Sunday, 09 September 2012 11:24
Greetings from the Atlantic Coast of the United States. Right now, Dave and I are kayaking along the coast of Maine. We are so excited that another school year has started. Are you ready to explore and learn with us? For the next six weeks we are focusing on habitats. Do you know what a habitat is?
A habitat is the area where a plant or animal naturally lives and grows. Habitats support life by providing the food, water and shelter that its inhabitants need to survive – just like your home. Many different habitats can be found on Earth. Each habitat is home to a variety of plants and animals that are unique to that environment.
Atlantic Puffin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You could think of habitat as the special place in a community in which a plant or animal lives. An ecosystem is a community of living and non-living things that work together. An ecosystem is basically the neighborhood where animal lives. The habitat is the animal's address in that neighborhood. Some animals can survive in more than one habitat. Other animals are limited to certain habitats.
A biome is even bigger than an ecosystem. A biome is a large geographical area that contains distinct plant and animal groups which are adapted to live in that environment. There can be many different habitats in a biome. Some major biomes are tundra, taiga, grasslands, deciduous forest, fresh water, desert, alpine, rainforest and ocean.
As we have canoed, kayaked and dogsledded across North America, we have witnessed many different biomes. When we began kayaking two years ago along the Pacific Coast, we saw the temperate rainforest and ocean. We hiked in the taiga, alpine, and tundra. We spent a lot of time canoeing and dogsledding through the fresh water and taiga biomes. We are back to the ocean and deciduous forest along the Atlantic Coast.
The ocean floor near Maine is prime lobster habitat. The coastal area supports many other interesting animals too. We see seals, gulls and porpoises almost every day. Some of the islands are great habitats for animals that are more rare. For example, Atlantic Puffins can be found on just a few of the rocky islands near here. When you read our Daily Data entries, you will find that we only see some animals in specific places. Other animals will be on our list almost every day. Join us next week to learn more about the habitats we encounter along the East Coast.
Questions for Discussion
Habitat is vital to survival. The three basic parts of a habitat are: food, water, and
shelter. How does your habitat provide these basic needs?
Think about your habitat. Where does your food come from? How can you trace
your food back to the source?
What biome would you most like to visit? Why did you choose this biome?
How do the people, plants, and animals survive in your favorite biome?
What kind of impact do people have on your habitat? What are ways you can
reduce your impact?
Further Exploration and Sources