winter the sun may not ………for weeks. The tundra is …………and often covered with snow during the winter and will reach temperatures of -60 degrees F.
The summer is shorter and is marked by the other extreme of the sun not…………. In the middle of summer the sun will be up for 24………… During the summer the temperatures may reach 50 degrees F causing the snow ………..in areas and wetlands to form.

 

winter, frozen, hours, to melt, days,           nights, summer, rise, setting
What is permafrost?
Permafrost is a layer of ground below the topsoil that remains frozen throughout the year. This layer is generally only a few feet below the surface. Permafrost prevents trees from growing in the tundra because trees need to have deep roots and they can’t grow in the frozen ground.
Plants in the Tundra
Plants that grow in the tundra include grasses, shrubs, herbs, and lichens. They grow in groups and stay ………..to the ground to stay protected from the icy………… They tend to have shallow roots and flower ………….during the short summer months.
Most of the plants in the tundra are ………….that come back each year from the same root. This allows them to grow during the summer and save up …………….as they lay dormant for the winter. They also tend to have hairy stems and …………leaves. This helps them in absorbing energy from the sun.

 

low, winds, quickly, nutrients, dark, perennials

 

 

 

The winter lasts around 8 months and is extremely cold. In the middle of winter the sun may not ………for weeks. The tundra is …………and often covered with snow during the winter and will reach temperatures of -60 degrees F.
The summer is shorter and is marked by the other extreme of the sun not…………. In the middle of summer the sun will be up for 24………… During the summer the temperatures may reach 50 degrees F causing the snow ………..in areas and wetlands to form.

 

winter, frozen, hours, to melt, days,           nights, summer, rise, setting
What is permafrost?
Permafrost is a layer of ground below the topsoil that remains frozen throughout the year. This layer is generally only a few feet below the surface. Permafrost prevents trees from growing in the tundra because trees need to have deep roots and they can’t grow in the frozen ground.
Plants in the Tundra
Plants that grow in the tundra include grasses, shrubs, herbs, and lichens. They grow in groups and stay ………..to the ground to stay protected from the icy………… They tend to have shallow roots and flower ………….during the short summer months.
Most of the plants in the tundra are ………….that come back each year from the same root. This allows them to grow during the summer and save up …………….as they lay dormant for the winter. They also tend to have hairy stems and …………leaves. This helps them in absorbing energy from the sun.

 

low, winds, quickly, nutrients, dark, perennials

 
Animals in the Tundra
The tundra has a lot more / less  animal activity during the summer than the winter. This is because most birds / lizards migrate north / south for the summer, insects lay eggs that wait for the summer to hatch, and some mammals / birds hibernate for the winter. There are even some animals, like the caribou, which migrate north / south for the winter.
There are some animals that have adapted to winter in the tundra. Some of them change coats from brown / white in the summer to brown / white in the winter so they can blend in with the snow. These include the arctic hare, the ermine, and the desrt / arctic fox. During the summer, the tundra will be full of mammals / insects. Wetland areas will be filled with mosquitoes. There will also be a lot of bird activity as they come to eat the insects and fish. Animals will be more active, coming out of hibernation or migrating from the noth / south.

 

Animals in the Tundra
The tundra has a lot more / less  animal activity during the summer than the winter. This is because most birds / lizards migrate north / south for the summer, insects lay eggs that wait for the summer to hatch, and some mammals / birds hibernate for the winter. There are even some animals, like the caribou, which migrate north / south for the winter.
There are some animals that have adapted to winter in the tundra. Some of them change coats from brown / white in the summer to brown / white in the winter so they can blend in with the snow. These include the arctic hare, the ermine, and the desrt / arctic fox. During the summer, the tundra will be full of mammals / insects. Wetland areas will be filled with mosquitoes. There will also be a lot of bird activity as they come to eat the insects and fish. Animals will be more active, coming out of hibernation or migrating from the noth / south.

 

Animals in the Tundra
The tundra has a lot more / less  animal activity during the summer than the winter. This is because most birds / lizards migrate north / south for the summer, insects lay eggs that wait for the summer to hatch, and some mammals / birds hibernate for the winter. There are even some animals, like the caribou, which migrate north / south for the winter.
There are some animals that have adapted to winter in the tundra. Some of them change coats from brown / white in the summer to brown / white in the winter so they can blend in with the snow. These include the arctic hare, the ermine, and the desrt / arctic fox. During the summer, the tundra will be full of mammals / insects. Wetland areas will be filled with mosquitoes. There will also be a lot of bird activity as they come to eat the insects and fish. Animals will be more active, coming out of hibernation or migrating from the noth / south.

 

Marine

 

 

http://www.ducksters.com/science/ecosystems/marine_biome.php
There are two major aquatic or water biomes, the marine biome and the freshwater biome. The marine biome is primarily made up of the saltwater oceans. It is the largest biome on planet Earth and covers around 70% of the Earth’s surface. Go here to learn more about the world’s different oceans.

Types of Marine Biomes

Although the marine biome is primarily made up of the oceans, it can be divided up into three types:

  • Oceans – These are the five major oceans that cover the world including the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Southern Oceans.

Coral reefs – Coral reefs are small in size when compared to the oceans, but around 25% of marine species live in the coral reefs making them an important biome. Go here to learn more about the coral reef biome.

  • Estuaries – Estuaries are areas where rivers and streams flow into the ocean. This area where freshwater and saltwater meets, creates an ecosystem or biome all its own with interesting and diverse plant and animal life.

Ocean Light Zones

The ocean can be divided up into three layers or zones. These layers are called light zones because they are based on how much sunlight each area receives.

  • Sunlit or euphotic zone – This is the top layer of the ocean and it gets the most sunlight. The depth varies, but averages around 600 feet deep. The sunlight provides energy to the ocean organisms through photosynthesis. It feeds plants as well as small little organisms called plankton. Plankton are very important in the ocean because they provide the food basis for much of the rest of ocean life. As a result, around 90% of ocean life lives in the sunlit zone.
  • Twilight or disphotic zone – The twilight zone is the middle zone in the ocean. It runs from about 600 feet deep to around 3,000 feet deep depending on how murky the water is. There is too little sunlight for plants to live here. Animals that live here have adapted to living with little light. Some of these animals can produce their own light through a chemical reaction called bioluminescence.
  • Midnight or aphotic zone – Below 3,000 or so is the midnight zone. There is no light here, it is completely dark. The water pressure is extremely high and it is very cold. Only a few animals have adapted to live in these extreme conditions. They live off of bacteria that get their energy from cracks in the Earth at the bottom of the ocean. Around 90% of the ocean is in this zone.

Animals of the Marine Biome

The marine biome has the most biodiversity of all the biomes. Many of the animals, such as fish, have gills that allow them to breathe the water. Other animals are mammals that need to come to surface to breathe, but spend much of their lives in the water. Another type of marine animal is the mollusk which has a soft body and no backbone.

Here are just a few of the animals that you will find in the marine biome:

Fish – Sharks, swordfish, tuna, clown fish, grouper, stingray, flatfish, eels, rockfish, seahorse, sunfish mola, and gars.

  • Marine mammals – Blue whales, seals, walruses, dolphins, manatees, and otters.
  • Mollusks – Octopus, cuttlefish, clams, conch, squids, oysters, slugs, and snails.

Plants of the Marine Biome
kelp forest:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-Qj_LCae8A
There are thousands of species of plants that live in the ocean. They rely on photosynthesis from the sun for energy. Plants in the ocean are extremely important to all life on planet earth. Algae in the ocean absorbs carbon dioxide and provides much of the Earth’s oxygen.

 

Facts About the Marine Biome

  • Over 90% of the life on Earth lives in the ocean.
  • The average depth of the ocean is 12,400 feet.
  • Around 90% of all volcanic activity takes place in the world’s oceans.
  • The Mariana Trench is the deepest point in the ocean at 36,000 feet deep.
  • The largest animal on Earth, the blue whale, lives in the ocean.
  • Humans get most of their protein by eating fish from the ocean.
  • The average temperature of the ocean is around 39 degrees F=4 degrees Celsius

 

Shark Family http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-sharks/?print=1

From scary movies to beachside signs, sharks have a hair-raising reputation. But are they really as scary as they’re portrayed? The truth is, only 25 species (out of 368 species) attack humans, and only about 100 people each year are attacked by sharks. More people die every year from bee stings, natural disasters or lightning strikes, and tens of thousands die in car and road accidents. The bull shark is the shark most often responsible for attacks, because it swims in the same shallow waters preferred by swimmers.

Sharks are ancient animals. They’ve been on earth for at least 25 million years. Sharks, unlike most fish, don’t have bones, but cartilage, which is a soft, sinewy substance. They have several rows of teeth and might have as many as 3,000 teeth in their mouths at one time. When one tooth falls out, another one moves forward to replace it.

Fun Facts About Sharks for Kids

It’s hard to see in the murky waters of the deep, but sharks have excellent vision. Their night vision is better than a cat’s or a wolf’s.

  • A shark’s sense of smell is 10,000 times better than a human’s.
  • Sharks can detect electrical impulses, including another animal’s beating heart. That’s a little creepy, isn’t it?
  • Sharks are picky eaters. They often take one bite of something before they decide to go in for the kill. This is why they often swim away after “tasting” a human.

Sharks have several rows of teeth and might have as many as 3,000 teeth in their mouths at one time.

 

Whales – The Toothed and Baleen Whales http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-whales/?print=1

When you think of whales, do you think of Shamu, the black and white orca whale at Sea World? Or, perhaps you think of the huge whale that swallowed Pinocchio in the Disney movie. Both images are correct. There are two types of whales: toothed whales and baleen whales.

Most whales have teeth. Toothed whales are smaller than baleen whales and they only have one blowhole. Baleen whales don’t have teeth. Instead, they have baleen, which is sort of like a sieve or coffee filter in their mouths.

Fun Facts about Whales for Kids

  • There are over 75 species of whale.

Whales are thought to be one of the smartest animals on Earth.

  • Whales can talk to each other through chirps, squeaks or whale songs.

Dolphins are a type of whale.

  • Whales are expert divers and swimmers. The sperm whale can dive to a depth of two miles deep and hold its breath for more than two hours!
  • Whales migrate from cold arctic or Antarctic waters to warmer waters to have babies.