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Program Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure

  • 1. Learn about habitats.
    A habitat is the place or environment where a plant or animal naturally or normally lives and grows. Think about what makes up a habitat. It includes water, air, trees, rain, snow, and sand. Can you think of other examples?

    Earth has many habitats and each type of habitat is unique. Oceans, forests, deserts, tundra, rivers, lakes, and wetlands are all habitats. What are other examples? Even under water, there can be habitats such as shallow-water or deep-water zones. A combination of many things—including temperature, soil, available food, rainfall, and geographic location—create a habitat.

    2. Ask yourself what animals need from a habitat.
    There are four basic survival needs that all animals require from their habitat. What do you think they are? Hint: Think about what things are essential for your survival.

    3. Read about an example of an animal in its habitat.
    Here’s one example of an animal in its habitat and what it needs to survive. Can you think of more?
    Animal: salt water crocodile
    Habitat: coastal marshes, estuaries, and shallow marine waters

    This animal's basic survival needs include:

    • food—carnivorous (eats meat), including fish, birds, reptiles, and mammals
    • shelter from weather and predators—have camouflage and can submerge for long periods of time
    • water—provided by diet and from freshwater sources
    • a place to raise young—female prepares and guards a nest until the young hatch and are released

     

    4. Brainstorm and draw your own example.
    Give your own example of an animal in its habitat and what it needs to survive. First, think about animals you are familiar with, such as dogs, cats, hamsters, and birds. For each animal you think of, answer the following questions:

    • What is the animal?
    • What is its habitat?
    • What does it need to survive?

    Draw a picture of an animal in its habitat, with the things it needs to survive.

    Quiz Yourself!

    1. What four basic things do all animals need to survive?

      Animals need food, shelter from weather and predators, water, and a place to raise young.

  • Materials You Provide

    • Paper
    • Pencils
    • Pens

    Recommended Prior Activities

  • Background Information

    A habitat is the place or environment where a plant or animal naturally or normally lives and grows. Understanding animals’ basic survival needs helps you understand the characteristics of their habitats.


    Vocabulary

    Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    habitat Noun

    environment where an organism lives throughout the year or for shorter periods of time.

    Encyclopedic Entry: habitat
    predator Noun

    animal that hunts other animals for food.

    shelter Noun

    structure that protects people or other organisms from weather and other dangers.

    young Noun

    offspring or children.

Funder

National Science Foundation