PDF Tundra (Biomes of the Earth)

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Instead, most of the tundra's ground is made up of a barren, frozen soil called permafrost. Across the landscape of mosses and grasses, the animals are nowhere to be found. Out of a patch of shrubs, a raven takes to flight as an arctic fox emerges from the grass, looking upset about his lost meal. The more you explore of the tundra, the more life you notice.

Small mammals, like snowshoe hares, are tucked away in quiet hillside burrows while a ptarmigan, a large bird, gnaws on berries and twigs.


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Across the horizon, spots of color from the sunset — pink and orange hues — make the chill a little more bearable. But where exactly are you? Shown here in green, the tundra is mostly in the northern hemisphere. Click to enlarge image. These areas are the coldest and driest in the world. Here we see why land closer to the poles get less warmth from the sun and why summer is warmer in those areas. Click for more detail. Less sun means less heat and shorter summer seasons. In fact, during the winter, the sun hardly reaches these northern locations, and weeks go by without any sunlight at all.

Days get shorter and shorter as winter wears on until our planet revolves further along its circular path around the sun. Melanie Sturm. Trekking Through Tundra. Try our Virtual Biomes. Biome Map Worksheet. Biome Matching Game Worksheet. By volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteers page to get the process started.

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Arctic Tundra

Arctic hares show us the advantage of camouflage. View Citation You may need to edit author's name to meet the style formats, which are in most cases "Last name, First name. Scientists estimate that about one-fifth of the earth's land surface is desert. Deserts can be found on every continent except Europe.


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  • There are two different kinds: hot and dry such as the Arabian and Sahara deserts and cold and dry such as Antarctica and the Gobi desert. All but the Great Basin are hot deserts located in Mexico and the southwestern part of the United States. The lack of water and intense heat or cold make this biome inhospitable to most life forms. Most of the plants you'll see in the desert are species of cactus.

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    You might come across yucca, aloe, octillo plants, or the tall saguaro cacti. A few animals—mainly reptiles, like snakes and lizards, and amphibians, like frogs and toads—are well adapted to the hot desert. Another famous desert animal is the camel, which can make water from the fat it stores in its hump. Grasslands are places with hot, dry climates that are perfect for growing food. They are known throughout the world by different names.

    In South Africa, grasslands are called the veld. Hot, tropical grasslands called savannas are found in South America and Africa. In Eurasia, temperate zone grasslands are called steppes ; in South America, pampas. This inland biome is made of vast areas of grassy field. It receives so little rain that very few trees can grow. The U.

    Blue Planet Biomes - Tundra Biome

    There is little variety of animal life. Some original prairie animals like the wolf and bison have come close to being eliminated from the habitat by hunters. Today, some of the most common grassland animals include the prairie dog and the mule deer in North America, the giraffe and the zebra in Africa, and the lion in Africa and Asia.

    Mountains exist on all the continents of the earth. Many of the world's mountains lie in two great belts. The other major belt, called the Alpine-Himalayan, or Tethyan, system, stretches from the Pyrenees in Spain and France through the Alps and on to the Himalayas before ending in Indonesia. Mountains are usually found in groups called chains or ranges, although some stand alone. A mountain biome is very cold and windy.

    The higher the mountain, the colder and windier the environment. There is also less oxygen at high elevations. The animals of this biome have adapted to the cold, the lack of oxygen, and the rugged landscape.

    Tundra Locations on Earth

    They include the mountain goat, ibex wild goat , sheep, mountain lion, puma, and yak. All of them are excellent climbers, which means they can move freely in the steep, rocky landscape. Types of plants vary depending on geographic location and altitude.

    Lower elevations are commonly covered by forests, while very high elevations are usually treeless. They are often found along the equator.

    Almost half of the world's tropical rainforests are in the South American country Brazil. There are other types of rainforests around the world, too. Tropical rainforests receive at least 70 inches of rain each year and have more species of plants and animals than any other biome. Many of the plants used in medicine can only be found in tropical rainforests.

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    3.3 Terrestrial Biomes

    The combination of heat and moisture makes this biome the perfect environment for more than 15 million plants and animals. The thick vegetation absorbs moisture, which then evaporates and completes the cycle by falling again as rain. A rainforest grows in three levels. The canopy, or tallest level, has trees between and feet tall.

    Tundra Biome - earth science

    They block most of the sunlight from the levels below. The second level, or understory, contains a mix of small trees, vines, and palms as well as shrubs and ferns. The third and lowest level is the forest floor, where herbs, mosses, and fungi grow. Rainforests are an endangered biome.

    Conditions and a Survey of Plants and Animals Calling the Tundra Home

    People have cut the trees and sold the wood for firewood, building materials, and paper. Parts of the rainforest have been burned to make space for grazing and farming. Every minute, approximately 30 acres of rainforest are destroyed. The large amounts of carbon dioxide that are released due to the cutting and burning of rainforests contribute to the greenhouse effect.