Habitat


HABITAT


•           A place where a plant or animal lives is termed as its habitat.

•           An animal needs five things to survive in its habitat:

             i.   Food

             ii.  Water

             iii. Shelter

             iv. Air

             v.  A place to raise its young one

•           Animals require different amounts of space. Habitats can be big like a forest or they can be much smaller like a burrow.

•           Some other animals need only a small amount of space and can put up with neighbours.

•           Different animals need different habitats.

•           The home of an animal is within its habitat.

 

For example:

I.          A fish needs clean water to live.

II.        A grasshopper, however, needs a big space where it can hop and leaves that it can eat.

III.       A lion's home is the den and the forest is its habitat.

•           There are five main habitats on our planet:

 

Polar Regions and Mountains:

•           The core of the Arctic is a great ocean - the Arctic Ocean - parts of which are covered all the year round by ice.

•           The Antarctic is an isolated continent surrounding the South Pole.

•           It has high mountains and glaciers and is the coldest, driest and windiest continent on Earth.

•           Polar bears are perfectly adapted for survival in the Arctic.

•           The polar bear is the only bear considered as a marine mammal.

•           Although most polar bears are born on land, most of their life is spent at sea.

•           Polar bears are adapted to live in extreme cold conditions like –

•           White fur – Their fur acts as an insulating material and protects them from cold.

•           Fat - The fat not only protects them from the cold but also adds to the bears’ buoyancy in the water.

Figure 1: Polar bear

 

Other examples -

Penguin, seal, walrus, etc.

Figure 2: Polar region animals

 

Desert:

•           A desert is a dry, often sandy region that receives very little rainfall.

•           They are the world's dry places and cover at least 1/5th of the Earth’s surface.

•           Because there is so little water, deserts are bare landscapes with few plants or animals.

•           Deserts are often very hot during the day and cold during the night.

•           Most deserts are a combination of landscapes.

•           Deserts may be flat, stony plains, rocky hills and mountains.

•           The Sahara is the world’s largest desert after Antarctica.

Figure 3: The Sahara desert

 

•           Animals that live in deserts have special features to withstand the hot and dry climate.

•           With nightfall, the desert comes alive.

•           Large spiders, centipedes and scorpions crawl out from holes or from under stones.

Figure 4: Spider and Scorpion

 

•           Some, like kangaroo rats and lizards, live in burrows during the hot days and come out at night to feed.

Figure 5: Kangaroo rat and lizard

 

•           Other animals have bodies designed to save water.

•           Scorpions and wolf spiders have a thick outer covering which reduces moisture loss.

Figure 6: Wolf spider

 

•           The camel has adaptations to desert life like -

•           Its body has thick skin to avoid water loss through sweating.

•           It can live without water for a long time.

Figure 7: Camel

 

Forest

•           A forest is a large area that is covered by trees and plants.

•           Forests provide shelter to a large variety of animals.

•           Animals such as lion, tiger, bear, bat, etc. live in caves.

•           Many forest animals live on trees (e.g., monkeys and birds).

•           Several types of insects live on the forest floor. Rabbits, snakes, earthworms, rats, etc. live inside burrows.

•           A few birds are permanent residents of the evergreen forest.

•           They include woodpeckers, tits, owls, hawks and grouse.

 

Freshwater

•           Rivers, lakes, ponds, etc., are examples of freshwater habitat.

•           Creatures that live in running water have found different ways of adapting to the strong currents.

•           For instance, leeches move along the bottom of a river in a series of loops.

•           Fish are usually strong swimmers, like the rainbow trout.

•           Other fish cling or creep over the surface of stones.

•           Some kinds of river fish, such as the salmon family, spend much of their lives in the sea but migrate-up rivers to breed.

•           Some animals can live both on land and in water (e.g. frog and salamander).

•           Such animals are called amphibians.

 

Ocean

•           Oceans cover 71% of the Earth's surface.

•           The different oceans merge into one another, forming the largest habitat on earth.

•           The 3 major oceans of the world are:

             I.    The Pacific Ocean

             II.   The Atlantic Ocean

             III.  The Indian Ocean

•           The  Arctic  Ocean  surrounds  the  North  Pole  while  the  Southern  Ocean  surrounds  the continent of Antarctica.

•           A large variety of fish are found in the oceans.

•           Other creatures are:- small animals like crabs, jellyfish, corals and worms ,tiny shrimps, krill, etc.

•           Whale and octopus are also found here.