All animals and plants need a place to live. Most choose—or are born into—particular habitats. Habitats are places in nature that provide food, protection from predators and unfavorable weather, and a home in which to raise young.
Habitats are characterized most often by climate and location. They can range from warm, moist areas near the Equator—such as the Amazon rain forest—to cold polar areas such as the Arctic.
The animals and plants that live in a particular habitat have adaptations that allow them to survive there. For example, spider monkeys—which live in the trees of some tropical forests—have flexible tails that allow them to grasp and balance along branches. And a cactus that grows in the desert has spines that help collect and retain moisture.
Some animals build homes in their habitat. Beavers use wood and mud to construct lodges; some toads dig burrows. Other animals don’t have to do such work. They find their homes in natural places such as caves and trees.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry adaptation Noun
a modification of an organism or its parts that makes it more fit for existence. An adaptation is passed from generation to generation.
Encyclopedic Entry: adaptation climate Noun
all weather conditions for a given location over a period of time.
Encyclopedic Entry: climate Equator Noun
imaginary line around the Earth, another planet, or star running east-west, 0 degrees latitude.
Encyclopedic Entry: equator 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.