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Environments Vocabulary/Biome Info

Quiz on the below vocabulary will be in middle of September and quiz on vocabulary and the 6 biomes will be in early October.

Test format will include both definitions and short answers.

For the first quiz, Students should be familiar with the words and definitions below:

Scroll down for information/notes on each of the six biomes.

Animals are classified as either Vertebrates or Invertebrates.

Vertebrates are classified into 5 groups:

Mammals       Birds        Fish        Reptiles       Amphibians

Students should be able to describe what makes a bird a bird, how a mammal is different than a fish, etc.

adaptation - a trait or characteristic that helps an organism survive.

carnivore - an animal that eats other animals; also called a second level consumer.

classification - the process of grouping similar things together.

climate - the pattern of weather an area experiences over a long period of time.

community - a group of populations that live together.

competition - a kind of contest amoung populations that need to get a cetain amound of food, water, and shelter to survive.

consumer - an animal that eats plants, other animals, or both.

decomposer - a consumer that obtains food energy by breaking down the remains of dead plants and animals.

ecosystem - a community of organisms and the environment in which they live.

energy pyramid - a diagram that shows how much food energy is passed from each level in a food chain to the next level.

environment - all the living and non living things that surround and affect an organism.

food chain - the transfer of food energy between organisms in an ecosystem.

food web - a diagram that shows the relationships between different food chains in an ecosystem.

germinate - to sprout, begin growing, for a plant.

habitat - an area where an organism can find everything it needs to survive.

herbivore - an animal that eats only producers.

instinct - a behavior that an organism inherits.

invertebrate - an animal without a backbone.

kingdom - a major, large group of similar organisms (plant kingdom, animal kingdom)

life cycle - the stages that a living thing goes through as it grows and changes.

organism - any living thing that maintains vital life processes (includes all plants and animals).

photosynthesis - the process in which plants make food by using water from the soil, carbon dioxide from the air, and energy from the sun.

population - a group of organisms of one kind that live in one location.

predator - an animal that kills and eats other animals.

prey - an animal that is eaten by a predator.

producer - a living thing, such as a plant, that makes its own food.

species - a unique kind of organism.

sun - the star at the center of our solar system, provides heat and light energy for plants and animals.

symbiosis - a relationship between different kinds of organisms.

vertebrate - an animal with a backbone.

water cycle - the process in which water continuously moves from Earth's surface into the atmosphere and back again.

omnivore - an animal that eats both plants and other animals.

6 Biomes

Tropical Rainforest

     -found near the Equator

     - many tall trees forming a canopy over forest floor

     - little sunlight reaches the forest floor

     - Soil is shallow and infertile (not good)

     - Climate is rainy and hot all year long

     - 12 hours of sunlight and 12 of darkness each day

     - Rainfall  80 - 180 inches of rain each year

     - many species of organisms (2 - 20 million)  some still undiscovered

Temperate Deciduous Forest

      - found North of the equator

     - deciduous trees have leaves that fall off in autumn and regrow in spring

     - Climate  4 seasons with hot summers and cold winters

     - long summer days and short winter days

     - Rainfall 30 - 60 inches of rain each year

     - soil is deep and fertile, good for growing, decaying leaves create layers

     - wide variety of plant and animal life

     - animals may migrate to find food, grow thicker coats, and may hibernate

Savanna

     - found in the tropics North and South of the Equator

     - dominated by tall grasses with few trees

     - transition biome between rainforests and deserts

     - Climate  two seasons rainy and dry

     - Rainfall  30 - 40 inches each year

     - soil is shallow and infertile, heavy rains wash away nutrients

     - plant adaptations-  deep roots, go dormant (rest) during dry seasons,

               grasses regenerate quickly, thorns and sharp leaves protect plants from grazing animals

     - animal adaptations - large herds of herbivores migrate to find food and water sources,

               herds often followed by groups of carnivores and predators

Temperate Grassland

     - found North of the Equator

     - often found in the interior of continents

     - climate, generally dry with four seasons

     - summer temperatures very hot (100 F) with harsh winters that get very cold (below freezing)

     - rainfall is 8 - 40 inches per year

     - soil is deep and fertile, great for growing,  "America's Heartland"

     - plant adaptations - plants tolerate dryness, fires, and grazing animals, grasses go dormant and have long, deep root systems

               plants regenerate (regrow) quickly after fires and droughts

     - animal adaptations - for winter some animals may grow thick coats of fur, some build burrows and hibernate,

                some animals do not sweat (conserve water in dry times) 

Tundra

     - found in the far North, just below the polar ice cap

     - Climate - cold and dry, short cool summers with long cold winters

     - Soil - shallow and infertile

     - permafrost (permanently frozen soil)

     - Rainfall - minimal but cold and dry

     - plant adaptations - fragile ecosystems, short growing seasons

               plants often small and require few nutrients

     - animal adaptations - thicker coats of fur, smaller ears to conserve heat, may hibernate

               herds (such as caribou) may migrate south for food

               birds may migrate south in fall and return in spring

Desert

     - found in many locations throughout many continents

     - Climate - hot, dry

               very hot summers and cool winters

               hot day temperatures and cold night temperatures

     - Soil - sandy, rocky, flat, mountainous

               soil is infertile and shallow

     - rainfall - less than 10 inches of rain each year

    - plant adaptations - deep roots, plants grow far apart for less competition, may store water for dry times

               some seeds may go dormant for years awaiting good conditions

     - animal adaptations - many smaller animal species, larger animals may visit for food

               many animals are nocturnal (come out at night to avoid daytime heat)

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