Desert

8287 words (33 pages) Dissertation

16th Dec 2019 Dissertation Reference this

Tags: Environmental StudiesGeology

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Biome Scrapbook

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DesertImage result for desert

 

Physical Characteristics

There are several different deserts for one to explore. The majority of deserts are hot and dry, but some deserts are cold. Hot and dry deserts have several plants, and the only animals that live in them are usually burrowed under the ground and appear at night when it is much cooler. A few of the animals that live in the dry, hot desert are the Puma, Bobcat, Armadillo Lizard, Coyote, Thorny Devil, and Cactus Ren, along with many more. Some of the several plants that grow in this biome include the Barrel Cactus, Joshua Tree, Brittle Bush, and the Desert Ironwood. Deserts make up 33% of Earth’s land surface area. Most of these 33% of deserts have a dry type of soil called aridisol which is typically saline and has very little organic matter. However, in places like Australia and the Sahara Desert, the soil is more entisol which takes up 16% of the Earth’s soils coming second in the world. Euphorbias and venomous creatures can cause illness and death, but there are a couple of diseases for the desert biome. One of the diseases is called Coccidioidomycosis or valley fever. It is a soil-borne pathogenic fungus that can cause disease and is sometimes fatal. Another disease is carried by sand flies in old and new world countries. This disease is called leishmaniosis and posed a health threat to American troops in Middle-Eastern countries.

Climate

All months in the dry desert have the average temperature of 64° F or 18° C. Dry, hot desert climates are formed by high-pressured zones where the cold air falls, the descending air becomes warm. Instead of releasing the rain, the heat from the ground evaporates the liquid before it can come down as rain. Approximately 1 inch or 2.5 centimeters of rain falls in the dry deserts each year.

 

 

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Food Web

 

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Plants

  1. Joshua TreeJoshua Tree – The Joshua Tree received its name from Mormon pioneers who thought it resembled Joshua from the Old Testament of the Bible. The Joshua Tree is the largest of the Yuccas and is only Found in the Mojave Desert. It has a diameter of 1 to 3 feet and varies between 15 to 40 feet tall. The tree itself has a lifespan of around 200 years. It often grows in groves with elevations of 2,000 to 6,000 feet. It has adapted by forming two sets of root systems. One set stores surplus water and develops bulbs. They can reach up

to four feet in circumference and weigh up to 40 pounds. The bulbs can bury themselves up from 10 to 30 feet. The other set is a shallow system. This root system only buries a couple feet in the ground. The leaves turn up to catch any moisture in the air. This moisture is stored in the limbs and trunk.

  1. Jumping Cholla – From far away the Jumping Cholla looks soft with short fuzzy branches. Some say they look like teddy bear arms. This is where the Jumping Cholla gets its other name, the Teddy Bear Cholla. The closer you get to the plant, you realize that it has silvery spine all over it. The joints on the cholla fall off easily and litter the ground around the plant. The joints take root to form new cholla plants. The 1 inch spines completely hide the stem. The segments are about ten inches long and about 2.5 inches in diameter. The cholla itself can grow up to 7 feet tall. The thick spines protect the Jumping Cholla from the desert heat, these stems also prevent any animals from eating it. The stems are separated into the segments so the cholla can store water for and allow for photosynthesis to happen. Jumping Chollas grow on the valley floors of uplands from 100 to 2,000 feet. These chollas can be found in the Mojave Desert, Sonora, Mexico, and California.
  1. Ocotillo – The Ocotillo has several interesting names. A couple are Jacob’s Staff, the Flaming Sword, and even Vine Cactus. It is located in Southwestern United States and northern Mexico. This plant grows at an elevation of about 5,000 feet. The Ocotillo is a drought tolerant shrub that’s crown root can grow stems from 9 to 30 feet tall. The stems grow in a “S” pattern making it look like an inverted funnel. The stems are covered with spines up to 1.5 inches long. The shrub as adapted to the hot, dry desert by shedding its small leaves during dry spells. The Ocotillo has a shallow, but wide root system which allows it to store rainwater. It produces food because the shrub can perform photosynthesis during dry spells. It is often used as fencing because the spines can stop animals and people from passing through.

Animals

  1. Cactus Wren – The Cactus Wren lives in arid and semi-arid deserts around the southwestern United States region, the Californian chaparral, and northern Mexico. This bird is usually at an elevation below 4,000 feet. Between 7-9 inches long, it is the largest wren found in the United States. They are very curious and active birds. The Cactus Wren is quick to investigate anything new in the area. The birds like to breed in chaparral scrub. Both male and female build a football-shaped nest made of grass and feathers. The size of the amount of eggs laid is determined by their food supply. This is an adaption they have made to the changing food availability in their habitat. Cactus Wrens do not migrate and are considered to be permanent residents. Males vigorously protect their territory when it comes to breeding season. The wren has adapted to its habitat by shifting its foraging behavior according to temperature. They get almost all their water from the food they eat.
  1. Thorny Devil – The Thorny Devil is the strangest of the lizards. This lizard is the only species with conical spines all over its body. This includes a hump behind its head which is spiny and spines above each eye. The lizard changes colors depending on what type of soil it is crossing at the time. It changes colors to camouflage itself and hide from predators. Despite the name, the Thorny Devil is a harmless lizard that can grow up to 20 centimeters long. Although the Thorny Devil is a prey animal, it can have a lifespan of around 20 years. The lizard usually eats ants with around 600 to 3000 ants in a single meal. When the Thorny Devil sleeps at night, it digs in the soil and covers itself with it to keep it warm during cold nights. It can dig underground burrows near shrubs to protect itself from the heat. The lizard lays between 3 to 10 eggs under the ground between the months of September and January. These eggs hatch about 4 months later and they the baby Thorny Devils mature after three years.

 

 

  1. Sonoran Pronghorn Antelope – The Pronghorn Antelope is Native to America and is not found anywhere else in the world. They are the last surviving animal of the Antilocarpidae family. Smaller than the white-tailed deer, this antelope stands at three feet from the shoulders. Their overall length including the tail is around 48 – 57 inches. Females can weigh 75 – 110 pounds and the male can weigh between 90 – 130 pounds. They can see something moving as far as about 4 miles away. The Pronghorn has an ability to raise patches of its hair to release body heat during the hot summer. During the winter, the hairs insulate the antelope. Both sexes have horns. The female horns are short. The male horns can get up to 12 inches long. The Pronghorn can run 60 miles per hour short bursts for short distances and 35 miles per hour for long distances. Their weakness is curiosity. After being scared away, they often go back to investigate what scared them. The Native Americans used this to their advantage, especially during the cold months.

Tundra

Physical Characteristics

The tundra is the world’s youngest biome. It is around 10,000 years old. It is a vast and treeless land that covers about 20 percent of the Earth’s surface. The tundra is usually very cold, with temperatures in the -70’s. The ground is permanently frozen between 10 inches to 3 feet. The frozen ground prevents trees from growing. The two main seasons are winter and summer. The spring and the fall seasons are very short. It is the world driest and the coldest biome. The night can last for weeks since the sun doesn’t come out much in the winter. There are only about 48 species of land animals in the tundra. All of these animal have adapted to the cold with their thick furs.  There are also very few species of vegetation in the tundra. There are only around 1,700 different species, which isn’t very much, compared to other biomes. The tundra also has about 400 species of flowers. The growing season is very short, only about 60 days long. There are very few trees, with the exception of a few willows and birches. The tundra has a type of soil with poor nutrients. There is an under-layer called permafrost which is froze all the time. There are no known diseases. The tundra has several plants. A couple are the Arctic Moss, Arctic Willow, and the Bearberry. It also has many animals. This biome also has many animals, such as the Arctic Fox, Caribou, and the Grizzly bear.

Image result for tundra climate chartClimate

The tundra is a very bare and treeless place. It is cold through all months of the year. Summer temperatures are a bit milder than the rest though. The summer only last about 6 – 10 weeks. It doesn’t get any warmer than 45° F to 50° F. There is very little rainfall, between 6 to 10 inches per year. Most of this precipitation is snow. The tundra is also very windy with wind speeds between 30 and 60 miles per hour.

 

 

Food Web

 

Plants

  1. Image result for Arctic WillowArctic Willow – The Arctic Willow is found in the North American tundra. The North American tundra consists of the northern parts of Canada and Northern Alaska. The Arctic Willow loves cold climates, which mean the tundra is the perfect place for it. Arctic Willows grow 3 different variants. The 3 variants are prostrate, shrub, and carpet. The leaves are in the shape of an oval with pointy tips, they have wedged shaped bottoms, and they have little stalks. The leaves are dark green on top and light green on bottom. The plant blooms in the spring. One of its adaptions is during its strongest growth. It forms a pesticide to keep insects away like the Arctic Wooly Bear. Another way it has adapted is by growing a shallow root system. The leaves of the Arctic Willow have fuzzy hairs to help keep them warm. This plant is very plentiful in the wild, but it is still vulnerable because of the delicate environment. The tundra is a delicate place, so is the Arctic Willow. The Arctic Willow has adapted to the frigid, non-fertile conditions. In such conditions, small changes could affect this plant drastically.

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  1. Pasque Flower – The Pasque flower is a beautiful tundra plant. It is a member of the Rananculaceae family which means little frog. The family received this name because some of the members used to grow where frogs live. The flower has multiple stems that rise about 6-8 inches off the ground. On each stem there is a flower that has roughly around 5-8 pedals. The color range is from a dark lavender to almost white. The leaves are covered with silky hairs as the rest of the plant is. The fruit of the plant is a plum, seed is attached to the ovary wall like a strawberry, the Pasque flower is the state flower of South Dakota. The plant grows close to the ground to keep the cold climate out. This plant can even be used to treat eye disease like cataracts. The Pasque flower is plentiful, it can be seen northwest United States to northern Alaska.
  1. Bearberry – The Bearberry is a low growing evergreen. The stem of the Bearberry can rise 8 inches off the ground. It is covered with thick bark and long fuzzy hair. This bark and the hair helps the plant keep warm in the tundra’s harsh climates. The leaves of the Bearberry are ova-shaped and about 1-inch long. The flowers of this shrub are usually very pale pink or white. It blooms anywhere between March and June. It is commonly found in bad nutrient soils. These can grow in the sand, in a rocky area, and very shallow soils. It can be seen in The Northwestern United States, as well as New Mexico. Some have even been found in Ireland, Greenland, And some of Eurasia. All parts of the plant can be used in some way. The fruit itself can be cooked and eaten, the roots can be boiled into tea which can help with the common cold, and a tea made from the leaves can be drunk to help treat bladder problems.

Animals

  1. Arctic Fox – The Arctic Fox makes its home in small burrows in the frost-free ground. The Arctic Fox is a scavenger, so it has to find its own food to eat. It can change its hunting habits depending on the food in the area. It is around 16 inches long and weighs about 12 pounds. It is about the size of the average house cat. Its hairs are white in the winter and bluish-grey in the summer. It has a short snout, small ears, and big eyes. It has adapted to stealthy movement due to its predatory nature. Its paws are lined with fur which helps it conserve some of it body heat. Its diet consists of fish, small mammals, eggs, and birds. It lives a lifespan of around 15 years. The fox is endangered worldwide and it is estimated that only a few thousand are still alive.

 

  1. Snowy Owl – The Snowy Owl is considered the largest of the owls. Many say it is the most attractive as well. It is called the Snowy Owl because of its snowy-like, white feathers. The owl uses its white feathers to its ability by hiding from predators and using it to sneak up on prey. The males are mostly pure white. However, the female is mostly grey with some brown. It weighs around 6 pounds and is about 21 inches long. The wing span is nearly 5 feet long. They reach maturity between the ages of 3-5 years old. Before, the snowy owl was hunted and trapped by men. Today however, they are protected.

 

 

  1. Ermine – The Ermine is found all over North America and Eurasia. They like to inhabit marshes, rocky or open areas. They usually like to be near woodlands. They make their homes in old tree root that go into the ground. Most of the time they have several dens. This is so they have many options to hide when a predator comes after them. The Ermine weighs about 15 ounces and is around 13 inches long. During the warmer months, their fur coats are brown with a white underbelly. During the colder months, they are usually pure white. This is a camouflage adaption to help protect them from predators. The Ermine has a diet consisting of rabbits, insects and rodents. The Ermine is neither threatened, nor is it endangered.

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Coral Reef

Physical Characteristics

Coral reefs are shallow-ocean habitats that are full with sea life. The humongous structure that the coral reef is built out of is coral polyps. Coral polyps are marine animals that thrive in colonies. Hard structure like material is left behind when these creatures die. The stony and branching structure that is left is limestone. The limestone is sturdy enough to create a habitat for any new species. There two different kinds of corals, hard and soft. These fall into three different types. There are Fringing reefs which form along the coastline, Barrier reefs which form further out in the ocean, and Coral atolls, which forms rings atop old volcanos. There are no known diseases in coral reef biome. There is no real soil in the coral reef because of the coral ecosystem. Although the breakup of coral and marine animals makes a loose carbonate mud. There are several animals and plants as well, such as the giant clam, mollusks, sea urchin, the sponge, algae, sea grass, and also zooxanthellae.

 

 

 

Climate

Many reef building corals can’t take temperatures 64 degrees F. Many grow in water temperatures between 73° and 84°F. However, some can take temperatures up to 105 degrees F for short amounts of time. The water needs to be clear so the light can come through. This is because the algae needs light to make food through photosynthesis.

 

 

Food Web

Plants

  1. Seagrass – Seagrasses are usually found in shallow waters. They have adapted to salt water, making a salinity tolerance. Seagrass meadows play an important role to many coral reef animals. They are used as feeding, nursing, and breeding areas to many residents. Many animals feed on just the blades themselves. Seagrass offers little protection to larger animals such as the manatee. Although, it does provide food and shelter for the high valued spiny lobster.

  1. Mangrove – The mangrove is a large, shrub-like plant that lines many tropical and sub-tropical shores. The roots have a “salt filter” to help it survive in the saline environment. Mangroves serve as protection for many reef fish not only to hide from predators, but to inhabit and grow in abundance. Falling leaves and nesting birds add nutrients to the water below it. Mangrove forests are not essential to the formation or the maintenance of a coral reef ecosystem.

 

 

 

  1. Red algae – Red algae is a close relative to green algae. These algae forms can be found in shallow reef flats to around 150 feet deep fore reef depths. The pigments in the red algae have adapted to pull in as much sunlight as possible, even if it is deep in the ocean. While there are several types to be found, the most common is call crustose coralline algae. These produce calcium carbonate and play a crucial role in coral reef formations.

Animals

  1. Sea Turtle – Of the seven species of sea turtle, only three are visitors of coral reefs. All three of these species are considered endangered. In both Indo-Pacific and Caribbean reefs, the Hawksbill is the most common one seen. The green sea turtle also visits coral reefs. It feeds primarily on the seagrasses found in reef lagoons. The last turtle that has been seen in the coral reef is the flatback turtle. The turtle uses its shell to its ability by hiding inside of it when they feel they are n danger. Though it spends most of its time in the open sea, it has been seen in coral reef ecosystems.

 

 

  1. Manatees – The manatee was once plentiful in the coral reefs. This elephant related giant consumes huge quantities of seagrass. It uses its flat tail to move through the water quickly. Over the last couple of centuries, the population of these giant peaceful herbivores has dropped drastically due to coastal pollution, extensive hunting, and habitat loss. It is possible that the great manatee may become extinct in the near future.

 

 

 

  1. Sea Snakes – There are only about 65 know species of sea snakes. But only a few are commonly found in the coral reef. Sea snakes are air breather, just like all other snakes. They have equipped a paddle-like tail which allows them to swim faster. They are commonly found in the Indo-Pacific region. Many of the snakes are highly venomous and should not be messed with.

Ocean

Physical Characteristics

The ocean biome is the largest biome on Earth. There are several oceans in the world. There are exactly 5 oceans. These consist of the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, Arctic Ocean, Antarctic Ocean, and the Indian Ocean. Underneath the oceans lie mountains, active volcanoes, and seemingly bottomless valleys. There are no known diseases that affect the wildlife. There are tons of plants and animals that dwell in the ocean. Some of these animals include the Blue Whale, the Giant Squid, and the crab. Some plants that populate the ocean is Kelp, Seaweed, and Coral. The ocean has 3 types of soil. These 3 soil types are pelagic, calcareous, and siliceous.

 

 

 

 

Climate

Temperatures in the ocean can vary from -40°F to 100°F. The overall average water temperature is around 43°F. The yearly average of precipitation is roughly around 100 inches. More than half of the Earth’s rain falls into the ocean. This is because it is the largest biome in the world.

Food Web

Plants

  1. Kelp – Kelp is an ocean plant that grows in “forests”. It can grow up to 150 feet tall and can even grow 18 inches in one day. Because it can grow so tall, it has adapted by forming a strong root system. Kelp loves cold, nutrient-rich water. It requires shallow, clear water. Kelp provides a habitat for thousands of species of fish, algae and invertebrate. Some storms can wipe out entire kelp forests. Destructive fishing practices, boat entanglement damages and coastal pollution.

 

 

  1. Soft Coral – Soft Coral gets its name from its texture. While the typical coral is hard, this coral is soft to the touch. Their bodies contain a spiny element called sclerite which helps repel predators. They can survive in medium sunlight and provide habitats for marine life.
  1. Sea Anemone – Sea anemone are found mostly in tropical reefs. This beautiful underwater plant has poisonous stings which deter predators. The only fish immune to the stings is the clown fish. The clown fish keeps the plant clean. While in  return the sea anemone protects the fish and gives it a safe place to live.

Animals

  1. Osprey – The osprey is a common bird of prey. It lives along coastlines and throughout tropical regions. Ospreys almost exclusively eat fish. They have sharp claws on their toes to help them catch fish. They nest next to any body of water from which they can get food. The osprey is a very rare bird. However, populations are increasing from history lows. Conservation and measure have saved the ospreys from extinction and endangerment.

 

 

  1. Whale Shark – The biggest fish in the world is the whale shark. This harmless fish can grow to the size of a school bus. They eat tiny plankton and fish eggs. They use their teeth as a filter to obtain their food. Whale sharks are covered with white spots. Supposedly, every shark has its own unique spot pattern. The whale shark is eaten in some parts of the world. Most places offer whale sharks protection. However, illegal fishing still goes on in some areas.

 

  1. Fin Whale – The fin whale is the second largest animal to ever live. It can get up to 85 feet long. The fin whale weighs an estimate 80 tons. On land, an animal like the fin whale would crush itself under its own weight. Fin whales are not predatory. They filter feed their food and are harmless to people. At birth, fin whales are 21 feet long. The killer whale is the only animal known to kill and eat fin whales.

 

Savanna

Physical Characteristics

There are several different types of savanna biomes around the world. The ones we are familiar with are in Africa. These have animals like the African elephant, the lion, and the emu. There are also several plants. Some of these plants include the Jackal Berry tree, Elephant grass, and the Jarrah tree. Between the months of December and February, almost no rain falls. The soil is pourus. It has a rapid drainage of water. It has a very thin layer of humus which provides nutrients for the vegetation. The main disease is Malaria. However, there is also Tuberculosis, Dengue Fever, and the Ross River Virus.

 

 

 

 

Climate

Savanna’s get all their rain during the summer months. It has a temperature range from around 68°F to 87°F. The annual precipitation is about 10 to 30 inches.

 

 

 

 

 

Food Web

 

 

 

 

Plants

  1. Jackalberry Tree – The jackalberry tree can be found throughout Africa. It is probably the most familiar to people as it is shown in many movies and television shows. The tree prefers moist and rocky soils. It grows very well in volcanic sands. It grows on termite mounds. This is one of the adaptions. The mound holds moisture and feeds the tree with nutrients. The tree can grow up to 80 feet tall. The trunk itself can become 16 feet around. The leaves can get up to 6 inches long and 3 inches wide. The tree’s flowers are small and hidden. They are white, cream color. The jackalberry tree flowers during the rainy season and produces fruit during the warm, dry seasons. The fruit itself is about 1 inch in diameter and a yellow/yellow-green color.

  1. Whistling Thorn –  The whistling thorn is an acacia tree. The whistling thorn can grow up to 18 feet. The tree protects itself with thorns that grow around 3 inches long. This particular tree doesn’t have the toxins that ward off insects. Ants that live in the bulbs that hold the thorns attack any intruders with the slightest of movements. During the dry season, the acacia drops its leaves to conserve water.

 

 

  1. Baobab –  The Baobab is mainly found in Africa and India, usually around the equator. It is approximately 82 feet tall. The tree can live for thousands of years. The baobab is leafless for nearly 9 months. The tree looks like it is upside down. It looks upside down because the tree limbs look like roots. The reason this tree looks like this is because it stores water in the thick, corky trunk during the dry months. Every part of the can be used. For example, the bark can be used as rope and cloth, the leaves for medicine, and the fruit can be eaten. Some people have even lived inside the trunk itself.

 

 

Animals

  1. Caracal – The caracal can be found in Africa and India. The areas they live are usually dry and hot. It is about 48 inches long and around 20 inches tall. The caracal can weigh up to 42 pounds. It is the fastest cat of its size. The male cat matures between 12-15 months and the female matures between 14-16 months. The caracals mate year round. They live to be about 17 years old. They have tufts on their ears to focus in on sounds. Their fur changes throughout the year, usually from a dark orange color to even a dark red wine color.

 

  1. Emu – The emu is the largest bird from the Australian savanna. Adult emus are about 5.7 feet tall and they generally weigh about 125 pounds. The bird has 3 toes which are very sharp, this allows it to run very fast. The emu used to fly, but since they don’t have any predators, they do not fly anymore.  They usually eat fruits, flowers, and insects. They are not endangered yet, however, if humans continue killing them, they may be one day.

 

  1. Koala Bear – The koala bear is very muscular and lean. It is roughly 33 inches long. It has floppy ears, fuzzy fur, and nearly no tail. Females weigh between 13 and 24 pounds. Males weigh between 17 and 30 pounds. The koala bear has rough paws so when its climbing it doesn’t slide. Even with their small noses, koalas have an excellent sense of smell. They can tell the difference between poisonous and good leaves to eat. The koala is killed by dogs, dingos, foxes, humans, and forest fires.

 

 

 

 

Temperate Grassland

Physical Characteristics

The temperate grassland biome is very large terrain full of grasses, flowers, and herbs. A grassland biome is any area where the annual rainfall is great enough to support grasses, and even a few trees in some areas. The precipitation is so low that drought and fire prevent forests from growing. Malaria is very common due to the amount of mosquitos. Temperatures can be as low as -40° F. In the summer, the temperature is usually about 70° F. There are several plants and animals that live in the temperate grassland biome. Some of the animals that live there is the American Bald Eagle, the coyote, and the prairie dog. Some of the plants that grow there is the Buffalo grass, Milkweed, and Stinging Kettle. The soil is deep and very dark. It has fertile upper layers. The roots that have rotted hold the soil together and give the new plants plenty of food. Grassland soil is rich. This means almost anything can be grown there.

 

 

 

Climate

The summers in grasslands are hot and the winters are cold. The temperature in January is around 20°F. In June it is about 70°F. The annual precipitation in the temperate grassland biome is about 10-30 inches each year.

Food Web

 

 

Plants

  1. Milkweed – Milkweed is an herb that produces red and yellow blossoms during spring. The weed has a white poisonous sap from which it gets its name. The poisonous sap prevents animals from eating the plant. It can grow to be 3 ½ feet. The leaves can grow up to 9 inches. The plant was an all-purpose remedy that Native Americans used. Some of them used the roots to make a salve for wounds. Some even thought that if you made tea out of the leaves it could prevent pregnancy. However, scientists believe that it didn’t help. The milkweed plant can be found in both North and South America.

 

 

  1. Fleabane – The fleabane is part of the aster family. It blooms from April through June. The plant can grow to about 30 inches long and resembles the daisy. The plant grows tall to receive as much sun as possible. The leaves are oval shaped with a pointed tip that can grow 6 inches long and 3 inches wide. When burned, the smoke can repel insects like flies. The weed can be used to sooth sore throat. Fleabane can be found all over North America and even in some of Europe.

 

 

 

  1. Stinging Nettle – The stinging nettle looks like a delightful plant, but it can be dangerous. When touched it will give you a terrible sting. It might be bad enough to where it needs treatment. This prevents animals from eating it. It grows to a staggering 4 feet tall. The leaves are around 6 inches long and about 2 inches wide. When dried, the leaves lose their stinging ability.  It can also be useful. The leaves can be made into tea that can stop bleeding. The stinging nettle can be primarily found in the United States, but can be found all over the world.

Animals

  1. Bald Eagle – The Bald Eagle is the national bird of the United States. The bird has razor sharp talons that help it hold on to fish while its flying. It weighs about 12 pounds and has a wingspan of 7 feet. It also has a life span of around 20 years. The diet consists of dead animals, but it will eat live fish and chicken. They will even steal food from other eagles. Before, they were considered an endangered species until just recently.
  1. Coyote – Coyotes are a member of the dog family. They look like the wolf, but they have some minor differences. Grown males weigh about 44 pounds, whereas the females only weigh around 18 pounds. They are approximately 4 feet long including their tail. The coyote has adapted by adjusting its hunting style to whatever food is available. Coyotes used to only be found in northwestern United States, but now it can be found in Canada, Mexico, and Central America. They are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. Coyotes only live about 6-8 years or less due to people hunting them.
  1. Prairie Dog – The prairie dog looks much like a squirrel.  In fact, they are cousins to the ground squirrel. Adult prairie dogs weigh around 3 ½ pounds. They can be found from northern Mexico to Canada. They live in burrows in wide open grass plains. They live in these places so they can see predators coming, giving them enough time to hide. Their sharp incisors allow them to collect grass easily. The females can live up to 8 years. However, the male can only live up to around 5. The prairie dog is a social animal that connects burrows to other prairie dogs. They are always busy at work from the time the sun rises until it sets. If you are in the right place, you might find one trying to get a glimpse of you.

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http://tundrabiome8j.weebly.com/arctic-willow.html

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http://www.defenders.org/coral-reef/basic-facts

 

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Arms, Karen. Holt Environmental Science. Teacher’s Ed. Place of Publication Not Identified: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2008.

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