Back to Basics- Habitats 2

Back to Basics- Habitats 2

Yesterday we talked about land habitats, today we are covering water habitats. We are hitting up some of the basics, but there are more water habitats on the earth- understandable since 75% of the planet is covered in water.

Fresh water habitats are those without salt! Let’s talk about those:

Wetlands: an area where aquatic plants thrive. They can include marshes, bogs or swamps. Wetlands can be fresh water, salt water or brackish water (a mix of fresh and salt). They can have some dry seasons or stay wet all year round. Many animals call this their home including alligators, birds and mollusks.


Lakes/ponds: are usually closed bodies of water. They can be large or small. They can be natural or man made. They are mostly fresh water, with the exception of a few salt water lakes. Lakes are home to many different fish, some of whom only call one lake their home. 



Rivers/streams: rivers and streams are fresh water habitats where the water continuously moves. The longest river in the world is the Amazon. Rivers and streams lead to the ocean. Animals that call rivers and streams home, must adapt to not going down stream. Some animals leave their ocean home to have offspring in the fresh water environment and some do the opposite- like salmon. 



Brackish waters: where fresh water and salt water mix. You will find this habitat at the mouth of a river, estuaries and mangroves. Brackish mangroves are important habitats for many animals who have their offspring their in the roots of the trees. These nurseries keep little fish save from larger predators.

brackish water


Ocean Habitats:

Deep oceans: deep oceans are dark places. The sunlight can not penetrate these depths. The animals that call this harsh environment home must adapt to living where there is no plant life. Such alien creatures as the frilled shark, the anglerfish and giant spider crabs call this home.

deep ocean


Open oceans: the open ocean is the area where sun penetrates the water. This massive habitat is the often called the marine desert. There are little nutrients here. Animals that call the open ocean their home must be fast and efficient swimmers, like mako sharks, tuna and dolphins.

open ocean


Coral reefs: these amazing habitats are the most diverse in all of the oceans. Many animals call it home, including the coral that build the reef. Coral reefs are similar to the rainforest. Animals that call the reef home include, clownfish, anemones and sponges.

coral reef


Intertidal zone: the intertidal zone is on the shore, in between the low tides and the high tides. We often think of places with tide pools when it comes to intertidal zones. The animals that live here, like muscles must be able to survive life outside of water. It is a harsh environment to call home. 

These are just a few of the water habitats that are on our planet. The ocean especially has some harsh environments and yet life still exists. Sooooooo cool!

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Back to Basics- Habitats

Back to Basics- Habitats

We are winding down our back to basics month! We hope you have learned loads of great stuff! Today and tomorrow- we’ll be talking habitats! The earth is covered in all kinds of diverse habitats that we animals call home!

First up = terrestrial (land) habitats

Coniferous Forests: these cool dry forests are found in the northern hemisphere. They are home to trees that stay green all year round (evergreens). Wolves and moose call this their home.

coniferous forest

Deciduous Forest: these cool moist forests have trees that lose their leaves in the winter. The animals that live here change during the seasons. Bears call this forest home.

deciduous forest

Mountains: mountains have cold, steep and rocky areas. Animals that call the mountains their home must have great adaptations to survive harsh winters. The pika and mountain goat call this their home.


Temperate grasslands/prairies: these large prairies have large areas of grass for herbivores to eat. They have hot summers and cold winters. Bison call this their home. 



Tropical savannas: these tropical grasslands are found in Africa. There is a wet season and a dry season. Thousands of herbivores call this their home, including elephants.


Desert: these dry sandy rocky habitats have little plant life and little water. The animals that call this habitat home, like the camel, are adept at surviving without water for long periods.


Polar ice: these cold icy habitats are found on the poles. Some animals who call this habitat home use the oceans to survive. They must have adaptations to survive cold temperatures.


Tundra: this habitat is near the northern pole. It is frozen for most of the year, except spring and summer. Animals must migrate during winter to get food sources like grass. Reindeer call this their home.


Tropical rainforest: these lush habitats are found around the equator. They are warm and wet. They are the most bio-diverse habitats on earth. Thousands of species call the rainforest their home.

trop rainforest



Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, habitats, nature, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Going to Kelp Forest

Going to the Kelp Forest



We’re spending the month of January in Monterey, California where we will be exploring the kelp forests just off the coasts. This magnificent habitat is made up of giant algae called kelp. The kelp forests are a diverse habitat that hundreds of species call home. Kelp forests are often compared to rainforests, with a canopy and layers going deeper in the ocean.

Kelp forests fun facts:

  • Giant kelp grows about 10-12 inches a day!
  • Kelp has gas filled bladders along fronds. These help it grow vertical to the surface.
  • Giant kelp can grow up to 175 long.
  • Kelp is flexible and sways in the ocean currents.
  • Kelp does not have roots in the sand,  but it attaches to rocks.
  • Sea urchins can destroy a kelp forest when their populations are out of control.
  • Sea otter wrap kelp around themselves so they do not drift away while sleeping.
  • Many fish and invertebrates call the kelp forest home, including sea stars, garibaldi fish, sharks, anemones and sponges.


We are so excited to meet the animals of this amazing habitat! Are you ready to join us?

Categories: Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, habitats, nature, oceans, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment



We’ve had so much fun celebrating some of the world’s amazing habitats! We first thought we might make a habitat for this month’s craft, but then we decided to go smaller and make a clay nudibranch! A what- you ask? A nudibranch or sea slug is one of our favorite animals in the coral reef. Are you ready to make one? Here’s what these crazy, colorful creatures look like!

nudibranch   nudibranch2



  •        Clay in any color you like (Air dry or oven bake will work)

e e nudibranch


  •         Take one color and make a large tube.

e e nudibranch2

  •         Next, take your second color and make small cones (as many as you like)

e e nudibranch3

  •         Then take a piece of the second color and roll a long tube and press it flat.
  •         Roll two small balls for the eyes.

e e nudibranch4

  •         If you using clay that has to be dried in the oven- bake according to package directions. Then enjoy your new pal!
Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, crafts, education, Environment, habitats, nature, oceans, science, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment



It’s off to Ellie’s home on this third day of our Habitat Week! That’s right we’re going to visit the grasslands of the world. There different types of grasslands out there, but their common feature is grass and lots of it! These giant habitats are home to many different kinds of animals. So let’s learn more about grasslands!

e e grasslands


Grassland Fun Facts:

  •         Grasslands are on every continent except Antarctica.
  •         There are temperate grasslands that lie north or south of the equator, these are often called prairies.
  •         Tropical grasslands are located near the equator, these are often called savannas.
  •         One quarter of the earth’s surface is covered in grasslands.
  •         Grasslands are open and flat.
  •         Tropical grasslands have dry and rainy seasons.
  •         Temperate grasslands have a growing season and a dormant season.
  •         Grass grows from the bottom to the top.
  •         Grasslands have trees, but not many.

Animals of the Grassland:

  •         Bison
  •         Giraffe
  •         Elephants
  •         Burrowing Owls
  •         Giant anteaters
  •         Baboons
  •         Prairie Dogs
  •         Ostrich
  •         Cheetahs
  •         Gerenuks
  •         Vultures

vulture   gerenuk


ostrich   prairie dogs


burrowing owl

giant anteater

giraffe   bison

Grasslands are definitely Ellie’s favorite habitat on the planet. In fact on the prairies of North America there are wild horses, so Edmond is a fan too. Grasslands are home to so many kinds of herbivores and their carnivore predators. From the smallest insect to the largest land mammal on earth, grasslands are complex habitats that support a huge diversity of life.  

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We’re going to explore the world’s deserts today. We think deserts are void of plant and animal life, but these habitats are wonderful places full of life that has adapted to survive in a harsh environment. Let’s go exploring this amazing habitat!

e e desert

Desert Fun Facts:

  •         Deserts receive less than 10 inches of rain a year.
  •         Deserts cover 1/3 of the earth’s surface.
  •         Only 20% of deserts are covered in sand.
  •         Polar deserts are in the Arctic and Antarctic. They are areas that are free of ice.
  •         The largest desert on earth is the Sahara.
  •         Deserts are often hot during the day and cold at night.
  •         Most animals in true deserts are nocturnal.
  •         Some animals, who call the desert their home, never drink water.
  •         There are deserts on every continent on earth.

Animals that live in the desert:

·        Camels

  •         Gila monsters
  •         Kangaroo Rats
  •         Desert Bighorn sheep
  •         Meerkats
  •         Roadrunner
  •         Horned Viper
  •         Western Spadefoot Toad
  •         Fennec Fox
  •         Desert Tortoise

desert tortoise

  western spadefoot toad

horned viper

roadrunner   camel

desert bighorn sheep

kangaroo rat   gila monster


Deserts are fascinating places! Animals and plants have come up with some of the most amazing adaptations to live here. There are cactuses that live up to 200 years. Camels can go days without water because they store fat in those famous humps! What is your favorite desert animal?

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It’s Habitat Week here at Headquarters. We meet so many amazing animals and we talk about their habitats, but never in detail. So we thought it was high time that we learn more about these amazing habitats that make up our planet. First up, tropical rainforests!

e & e rainforest

Fun Rainforests Facts:

  •        Tropical Rainforests are found near the equator in South America, Africa and parts of Asia.
  •        Tropical rainforests are warm and humid all year round.
  •         Tropical rainforests have four layers, the emergent (top), the canopy (just below the emergent layer), the understory and the forest floor.
  •         The emergent layer trees grow tall to compete for sunlight.
  •        The canopy houses most of the animal life in the tropical rainforest.
  •         The forest floor is full of decomposing plant material. Not much grows in this part of the rainforest due to lack of sunlight.


  •         Rainforest cover about 2-6% of the earth’s surface, but are home to numerous species (many of which have not even been discovered)
  •         Tropical rainforests are home to nearly 50 % of all animal and plant species on earth.
  •         Tropical rainforests have helped people, not only do all those plants help produce oxygen for everyone to breath, but many medicines have been derived from plants only found in the rainforests.
  •         The largest tropical rainforest is the Amazon rainforest in Brazil.



Animals you can find in the Amazonian Rainforest:

  •         Jaguars
  •         Ants
  •         Howler Monkeys
  •         Sloths
  •         Tapirs (Check out Ellie’s Coloring Sheet Below)
  •         Forest Eagles
  •         Poison Dart Frogs
  •         Bats
  •         Toucans
  •         Macaws
  •         Capybara
  •         Caiman
  •         Emerald Tree Boas


jaguars   capybara


toucan      howler monkey

The rainforest is an amazing place. It is so full of life and wonderful things to discover. We can’t even begin to pick our favorite thing about this special habitat. What do you love about rainforests? Check out The Rainforest Foundation for ways to help protect rainforests and their inhabitants around the world.




Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, endangered species, Environment, habitats, nature, rainforests, science, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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