Animal habitats might be divided into three important varieties: terrestrial (land) habitats and two aquatic habitats: freshwater, and marine (saltwater).
Examples of terrestrial animal habitats embody forests, grasslands and deserts; examples of freshwater animal habitats embody lakes, rivers and marshes; examples of marine animal habitats embody coral reefs, the open ocean and the intertidal zone.
On this web page we discover the several types of animal habitats and supply examples of species that stay in every.
Web page Index
What Is An Animal Habitat?
An animal habitat is the mix of bodily components that have an effect on animal life in a specific space. These components can embody: local weather, quantity of obtainable daylight, geological traits (the kind of rocks and soil accessible), the quantity and kind of flora current, and the presence and quantity of both salt or recent water.
Anyplace wherein an animal can stay might be thought-about an animal habitat. These vary from a forest to inside one other animal!
On this web page we cowl all of Earth’s main terrestrial and aquatic animal habitats.
Terrestrial Animal Habitats
A terrestrial habitat is one that happens on land, relatively than in water. The primary animals appeared within the sea at the least 600 million years in the past; the primary land animals possible appeared in the course of the Ordovician Interval, round 150 million years later.
A forest is an space wherein the first vegetation is timber. Forests cowl round 31% of Earth’s complete landmass, and are house to extra animal species than every other terrestrial habitat.
Forests are house to many alternative animals, a lot of that are arboreal (tree-dwelling).
Boreal Forest / Taiga
Boreal forests, that are often known as taiga, are situated within the northern hemisphere south of the Arctic tundra and north of the northern temperate forests.
Boreal forests cowl round 11.5% of the Earth’s whole land space–roughly 17 million sq. km / 6.6 million sq. miles. They’re dominated by conifers (cone-producing vegetation similar to spruces, larches and pines), and are lined by snow for a lot of the yr.
Animals that stay in boreal forests embody: American black bear, brown bear, wolf, North American and Eurasian beavers, reindeer / caribou, nice grey owl, Canada and Eurasian lynxes, snowshoe hare and raven.
- You’ll be able to see extra animals that stay in boreal forests on this web page: Taiga Animals
- You will discover out extra in regards to the taiga habitat on this web page: Taiga Biome
Tropical rainforests are forests that develop across the equator, between the Tropics of Most cancers and Capricorn. Regardless of masking solely round 6% of the Earth’s floor, rainforests are house to 80% of all identified species.
Resulting from their location, tropical rainforests are scorching all yr spherical, and expertise a excessive quantity of rainfall. There’s little seasonal distinction in a rainforest, and vegetation can develop constantly all year long.
Resulting from this mixture of things, tropical rainforests are by far probably the most biodiverse of all land habitats.
Animals that stay in tropical rainforest habitats around the globe embody: red-eyed tree frog, harpy eagle, macaws, toucans, electrical eel, blue morpho butterflies, Hercules beetle, umbrellabird, inexperienced anaconda, gaboon viper, orangutan, sloth, gorilla, spider monkeys and howler monkeys.
Temperate forests are forests that develop on this planet’s temperate zones, that are situated between Earth’s tropical and polar areas.
Though missing the biodiversity of tropical rainforests, temperate forests are however vital animal habitats, providing shelter and meals for a lot of species.
Whereas forest habitats are dominated by timber, grassland habitats are dominated by grasses. Grasses are flowering vegetation within the household Poaceae. Most reproduce with wind pollination, however some depend on bugs.
Relying on how they’re outlined, grasslands cowl between 31% and 69% of land on Earth.
Grasslands are open, uncovered locations wherein timber are both sparse or fully absent. Many grasslands have low rainfall and chilly winters, making them pretty inhospitable areas with comparatively low biodiversity.
Grasslands are usually inhabited by grazing animals, whose presence helps maintain tree progress to a minimal.
The Pampas of South America, prairie of North America, and Steppe of Asia are all examples of grasslands.
Animals that stay in grassland habitats embody: aardvark, aardwolf, kangaroos and wallabies, Pallas’s cat, saiga antelope, American badger, American bison, coyote, prairie canine, big anteater, maned wolf and rhea.
Savanna (spelled “savannah” in British English) is a habitat part-way between a forest and grassland. In contrast to a grassland, a savanna has timber, though they’re spaced far sufficient aside to permit grass to develop on the bottom between them. (A savanna lacks the continual cover layer that forestalls daylight from reaching the forest flooring.)
The world’s most well-known savanna habitat is present in sub-Saharan Africa, which is house to iconic animals similar to wildebeest, African buffalo, zebras, African bush elephant, hippopotamus, giraffe, lion, cheetah, hyenas and African wild canine.
Tundra is a habitat present in polar areas wherein the soil is completely frozen. In the course of the lengthy winters of the tundra, daylight are both brief or non-existent.
Solely exceptionally hardy vegetation can develop within the tundra, and the few animals that decision the tundra their house have developed quite a few diversifications for dwelling on this inhospitable habitat.
Animals that stay within the tundra habitat embody: Arctic fox, Arctic hare, muskox, caribou / reindeer, Dall sheep, lemming, Arctic wolf, wolverine, voles, narwhal, beluga, skuas and several other gull species.
A desert is an space with little or no rainfall. In consequence, the desert habitat is likely one of the least biodiverse habitats. Deserts are characterised by excessive temperatures, and may both be “scorching” deserts or “chilly” deserts.
Deserts similar to Africa’s Sahara Desert and Kalahari Desert and Australia’s Nice Australian Desert are “scorching deserts”, whereas Asia’s Gobi Desert, South America’s Patagonian Desert and far of the continent of Antarctica are “chilly deserts”.
Because of the lack of cloud cowl, even scorching deserts can expertise extraordinarily chilly temperatures at evening. The broad distinction between day and night-time temperatures presents an extra problem for the world’s desert animals.
Animals that stay in desert habitats embody: Arabian oryx, camel spiders, scorpions, camels, fennec fox, package fox, Gila monster, meerkat, Mojave Desert tortoise, thorny satan, perentie and water-holding frog.
- You’ll be able to see extra animals that stay in a desert habitat on this web page: Desert Animals
- You’ll be able to see extra deserts on this web page: Well-known Deserts
- You will discover out extra about desert habitats on this web page: Desert Details
A mountain is a projection of land whose peak is over 1,000 ft / 300 m above sea stage. Mountain ranges typically kind on account of tectonic motion. Mountains are additionally created by volcanic exercise.
A single mountain can have plenty of totally different habitats, starting from montane forests that develop foothills and valleys, to alpine tundra above the tree line.
Examples of animals that stay in montane habitats embody: Alpine marmot, Alpine ibex, Andean condor, Chamois, Golden eagle, Himalayan tahr, snow leopard, wild goat, mountain goat and mountain hare.
- You’ll be able to see extra animals that stay in montane habitats on this web page: Mountain Animals
Caves are pure holes within the floor. They’re fashioned in plenty of methods, together with erosion by water and tectonic exercise.
With no gentle, and a corresponding lack of flora, caves usually are not locations wherein a lot of species are discovered.
Cave animals, often called troglobites, are sometimes characterised by partial or full blindness, lack of pigmentation (cave animals are sometimes white or extraordinarily pale), and enhanced non-visual sense organs similar to prolonged antennae.
Examples of animals that stay in caves embody: the olm (often known as the cave salamander), Phantom cave snail, white cave velvet worm, Nelson cave spider, Madla cave spider, Aleys’ cave millipede, Benton County cave crayfish, rosy woodlouse, cave cricket, and Troglocladius hajdi, a midge that is ready to fly regardless of being blind.
City habitats are these present in cities and cities similar to buildings, parks and gardens. Though dominated by people, city areas are house to a stunning quantity of wildlife, and are significantly suited to adaptable, generalist species.
The world’s aquatic habitats might be divided into two important teams: marine / saltwater habitats, and freshwater habitats. Under are examples of aquatic habitats in each important teams.
Freshwater Animal Habitats
Lower than 3% of Earth’s water is freshwater, and far of that’s frozen within the type of polar ice caps and glaciers. The proportion of Earth’s water capable of help a large variety of life is way smaller – in truth, simply 0.014% of all Earth’s water is freshwater within the type of rivers, lakes and wetlands.
Wetland habitats are areas wherein the bottom is both flooded or saturated by water. Freshwater wetlands embody swamps and marshes. In a swamp, the dominant flora is woody timber or shrubs. In a marsh, the dominant flora is aquatic vegetation.
Wetlands are discovered on each continent and are house to a big number of animal life.
A river is a physique of flowing water. Each a river itself, and the riparian zone – the land located subsequent to a river – present a house to many animal species. Rivers are freshwater habitats, however the place they meet the ocean, rivers can grow to be brackish. (Brackish water is a mixture of saltwater and freshwater).
Examples of animals that stay in or close to rivers embody: crocodiles, alligators, nutria / coypu, river dolphins, pike, perch, catfish, otters, the hellbender, the alligator snapping turtle, kingfishers, dragonflies and mayflies.
Rivers are additionally momentary properties to migratory fish similar to salmon, steelhead, sea trout and freshwater eels, which migrate between freshwater and marine habitats.
Lakes & Ponds
Lakes and ponds are our bodies of nonetheless water. A lake is usually greater and deeper than a pond. Lakes are fashioned in plenty of alternative ways, together with tectonic, glacial or volcanic exercise.
Lakes can be fashioned by rivers, with oxbow lakes, that are fashioned when a U-shaped part of river turns into remoted from the principle river, being a standard instance.
Many animals that stay in different freshwater habitats, similar to wetlands and rivers, are additionally present in lakes and ponds.
Examples of animals present in lakes embody the hippopotamus, frequent water snake, frequent mudpuppy, walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, carp, frequent snapping turtle, nice diving beetle, water striders and water boatmen.
Marine Animal Habitats
The world’s oceans and seas cowl 71% of Earth’s floor and include over 96% of the planet’s water. The primary dwelling issues appeared within the ocean over 3.5 billion years in the past, and the ancestors of all terrestrial animals had been marine animals.
Marine habitats don’t simply embody the open ocean; in addition they embody the world’s coasts, estuaries, reefs, and different saltwater ecosystems.
An enormous variety of animals stay within the sea, together with fish, crustaceans, mollusks, worms, and cnidarians (animals similar to jellyfish, sea anemones and corals). The world’s oceans are additionally house to a comparatively small variety of mammals, together with whales and dolphins, and reptiles, similar to sea turtles and sea snakes.
The coast is the area the place the land meets the ocean. The coastal habitat helps a variety of animals, from worms that stay within the sediment, to birds similar to gulls and waders which have quite a few diversifications for foraging in coastal environments. Pinnipeds (marine mammals similar to seals, sea lions and the walrus) breed on coasts in lots of components of the world.
The Intertidal Zone
The intertidal zone is the world of the shore that’s above the low-water mark and beneath the high-water mark. It’s uncovered at low tide and lined by water at excessive tide.
The retreating tide can go away areas of water often called rock swimming pools or tide swimming pools. These might be house to small fish and quite a lot of different marine animals.
Animals that stay within the intertidal zone habitat embody lugworms, ragworms, crabs, barnacles, sea stars / starfish, sea urchins, periwinkles, anemones, limpets, blennies, rock gobies and weeverfish.
An estuary is a physique of water fashioned the place a river meets the ocean. The water in an estuary is commonly brackish (a mixture of saltwater and freshwater). Estuaries are usually nutrient-rich and residential to a correspondingly massive variety of animals.
Animals that stay in estuaries embody waterfowl (birds similar to geese and geese); wading birds similar to sandpipers, plovers, oystercatchers and stilts; herons, egrets, mullets and porpoises.
Mangrove forests are wetland areas throughout the intertidal zone whose vegetation is dominated by mangroves.
Mangroves are timber or woody shrubs which can be capable of stay in brackish or salt water. Mangroves typically have prop roots that maintain the principle plant above the water stage.
Animals that stay in mangrove forests embody sponges, oysters; crustaceans similar to shrimp, mud lobsters, barnacles, fiddler crabs, the mangrove crab and the blue soldier crab; birds such because the mangrove fantail, mangrove kingfisher, brown pelican and nice egrets; and fish such because the mangrove jack, mangrove snapper, and mangrove whipray.
Shallow coastal areas whose vegetation is predominantly seagrasses are often called seagrass meadows or seagrass beds. Seagrasses are flowering vegetation capable of develop in marine habitats, and the one vegetation that develop within the ocean. Their lengthy, inexperienced leaves resemble grasses discovered on land.
Animals that stay in seagrass meadows embody mollusks, bristle worms, crustaceans similar to shrimp and crabs; fish similar to seahorses and flatfish, and bigger animals such because the dugong, manatees and the inexperienced sea turtle.
A kelp forest is an space of the ocean dominated by kelp. Kelp is a sort of brown algae seaweed that grows on the seabed. Kelp forests are most considerable in temperate and polar areas.
Animals that stay in kelp forests embody: rockfish, sea snails, sea urchins, brittle stars, bristle worms, clams, mussels, seals and sea lions.
The sea otter is a keystone species in kelp forests, because it preys on sea urchins which graze on kelp.
(A keystone species is one which performs a significant half in sustaining an ecosystem.)
Coral reefs are undersea habitats fashioned by corals, colonial marine invertebrates associated to jellyfish and sea anemones.
The calcium carbonate contained the skeletons of the person corals that make up a colony step by step combines to kind rock-like buildings.
Coral reefs are often called the “rainforests of the ocean” because of the huge variety of species they supply a house to; at the least 25% of all marine species are thought to stay within the coral reef habitat.
Animals that stay on coral reefs embody: invertebrates similar to sponges, jellyfish, starfish, sea urchins and sea cucumbers and fish similar to wrasses, triggerfish, and sharks. Outbreaks of the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish might be extraordinarily damaging for coral reefs.
The Open Sea
The open sea is the world past the shallow waters discovered round landmasses similar to continents and islands and above the seabed. This space is often known as the “pelagic zone”.
The seabed is called the “benthic zone”, whereas the world instantly above the benthic zone is the “demersal zone”.
Hydrothermal vents, or submarine vents are cracks within the Earth’s crust on the ocean mattress brought on by the motion of tectonic plates.
The magma beneath the plates heats the seawater that enters the vents, which may end up in the water reaching a temperature of over 700° F (the water doesn’t boil because of the excessive strain at these depths).
Chemical compounds emitted from the vents help micro organism and different microorganisms, which in flip present vitamins for bigger animals.
Animals that stay on submarine vents embody mollusks such because the scaly-foot gastropod (a deep-sea snail) and deep sea mussels of genus Bathymodiolus; worms such because the Pompeii worm and the two meter / 6.6 ft tall big tube worm; and crustaceans such because the “Hoff crab”, a yeti crab named after actor David Hasselhoff on account of its furry chest!