Государственное бюджетное профессиональное образовательное учреждение
«Краснобаковский лесной колледж»
к курсу английского языка для студентов III-IV курсов
«Флора и Фауна»
Данное учебное пособие предназначено для студентов специальности «Лесное и лесопарковое хозяйство» и «Охотоведение и звероводство» по дисциплине «Английский язык». В пособие включены тематические тексты для дополнительного чтения, которые ориентированы на совершенствование знаний, умений и навыков студентов. Материал представлен для изучения и закрепления специальной лексики будущих специалистов.
Учебное пособие составлено преподавателем английского языка
ГБПОУ НО КБЛК Ворониной М.В.
1. Taiga Biome: Taiga Animals and Plants
2. Tundra Biome Facts
3. Grassland Plants
4. Freshwater Biome Animals
5. Forest animals
7. Deer: Family Cervidae
8. Elk (Wapiti)
11. Great Egret
13. Downy Woodpecker
14. Great Horned Owl
17. Beetle Printouts
19. The Butterfly
22. Pond Life Animal
24. The Lake Trout
26. Используемые источники
Taiga Biome: Taiga Animals and Plants
The taiga biome is the largest land biome on the Earth, extending to parts of North America and Eurasia. It lies below the tundra biome and is characterized by the cold climatic conditions, especially during the winter with continuous snowfalls. Winter and summer are two major seasons in this biome. The temperature in winter months measures about -54 to -1 °C. In summer months, the temperature ranges from -7 °C to 21 °C, and the climate is warm, humid, and rainy. On an average, the temperature is below freezing point for almost six months in a year and annual precipitation ranges from 30 - 85 cm. As conifer trees and needleleaf forest are more common, taiga is also referred to as boreal forest.
Plants found in Taiga Biome
Due to the harsh environmental conditions, not many plants can survive in the taiga biome. Hence, there is less diversity in the plants found in this biome. As already mentioned, the common taiga plants are coniferous trees or evergreens with long, thin, and waxy leaves. The needle-shaped leaves reduce water loss and protect from weighing down by snow. These plants grow very close to each other, as an adaptation to protect from the cold snow and harsh wind. Other than these plants, lichens and mosses are also found in the taiga biome.
Spruce is a common plant which can grow to an astonishing height of about 25 meters. An old black spruce tree resembles a tall spike. Black spruce is prevalent throughout the taiga due to its adaptability to grow in poor soil and cold climates. The tree branches are comparatively shorter than other conifer trees. Sharp needles of about half an inch long with four sides are a characteristic feature of this conifer. The bark is rough, thick, and gray-brown in color. The pinecones of spruce are a major food for the birds in the taiga biome.
Balsam fir is a medium-sized conifer that grows up to the height of 80 feet. Like other conifers, it has a broad base with a slender and narrow top. Balsam fir has a shallow root system that hardly reaches 35 inch. The branches grow at the right angle to the main stem. Very often, the lower branches of a tall balsam fir are dead and droop to the ground. The leaves are dark green above and white below, short (about 1 ½ inch long), flat with a distinct curve, and rounded at the tip. The barks of balsam tree are resinous, smooth, and gray in color. This conifer is a major food supplier for deer, moose, squirrels, and other inhabitants in cold winter months.
The jack pine tree grows to about 27 meters tall, while there are shorter, shrub species too. Young jack pine has reddish colored barks, whereas an older tree has gray barks. The branches are long and slender that bear needle leaves. These two characteristic features of jack pine allow them to adapt during the snowfalls and cold weather conditions. It is found in semi-cold regions of taiga with sandy soils. The pinecones develop near the branch and are curved at the tip. Leaves and cones of jack pine are a source food for the rodents and other animals inhabiting the taiga biome.
Other Taiga Plants
In addition, other deciduous trees found here include paper birch, alder, larch tree, red cedar, white poplar, and aspen. Also, in some parts of the taiga biome, maple, elm, and willow trees are grown. The lowermost canopy (underneath the tall conifers) houses varieties of wild berries and roses. In the forest floor and swampy areas, moss is the significant vegetation. As the occurrence of wildfires in the taiga biome are very frequent, majority of taiga plants are adapted with thick barks.
Animals found in Taiga Biome
Similar to the plants, the animals that can adapt to long, cold winter and moderate summer seasons are found in the taiga biome. As expected, the population of insects is the highest, followed by that of birds, fish, and mammals. Taiga animals have thick furs and other special adaptations. The taiga is a home for those birds, which feed on the conifer seeds and berries. Most of them migrate to nearby areas during snowfalls and food scarcity. When environmental conditions are favorable, the taiga animals return to their habitat. Following are some common wildlife species spotted in the taiga biome.
Long-eared owl is a medium-sized owl that measures to about 35 cm in length. Its ears are not similar; one is about half times bigger than the another. This is an adaptation to hunt better in the dark conditions. Despite the name, this owl does not have long ears, rather it has long feathers in the head portion that appears like ears. Other identifying traits of the long-eared owl are yellow-colored eyes and black beaks.
Snowshoe rabbit is larger than the typical rabbit species. It measures about 20 inches in length and 3 - 4 pounds in weight. Snowshoe rabbit is named so, as the toes can spread out resembling like a snowshoe. The coat color is grayish brown in summer that turns into snow-white during the winter season, which helps them to protect from the predators such as wolf and lynx. Similar to other rabbits, it is herbivores and feeds on grass and other soft leaves.
Gray wolf, the biggest wild canine, is found in the taiga biome. It is easily identifiable by its yellow eyes and pointed ears. Gray wolf has rough and woolly fur coat that may be white, gray, brown, or black in color. The thick coat provides insulation to this animal during the cold winter seasons. Also, the long legs and large paws help them travel in the areas covered with thick snow. Other adaptations of gray wolf include a sharp hearing and smelling sense with reflective retina. Male gray wolf is bigger than the female. They hunt in groups and feed on moose, deer, caribou, and other weak animals.
Black bear, found commonly in North America, lacks characteristic shoulder hump. It has round ears, short claws, and a short tail. Though majority of them are black in color, some may exhibit brownish or bluish color. The thick coat is an adaptive feature of this animal to survive in the taiga biome. Black bear is omnivorous and feeds on a wide variety of coniferous trees. Its food also consists of honey, carcasses, insects, and small mammals. Black bear can hibernate in order to escape scarcity of food.
Other taiga animals include bald eagle, Canadian lynx, red fox, wolverine, river otter, bobcat, and grizzy bear. Some common migrating birds found in taiga biome are geese, water fowl, woodpecker and duck. These birds migrate during winter and return to the taiga in warm summer months.
Tundra Biome Facts
A vast expanse of land with no trees and freezing temperatures well into the minus, the tundra biome is a region that is inhabited by very few living organisms. A compilation of some facts about this biome which highlight the peculiarity of this region.
The tundra is a vast permafrost plain in the Arctic region, predominantly characterized by the absence of trees in this area. The word 'tundra' in itself is derived from a Finnish word tunturi, meaning treeless plains. Other than being the coldest, among the various biomes of the world, there are several other facts about this biome which make it one of the most interesting components of the planet.
Basically, tundra biome is classified into three categories:
The Arctic tundra, which encompasses the vast areas of northern Russia and Canada;
The Antarctic tundra, comprising Antarctica, and other islands in the vicinity;
The Alpine tundra, which spans across the mountain ranges in America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
Among these three, Alpine tundra is an exception as far as permafrost is concerned, but high altitude makes it impossible for trees to survive and hence, the area is devoid of trees.
Facts about the Tundra Biome
The tundra is one of the coldest places on the planet, with an average temperature ranging between -10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. This place experiences short summers, between the month of May and July. However, there is not much relief, as there is only a ; line-height: 100%">Plants and Animals
In this extremely cold climate, survival seems to be a daunting task, at least for us humans. However, the plants and animals in tundra biome have successfully adapted themselves to its extremely cold climate.
The vegetation here mainly comprises dwarf shrubs, grass, moss and lichen. The plant life in tundra has developed some adaptation techniques to survive its cold weather. Most of the plants here are short, which ensures that they don't get damaged by strong winds. The red color pigmentation on several plant species here helps them in absorbing more sunlight, than their conventional green counterparts. The plants found in tundra include Arctic moss, Labrador tea, Arctic willow, tufted saxifrage, Caribou moss, Diamond-leaf willow, Bearberry and Pasque flower.
Like the plants, even the animals in tundra have adapted themselves to survive the extreme weather. Several animal species are found in this region, the prominent ones being polar bears, arctic fox, grizzly bear, Harlequin duck, musk ox, caribou and snow owls. These animals sport a thick fur coat, which acts as their natural defense against cold, and broad, furry feet which makes it easier for them to walk on the snow. Many of these animal species in tundra either migrate, or hibernate during the freezing winters.
A Few More Interesting Facts
Tundra experiences summer from May to July. During this period the sun shines in this region throughout the day, even at midnight.
The only tree that grows in the harsh climate of Arctic tundra is the dwarf willow, with an average height of only 4 inches.
When the sea in tundra freezes, owing to extremely low temperature, the salt in it tends to form crystals, which are referred to as ice flowers.
A major carbon sink, the tundra biome plays a vital role in keeping the global temperatures stable, by absorbing the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Even though the temperatures are extremely cold, some insects and reptiles have also adapted themselves to this environment.
One of the most striking facts about the alpine tundra is its long growing season, spanning over six months, unlike the short growing seasons in Arctic and Antarctic tundra.
The continental areas that are dominated by the presence of various grasses, along with bushes and trees present intermittently are called grassland biome regions. These areas exhibit a mind-blowing diversity of plant life, as their conditions for thriving of the floral species are quite favorable. Read this Buzzle article to gain a spectacular insight into the world of grassland biome vegetation.
Plants of the Grassland Biome
The following section provides you with some marvelous and utterly beautiful pictures of the following:
- Flowering perennial plants
- Shrubs, herbs, and trees
The most dominant variety of vegetation found in grasslands, the grass species differ from each other in terms of appearance, size, color, family, etc. Numerous types of weeds, grain grasses, sedges, rushes, and reeds grow in these wild plains.
The scenic splendor of the grassland biome is enriched due to the presence of unique and beautiful flowers, which mainly thrive in the particular grassland climate. Such plants are called perennial, as they bloom for mostly the entire year.
Shrubs, Herbs, and Trees
They are not as abundant as the above two types of vegetation, and can be intermittently seen in the vast plains of grasses and small flowering plants. The trees especially harbor the habitation of numerous organisms.
Grassland Plant Adaptations
The numerous examples of vegetation found in this biome have to adapt to various types of environment. These plants have to survive in the cold as well as dry weather conditions. In some parts of the world, especially in the tropical regions, the grassland regions receive extremely heavy rainfall. In winter, excessive snowfall is quite detrimental for the survival of plants, and hence, there is a great need for certain adaptive measures.
• Almost all the flora absorb the moisture received from precipitation, and reserve it for their growth. The rate of evapotranspiration is quite less in these plants as compared to that of the deciduous temperate trees and shrubs.
• The plants have adapted to excessive heat during summers, and hence, the leaves show less number of stomatal openings. The grasses have adapted by acquiring an upright, narrow, and straight form, which helps to reduce the absorption of heat.
• Forest fires are of immense importance to the plants of this biome, as they help in proper germination of the seeds and further propagation. Also, the burnt vegetation releases useful nutrients back into the soil, which enrich and nourish it, and are absorbed by the young trees.
• Most types of grasses, trees, and even shrubs have adapted to the loose and easily erodible soil, by amazing root adaptations. The roots penetrate deep, thus holding the soil particles together, as well as providing stability to the plants, and aiding them in their growth. These firm roots also show resistance against getting uprooted when animals graze on the fields.
• Most of the adaptive features are seen in temperate grasslands.
Stems: In such wind-dominated regions, the stems and branches of grasses and trees are quite flexible, thus enabling them to bend with the wind currents, and not break off from the main body, whenever wind conditions are strong.
Roots: Also, the roots grow from the basal portions that are present under the soil surface, instead of growing from the tip that arises out of the ground. Due to this, the roots are not affected much during floods, storms, forest fires, grazing activity, etc., and even if they break off, the new ones emerge from the basal portions.
Leaves: The plant leaves are quite thin to reduce loss of water during transpiration.
Flowers: The flowers show attractive and rich colors, which increase the chances of pollination by insects. Some spores are dispersed through pollination only with the help of wind currents.
The presence of grasslands on our planet is extremely crucial for the survival of thousands of plants and animals. Every year, hundreds of acres of these areas are being captured by humans for agricultural, construction-related activity, logging activities, mining, etc. This is putting immense pressure on the already-fragile nature of grassland ecosystems and ultimately, on the survival of the associated flora and fauna. Being the most intelligent species on this planet, we must ensure not to cause wanton damage to such regions, and preserve them at least for the future generations.
Freshwater Biome Animals
It may well be the smallest biome on the Earth, but that doesn't make the freshwater biome less important; not with so many animals to its credit. When we talk about freshwater animals, we don't just restrict ourselves to species which inhabit this biome, but also include species that depend on it for food.
The aquatic biome is home to millions of species of fish, reptiles, amphibians, etc. Add to it the number of species which are indirectly dependent on this biome and the number just swells. This biome is divided into two parts: marine biome (comprising saline water sources like oceans and estuaries) and freshwater biome (comprising freshwater sources like rivers, lakes, ponds, and wetlands). The freshwater biome may just be a small facet of the planet's ecosystem, but the plants and animals in it play a crucial role in smooth functioning of the ecosystem as a whole.
Freshwater Biome: An Overview
Also known as freshwater ecosystem, freshwater biome contains 0.009 percent of the total water on the planet. While 70 percent of the Earth's surface is covered with water, freshwater sources only account for 0.8 percent of the same. These include rivers, lakes, ponds, streams, wetlands, brooks, creeks, canals, etc. Roughly about half of the total drinking water available on the planet is stored in freshwater sources, while the other half is stored in the form of glaciers and ground water. Add to it the fact that these water sources house several species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, etc., and they become all the more important.
Freshwater Biome Animals
Other than all those species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, and some mammals, freshwater biome also has some species of birds and terrestrial animals indirectly depending on it. While rivers and streams, which are typically characterized by moving water, house different types of freshwater fish, wetlands―with stagnant water―provide ideal conditions for a variety of amphibians and reptiles as well as some insect species. With so many freshwater sources on the planet, the biodiversity that this biome boasts of shouldn't really come as a surprise for anyone.
When we talk about aquatic animals, the first thing to come to one's mind would be fish. Like we said earlier, the freshwater biome is home to as many as 41 percent of the fish species found on the planet. If we are to put that in numbers, roughly about 10,000 of the world's 25,000 species of fish are found in this biome. Then there are diadromous species, i.e., species that migrate between the sea and freshwater sources. Some of the most common freshwater species are perch, catfish, bluegill, bullheads, barbs, tetras, eels, salmon, bass, trouts, piranhas, etc.
The list of amphibians found in freshwater include aquatic frogs (like the African dwarf frog and Western clawed frog), salamanders (like the Mexican salamander and Chinese giant salamander), and newts (like the Spotted paddle-tail newt and Alpine newt) Interestingly, this biome also boasts of housing the largest amphibian in the world, the Chinese giant salamander which measures an impressive 5 ft 11 inches in length. It's also worth noting that most of the amphibians require fresh water when it comes to reproduction.
Insects are quite common in freshwater sources, especially in stagnant water sources which are ideal breeding grounds for them. These include mayflies, water beetles, water bugs, etc. Similarly, there also exist water fleas, i.e., tiny creatures which feed on cyanobacteria in the water, in this biome. Aquatic insects also act as a food source for various other animals in this biome, and thus, form a crucial part of the freshwater food chain.
As for reptiles, water snakes such as water moccasins, northern water snakes, banded water snakes, etc., are quite common. While the Brazilian smooth snake is a venomous species, those belonging to genus Enhydris are considered mildly venomous. Other reptiles include crocodiles (freshwater crocodiles), alligators (American alligators), and hundreds of species of turtles (Asian softshell turtles, yellow-spotted river turtles, river cooters, etc.) Australia alone has 23 species of turtles to its credit.
Birds and Mammals
While several species of birds and mammals are dependent on the freshwater ecosystem for food, there are a few which themselves form an important part of this ecosystem. In fact, they spend most of the time in these water sources. As for birds found in this biome, the list is dominated by ducks and geese. On the other hand, the list of mammals includes river otters, beavers, river dolphins, manatees, etc. These birds and mammals form an important part of the freshwater biome food web. Besides these species, there also exist birds, like cranes, hornbills, kingfishers, etc., and mammals, like bears, foxes, etc., which are dependent on freshwater sources for food.
The fact that freshwater biome contains mere 0.009 percent of the total water on the planet gives the impression that it is least important from the ecological point of view. That, however, is far from true considering that it is the most important biome not just for the plants and animals which thrive in it, but also for us humans. If we don't put in efforts to save rivers, lakes, and ponds on the planet today, tomorrow it might be too late for us to even try.
Freshwater marshes are a type of wetland that is teeming with both animal and plant life. Freshwater marshes are usually low-lying, open areas located near creeks, streams, rivers and lakes, where water flows into the marsh. Marshes are especially common at the mouths of rivers. The water level in freshwater marshes usually ranges from 1 to 6 feet deep (for most of the year); this water is rich in minerals and the water level varies seasonally. In the United States, the biggest freshwater marsh in the United States is the Florida Everglades (in southwestern Florida).
The waterlogged land in marshes supports many low-growing plants, like grasses and sedges; there are few trees in marshes. Some marsh plants are cattail, sawgrass, water lily, pickerel weed, spike rush, and bullrush.
Some animals live in the water (including fish, crabs, shrimp, insect larvae, etc.), some animals live at the surface of the water (like frogs, beavers, etc.), some animals live above the water (like birds, insects, etc.), and other animals live in the spongy areas of land surrounding the swamp (like raccoons, opossums, snails, earthworms, etc.), using the marsh for feeding, shelter, and/or nesting areas.
Many animals live in the forest. The animals and birds live in their natural environment and some of them fall under the endangered species list due to indiscriminate hunting and poaching. Most of the animals found on earth are wild animals whose natural habitat is the forest. Not all animals however live in the same type of forests, some live exclusively in rainforests while others are found in deciduous forests, temperate hardwood forest, boreal or taiga forests and tropical dry forests.
Deciduous forests are found in southwestern Russia. Over the course of a year the climate in the deciduous forest ranges from cold with precipitation in the form of snow, to hot, with precipitation in the form of rain. The temperate deciduous forest biome has four seasons, namely: winter, spring, summer and fall. Animals and plants in this forest have special adaptations to cope with these yearly changes.The winters tend to get very cold and thus the animals in the forest either hibernate or migrate to warmer lands. As the seasons change, so do the colors of the leaves of the deciduous trees. Since sunlight and water are limited during winters, the leaves are unable to produce chlorophyll (green pigment in leaves), causing them to change into beautiful red, yellow and orange colors.
While many deciduous forest birds prefer to migrate in this season, others, like mammals and reptiles, prefer hibernation. Several animals like squirrels and chipmunks store food such as seeds and nuts for the winters. Spring is the best time as the animals come out of hibernation, the trees are green and the forest flaunts its diverse flora and fauna.
Beavers are large semi-aquatic rodents who are known for building dams and canals. They build small lodges with the help of sticky mud, alongside water bodies. Beavers are herbivores and their diet includes tree barks, twigs, leaves and water plants. They have powerful front teeth which are used to cut trees as well as for food. Other characteristics include webbed hind-feet and a broad, scaly tail.
The bobcat is an adaptable predator found in the deciduous and coniferous woodlands of North America. It is twice as large as the domestic cat but a little smaller than the Canada lynx. Their diet varies according to location, season, and abundance. These solitary predators mainly feed on rabbits, hares, chickens, small rodents, and deer.
Brown bears are comparatively larger than black bears and are often found in cool mountainous regions. They are omnivorous, mainly feeding on fish and fruit, though they are also known to eat small mammals and insects. Due to their big size, they are generally immune to predatory attacks, except from other bears. Brown bears hibernate in dens and are not sound sleepers like other hibernators, as they are easily awakened.
Eurasian Red Squirrel
These red squirrels are arboreal, omnivorous rodents and can be found throughout Eurasia. They can live up to 15 years, and their predators include eagles, hawks, and coyotes. The numbers of Eurasian red squirrel have decreased drastically in Great Britain and Ireland because of introduction of the eastern gray squirrel from North America.
The European hedgehog is endemic to western Europe and Russia. Hedgehogs are usually related to porcupines because of their appearance but they are closer to the moles. Their diet includes slugs, earthworms, beetles and caterpillars. They are also known to eat mushrooms, fruits, and occasionally, frogs and small rodents.
Muskrats are small, dome-shaped, semi-aquatic rodents that live around water marshes, lakes and streams. They mainly eat water plants and small shellfish, their predators include raccoons and foxes. Muskrats are often mistaken to be rats because of their appearance, however they are not related to rats.
Raccoons can adapt to a wide range of habitats, deciduous forest being one of them. The most distinctive feature of raccoons is the mask-like pattern on its face, and its front paws. This intelligent animal is usually nocturnal and is omnivorous, mainly feeding on fruits, nuts, bird eggs, insects, small mammals and reptiles. Since its diet consists of such wide variety of foods, raccoons are known as one of the world's most omnivorous animals.
The red fox
The red fox (Vulpes vulpes), named because of its reddish-brown fur, dwells in a variety of habitats all over the world. This is aided by their excellent ability to adapt to various environments and find ecological niches that fit them perfectly. This animal is among the most populous large animals in the world, and is native to a majority of North America and Asia (excluding some southern stretches and the arctic region), and the whole of Europe.
The red fox can be found in grasslands, deserts, thick forests, icy plains, and if this is not enough, they are very comfortable even in urban areas! This fox prefers areas of lower latitudes. This trait is used by some fox species to avoid red fox territories in some regions. During the winter months, the red fox spends time in its den. However, for the rest of the year, this animal spends most of its time in search of food. They usually look for food during the night or in early morning hours.
These foxes adjust their diet according to their local food web; they feed on the native rodents and birds, accompanied by frequent foraging for berries and tubers. Their most common prey is mice, rats, voles, rabbits and hares, and waterfowl, while the most preferred veggie treats are all kinds of berries, cherries, apples, plums, acorns, and various tubers.
When in urban areas, the fox adopts an almost exclusively nocturnal life in order to avoid association with humans. Due to their proximity with humans in many areas, stray fox kits (juvenile foxes) are sometimes adopted as pets. Though they are instinctively very afraid of humans, they can form great bonds with their owners and their pets, if acclimatized to them from a young age. However, once grown, they are almost never friendly towards strangers.
In the wild, the den of a Red fox is always near a source of water. This could mean a stream or even a pond. Red foxes also choose their dens with careful consideration about drainage. This is a particularly useful trait in areas that receive heavy rainfall. Red foxes may also inhabit multiple dens, and move between dens as per requirement.
The beaver is a large, semi-aquatic rodent with a large, flattened tail. It is a strong swimmer and can swim up to 5 miles per hour (8 kph). The beaver can swim underwater for up to 15 minutes. Young beavers are called kits. Beavers live in forests in North America and in parts of Europe and Asia. Beavers do not hibernate over winter, but they will stay in their lodge, where they have stored enough food to last until spring.
Beaver Lodges and Dams: Beavers build sophisticated lodges out of sticks and mud. The dome-shaped lodge is built in water and only has underwater entrances. If the local pond water isn't deep enough, the beaver will build a dam (or a series of dams) downstream from where the beaver wants to build a lodge. The dam forms a deep pond. Beavers cut down trees for the dam using their strong teeth. The water in the pond must be deep enough so that the pond bottom won't freeze in winter, blocking the lodge's entrance.
Anatomy: Beavers are about 3 ft (0.9 m) long; their flat, thick tail is about 1 ft (30 cm) long. They weigh 30-70 pounds (14-32 kg). Like all rodents, their teeth continue to grow their entire lives. Their ears and nostrils can close while the beaver is underwater. While swimming, transparent eyelids protect their eyes. Beavers can close their mouth by closing a flap located behind their teeth, allowing them to chew while holding their breath.
Diet: Beavers are herbivores (plant-eaters). They eat tree bark, leaves, roots, twigs, and water plants.
Predators: The beaver is hunted by many animals, including coyotes, wolves, bears, lynxes, and wolverines. Minks, owls and hawks prey upon young beavers. Beavers cannot move very quickly on land, so their best defense from predators is to retreat into the water and go into their lodge.
Deer: Family Cervidae
Deer are mammals that belong to the family Cervidae. There are many species in the deer family, including various types of deer, moose, elk (wapiti), caribou, and reindeer. Some deer species are social, but others are solitary.
The biggest living member of the deer family is the moose (weighing about 800 kg); the smallest is the Andean Pudu (weighing about 10 kg).
The earliest deer appeared during the late Oligocene Epoch, roughly 35 million years ago. The "Irish elk" Megaloceros was a large, prehistoric deer that had antlers that were 11 feet (3.3 m) wide.
Habitat: Deer are found in many biomes around the world, including forests, rainforests, grasslands, and tundras.
Anatomy: Deer are long-legged animals with two-toed, hoofed feet (they are even-toed ungulates, belonging to the order Artiodactyla). They have short hair and a camouflaged coat (it helps hide them from their predators). The deer's snout is elongated and the tail is short. Males are usually larger than females The males of most species of deer have bony antlers; each year, the old antlers are shed and new antlers emerge the following spring.
Deer have a four-chambered stomach. When they eat food, it goes into the first chamber (called the rumen), where acids and bacteria help break down the tough plant fibers. Later the deer regurgitates the partly-digested food (called the bolus) and chews the "cud" again, and later re-swallows the food. The food then passes through the rumen into the second chamber of the stomach, and on to the third and fourth chambers of the stomach, and eventually, through the intestines where the digestion process is completed.
Diet: Deer are herbivores (plant eaters); most are browsers (eating leaves, shoots, soft vegetation, twigs, etc.), but some are also grazers (eating mostly grass).
Deer are ruminants; they store partly-chewed food, and later regurgitate this cud and thoroughly chew it (this is called "chewing the cud"). This process lets deer process a large amount of low nutrient food.
Predators: Deer have many predators; their main defenses are running away and hiding, although hooves, antlers, and teeth are used as a last resort. Their predators include large animals like grizzly bears, mountain lions, coyotes, and man. Small deer (like the pudu) are eaten by large birds, foxes, and small wild cats.
Classification: Kingdom Animalia (animals), Phylum Chordata, Class Mammalia, Order Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates), Suborder Ruminantia (ruminants), Family Cervidae (deer, elk, moose, etc.), Subfamilies: Cervinae (elk, fallow deer, etc.), Hydropotinae (Chinese Water Deer), Muntiacinae (Barking Deer, Muntjac), Odocoileinae (moose, caribou, roe deer, Andean deer, mule deer, white-tailed deer, reindeer, pudu, marsh deer, etc.).
The elk, also called the red deer or wapiti (meaning "white rump" in the Shawnee language), is a large, hoofed, noisy, and social member of the deer family.
Elk are found in open mountain forests and valleys in western North America. They have a life span of about 8 to 12 years in the wild.
Anatomy: The elk is up to about 4 to 5 feet (1.2-1.5 m) tall at the shoulder. They weigh from 325 to 1,100 pounds (147-500 kg). Males are much larger than females. Only bulls (males) have branching antlers (which are shed and re-grow each year) and a shaggy mane. The largest elk antlers are about 4 ft (1.2 m) long. Elk have hoofed, two-toed feet, long legs, thick brown fur, and a large body.
Behavior: The elk is an herbivore (a plant-eater) and a spend a lot of time browsing. Elk eat grasses, shrubs, tree leaves, and herbs. Elk are ruminants (they store partly-chewed food, and later regurgitate it and thoroughly chew it).
Predators: The grizzly bear, mountain lion, coyote, and man are the main predators of the elk.
Classification: Kingdom Animalia (animals), Phylum Chordata, Class Mammalia, Order Artiodactyla, Suborder Ruminantia, Family Cervidae (deer, elk, moose, etc.), Subfamily Cervinae (elk, fallow deer, etc.), Genus Cervus, Species C. elaphus.
The reindeer (also called the caribou) is a medium-sized member of the deer family. The genus and species of the reindeer are Rangifer tarandus. Reindeer are strong runners and very good swimmers.
This deer is found in Arctic tundra, forests, and mountains in Russia, Northern China, Canada, Alaska, and Scandinavia. Some reindeer migrate in huge herds from the coastal Arctic to the tundra. Reindeer have a life span of about 10 years in the wild.
Domesticated Reindeer: Reindeer were domesticated in northern Eurasia roughly 2,000 years ago. Today, reindeer are herded by many European and Asian Arctic people.
Anatomy: The reindeer is about 4 feet (1.2 m) tall at the shoulder and is about 6 feet (1.8 m) long. Unlike most other types of deer, both bulls (males) and cows (females) have antlers. The antlers are shed each year and regrow. Reindeer have very wide hooves, a broad muzzle, and thick brown fur. The thick fur traps air, which insulates the reindeer from the cold and helps the reindeer float in water.
Behavior: The reindeer is an herbivore (a plant-eater) who spends most of the day eating. During the winter, reindeer eat lichens and moss; in warmer months, they also eat leaves and herbs.
Answer these questions:
1. Are reindeer amphibians, reptiles, mammals, or lichens?
2. Are reindeer solitary animals or do they live in herds?
3. Do reindeer live in the tundra, marshes, deserts, or rainforests?
4. Can reindeer swim?
5. Are all reindeer wild, or have some been domesticated?
6. Do reindeer shed their antlers each year?
7. Do female reindeer have antlers?
8. What is another name for reindeer?
9. Are reindeer herbivores or carnivores?
10. What is the name of the hard type of toes that reindeer have?
Bears are furry, omnivorous mammals that are found in many different environments, including forests, swamps, mountains, and grasslands. Bears are found in North America, Asia, Europe, and a few in South America. Some bears include the Grizzly (a type of brown bear), Black Bear, Panda, Sun Bear, etc.
Anatomy: Bears vary in size from 3.5 to 10 feet (1.1 to 3 m) long and weigh from 55 to 1,700 pounds (25 to 770 kg). The largest bear is the Polar Bear. Bear fur ranges in color from black to brown to blond to white. All bears are plantigrade (flat-footed).
Behavior: Bears are solitary animals; only a mother and cub live together for an extended time. Many bears are fast runners, excellent swimmers, and good climbers. In general, bears have a good sense of smell but poor eyesight. Many bears from in cold climates hibernate (or go into a dormant state) over winter in caves or dens.
Diet: Although bears belong to the order Carnivora, they are omnivores who eat plants, leaves, fruits, berries, nuts, roots, honey, insects, and small mammals.
Classification: Class Mammalia, Order Carnivora, Family Ursidae (7 species of bears).
The Great Egret (also known an the Common Egret) is a large wading bird found worldwide. It is the second-largest member of the heron family in America (second only to the Great Blue Heron). It lives in mudflats, tidal shallows and marshes. It winters in the south down to Colombia. The Great Egret flies with slow wing beats and has a deep, croaking call. The scientific name of the Great Egret is Casmerodius albus (genus and species).
Anatomy: The Great Egret is over 3 ft (1 m) tall and has a wingspan of up to 55 inches (140 cm). Its body has white feathers, the neck is S-shaped, the bill is bright yellow, and the long legs and the feet are black. Males and females are similar in appearance.
Diet: The Great Egret eats fish, lizards, frogs, crayfish, small rodents, and insects. It often hunts in shallow water, usually impaling the prey on its long, sharp bill.
Eggs and Nests: The Great Egret's nest is a platform of twigs and sticks that is built in trees or on the ground. Females lay 3-5 pale blue-green eggs in each clutch (a set of eggs laid at one time). The incubation period of the eggs is 23-26 days. Both parents care for the young, feeding them frogs, fish, and snakes.
Cranes are large birds that live in wetlands. They use their long legs to wade in shallow water, and use their long neck and sharp bill to kill small animals and obtain some tender plant roots. In order to fly, cranes must get a running start (usually facing the wind). Cranes migrate seasonally; some species fly long distances in order to breed in a cold area and eat in warm area. When cranes migrate, they fly in a "V" formation.
Distribution: Cranes are found in Africa, Asia, Australian, Europe, and North America (there are no cranes in South America).
Symbolism: Cranes have been a symbol of peace, purity, wisdom, fidelity, prosperity, and longevity for thousands of years.
Anatomy: Cranes have a long neck, long legs, long, rounded wings, a long, pointed bill, and a streamlined body. Some cranes have a feathery head crest. Males and females have similar plumage, but the males are larger. The tallest crane is the Sarus Crane (up to 5 3/4 feet = 1.75 m tall); the smallest is the Demoiselle Crane. The heaviest crane is the Red-crowned Crane (weighing up to 24 pounds or 11 kg).
Diet: Cranes are omnivores (they eat animals and plants); their diet includes small animals (like insects, small fish, small birds, and small reptiles) and some plant material (like berries and tuber).
Reproduction: Most cranes mate for life. Crane eggs vary in color from white to light blue (it differs with the species). Most chicks are brown.
The Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) is a common, widespread woodpecker. It is found in woodlands, parks, and a variety of biomes throughout North America.
Anatomy: The Downy Woodpecker is a small, black and white bird with a short bill. The male has a red spot on the back of its head. It is about 6 to 6.5 inches (15-16.5 cm) long.
Diet: The Downy Woodpecker eats insects, seeds, grains, and suet.
Pecking: Woodpeckers peck for many reasons including eating, establishing territory, attracting mates, and nesting. In order to find and eat insects that live in tree bark (including ants and beetles), woodpeckers peck into the bark with their beak, making small holes. Woodpeckers also make drumming sounds on wood, but this is to establish territories and attract mates in the Spring. A third use of pecking is to make a nest within a dead tree.
Eggs and Nests: The Downy Woodpecker's nest is a hole in a tree that has been lined with wood chips. Females lay 3-6 white eggs in each clutch (a set of eggs laid at one time). The eggs hatch in just under 2 weeks.
Great Horned Owl
The Great Horned Owl is the largest owl in North America. It is sometimes called the cat owl. This widespread bird of prey lives in mountains, grasslands, conifer forests, deserts, chapparals, and many other habitats in North and South America. Its scientific name is Bubo virginianus (Genus and species). Its call is a far-carrying hoot.
Anatomy: This owl is 18 to 25 inches (46-64 cm) long and has a wing span of 52 to 55 inches (1.3-1.4 m); its weight averages about 3 pounds (1.5 kg). The feathers of the Horned Owl are gray to brown to buff to black. There is a patch of white feathers on the brown chest (called a "gular"). The eyes are yellow with round black pupils. Large tufts of feathers on its head give this owl its name; they are neither ears nor horns, they are just feathers.
Diet: Owls are carnivores (meat-eaters). The Great Horned Owl is mostly nocturnal (most active at night). Owls use a keen sense of sight to find prey in the dark (they see mostly in black and white). They also have an acute sense of hearing which helps in finding meals. Owls are stealth hunters; they can easily sneak up on their prey since their fluffy feathers give them almost silent flight. The Great Horned Owl hunts and eats mammals (like rabbits, skunks, woodchucks, mice, rats, and squirrels), birds (ducks, quail, and geese), and fish. The owl is at the top of the food web; it has no major predators. It sometimes eats its prey whole and later regurgitates the bones, fur, and feathers in pellets.
Nest and Eggs: Great Horned Owls usually use abandoned hawk or heron nests. In each clutch (a set of eggs laid at one time), females lay 2-3 white eggs. The eggs take 28-30 days to hatch; both parents incubate the eggs.
The dragonfly is a flying insect that can hover in mid-air. It eats other insects, catching them while it is flying. There are many different species of dragonflies, and most of them are found near water. The earliest dragonflies appeared over 300 million years ago.
Like all insects, the dragonfly has a three-part body: a head, a thorax, and a long, thin, segmented abdomen. The dragonfly has 2 large compound eyes that take up most of the head. On the short thorax there are three pairs of jointed legs and two pairs of long, delicate, membranous wings. The dragonfly breathes through spiracles (tiny holes in the abdomen).
Life cycle: A dragonfly undergoes incomplete metamorphosis. The larva hatches from an egg which is laid in water, in plants near water, or even underwater. As this aquatic (living in the water) larva (called a nymph) grows, it molts (loses its old skin) many times. When fully-grown, it emerges from the water, using the claws on its feet to crawl onto a plant. The dragonfly flies away over land. It only returns to the water to reproduce and continue this cycle. The life span ranges from about 6 months to over 7 years (most of it is spent in the nymph stage - the adult lives for only a few weeks).
Classification: Kingdom Animalia; Phylum Arthropoda (arthropods); Class Insecta (insects); Order Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies); Suborder Anisoptera (dragonflies), many families, including Family Libellulidae (skimmers or pond dragonflies).
Honeybees are social insects that live in hives. Like all insects, bees have six legs, a three-part body, a pair of antennae, compound eyes, jointed legs, and a hard exoskeleton. The three body parts are the head, thorax, and abdomen (the tail end).
Bees can fly about 15 mph (24 kph). They eat nectar (a sweet liquid made by flowers) which they turn into honey. In the process of going from flower to flower to collect nectar, pollen from many plants gets stuck on the bee's pollen baskets (hairs on the hind legs). Pollen is also rubbed off of flowers. This pollinates many flowers (fertilizing them and producing seeds).
All the members of the hive are related to each other. There are three types of honey bees:
the queen (who lays eggs)
workers - females who gather food, make honey, build the six-sided honeycomb, tend eggs, and guard the hive
drones - males who mate with the queen.
Bees undergo complete metamorphosis. The queen lays an egg in a cell in the wax comb (all the immature bees are called the brood). The egg hatches into a worm-like larva, which eventually pupates into an adult bee.
Beetles are a type of insect (a type of invertebrate, animals that lack a backbone). Beetles constitute the largest order of insects (order Coleoptera, meaning "sheath wing"). Beetles (like all insects) have a hard exoskeleton, a three-part body (head, thorax, and abdomen), two compound eyes, three pairs of jointed legs, and two antennae. The legs and wings are attached to the thorax. In beetles, the front pair of hardened wings forms the elytra, which protect the hind wings. Beetles (like all insects) breathe through holes called spiracles.
Metamorphosis: Beetles hatch from eggs. They undergo complete metamorphosis consisting of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. An egg hatches into a larva (sometimes called a grub - which sometimes looks like a worm but can also look like a tiny lizard or insect). After molting many times (shedding the hard exoskeleton which has been outgrown), it develops a hard outer shell, the puparium, and the beetle undergoes tremendous physiological changes (although it is seemingly inactive during this stage) - this is the pupa. It emerges from the puparium as an adult beetle.
Worldwide Species: There are about 350,000 different species of beetles and many more that have not been discovered yet. Insects evolved during the early Permian Period, 265 million years ago (before dinosaurs evolved). Beetles live all over the world (except on the continent of Antarctica or in the oceans); they live in regions ranging from deserts to mountains to rainforests. Most beetles are not aquatic, but a few species live in the water during their adult life stage. The word beetle comes from the word "bite" in old English.
Well-known Beetles: Some well-known beetles include the ladybug (also called the ladybird - helpful in the garden), the firefly, scarab beetles (including the Goliath and Hercules beetles), rove beetles (that superficially look like earwigs), jewel beetles (beautiful agricultural pests), click beetles, weevils, leaf beetles (like the potato beetle), ground beetles (like the bombardier beetle and tiger beetle), diving beetles, and mealworms (which metamorphosize into darkling beetles).
Classification of Beetles: Kingdom Animalia (animals), Phylum Arthropoda (arthropods), Class Insecta (insects), Order Coleoptera (beetles), about 150 Families.
There are thousands of species of ants found all over the world and in just about every type of land environment. Many species are found in rain forests. The science of studying ants is called myrmecology.
These common social insects live in colonies (groups of related ants). Each colony consists of:
Queen - The queen begins her life with wings, which she uses while mating. After mating with a male ant (or many males), she flies to her nesting area. She then loses her wings and spends her life laying eggs.
Workers - Workers are the many sterile (non-reproducing), wingless female worker ants who are the daughters of the queen. These workers collect food and feed members of the colony, defend the colony, and enlarge the nest. Most of the ants in a colony are workers.
Soldiers - Soldiers are large workers (sterile females) who defend the colony and often raid other colonies, capturing slaves.
Males - Males are small ants that have wings. They fly from the colony to mate with a queen. They die soon afterwards.
Ants exhibit complex behavior; some ants build intricate nests, some are fierce warriors, some collect and store seeds (harvester ants), some capture slaves, and some farm fungi (leaf-cutter ants).
Anatomy: Ants, like all insects, have jointed legs, three body parts (the head, thorax and abdomen), a pair of antennae, and a hard exoskeleton. The exoskeleton is made up of a material that is very similar to our fingernails. Ants range in color from yellow to brown to red to black.
Some ants have a stinger and some can even inject poisonous acid from the stinger (the stinger is at the tip of the abdomen, the rear body segment). Ants can also bite using their jaws (mandibles). Ants range in size from about 0.08 inch (2 mm) to up to about 1 inch (25 mm) long.
Life Cycle: The life cycle of the ant consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Fertilized eggs produce female ants (queens, workers, or soldiers); unfertilized eggs produce male ants.
Egg: Ant eggs are oval shaped and tiny (they are on the order of 1 mm long, but the queen's egg is many times larger).
Larva: The worm-like larvae have no eyes and no legs; they eat food regurgitated by adult ants. The larvae molt (shed their skin) many times as they increase in size.
Pupa: After reaching a certain size, the larva spins a silk-like cocoon around itself (against a solid object, like the wall of the chamber) and pupates. During this time the body metamorphoses (changes) into its adult form.
Adult: The pupa emerges as an adult. The entire life cycle usually lasts from 6 to 10 weeks. Some queens can live over 15 years, and some workers can live for up to 7 years.
Classification: Class Insecta (insects), Order Hymenoptera (ants and wasps - insects with a waist), Family Formicidae (over 8,000 species of ants).
Read the definitions, then draw and label the diagram below.
Abdomen - The abdomen is the segmented tail area of an insect that contains the heart, Malpighian tubules, reproductive organs, and most of the digestive system.
Antenna - An antenna is a sensory appendage that is attached to the head of adult insects. Antennae are used for the sense of smell and balance. Butterflies have two antennae with clubs at the end.
Compound Eye - Insect compound eyes are made up of many hexagonal lenses.
Fore wing - The fore wings are the two upper wings.
Head - The head is the part of the insect that contains the brain, two compound eyes, the proboscis, and the pharynx (the start of the digestive system). The two antennae are attached to the head.
Hind wing - The hind wings are the two lower wings.
Leg - All adult butterflies have six legs. The two forelegs of some butterfly species are tiny.
Proboscis - Adult butterflies sip nectar and other liquids using a spiral, straw-like proboscis located on their head.
Thorax - The thorax is the body section between the head and the abdomen. The legs and wings attach to the thorax.
Caterpillars are the larval stage of butterflies and moths. The caterpillar hatches from a tiny egg, then spends its time eating and growing. This larval stage usually lasts from two weeks to about a month. As caterpillars grow, their exoskeleton becomes tight on them, so they molt (lose their old exoskeleton) Then the caterpillar pupates, covering itself with a protective shell, and metamorphosing into an adult butterfly or moth.
Diet: Caterpillars mostly eat the leaves of flowering plants and trees, using their powerful jaws (mandibles). Caterpillars are very limited in their diet; many species will only eat the leaves of a single type of plant. They usually eat only the plant that their mother carefully chose to lay their egg on.
Anatomy: The body of the caterpillar (like all insects) is divided into 3 parts, the head, thorax, and abdomen. They have an exoskeleton, a hard, outer covering.
The ocelli (simple eyes that detect light) are located on the head. The mouth and jaws (mandibles) are also located on the head. Setae are sensory hairs located all over a caterpillar's body, giving it a sense of touch. The caterpillar breathes through holes in its side called spiracles. The six prolegs (attached to the thorax) will become the legs of the adult. The many prolegs will disappear in the adult stage.
Life Cycle of a Butterfly: Egg --> Larva (the caterpillar) --> Pupa (the chrysalis or cocoon) --> Adult.
Crickets are jumping insects. Males of most cricket species make a loud chirping sound by rubbing their forewings together; they do this to attract females. Crickets chirp faster when the temperature is warmer. Crickets live under rocks and logs in fields, grasslands, and meadows. Many crickets are nocturnal (most active at night). The most common cricket in the US is the field cricket; the most common one in Europe is the house cricket (which is stockier).
Anatomy: Like all insects, crickets have a three-part body (head, thorax and abdomen), six jointed legs, and two antennae. Their body is covered with a hard exoskeleton. Crickets breathe through a series of holes called spiracles; they are located along the sides of the body. Crickets are brown or black. Crickets are very similar to grasshoppers, but the cricket's antennae are very long, the wings are held flat over the body, and the ovipositor is very long. Not all crickets have wings. Crickets sense sounds using tympani (hearing organs) located in their front legs.
Metamorphosis: Crickets undergo incomplete metamorphosis. They hatch from eggs that the female deposits in soil (or plant material) using her ovipositor. Immature crickets (called nymphs) look like small adults, but the wings and ovipositor (of the female) are not fully developed. They molt many times as they develop into adults.
Diet and Predators: Crickets are omnivores (they eat both plants and animals). They scavenge dead insects and eat decaying material, fungi and young plants. Their predators include birds, rodents, reptiles, other insects (including beetles and wasps), and spiders.
Classification: Kingdom Animalia (animals), Phylum Arthropoda (arthropods), Class Insecta (insects), Order Orthoptera (crickets, grasshoppers, etc.), Suborder Ensifera, Family Gryllidae (crickets), Genera Acheta, Gryllus, Oceanthus, Myrmecophila, many species.
Pond Life Animal
Ponds are teeming with both animal and plant life. Some animals live in the water (fish, crayfish, tadpoles, etc.), some live above the water (ducks, insects, etc.), and others live in the area surrounding the pond (raccoons, earthworms, etc.).
Fish are vertebrate animals that live in water, have streamlined. muscular bodies, and are cold-blooded. Most fish breathe using gills.
There are three classes of fish:
Class Agnatha (jawless fish) - these primitive fish have no jaws, do not have paired fins, and have a skelton made of cartilage (not bone). Examples: hagfish, lampreys.
Class Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish) - these fish have a skeleton made of cartilage, paired fins, and no swim bladder. Their skin has tooth-like scales (called denticles). Fertilization of eggs is internal. Examples: sharks, skates, rays.
Class Osteichyes (bony fish) -these fish have a skeleton made of bone and paired fins. They also have teeth that are fixed onto the upper jaw. They have a swim bladder (an air filled sac that helps them with buoyancy) that opens into the gullet. Bony fish do not have to swim to breathe (to push water through the gills). Most fish are bony fish.
Fish are animals that live in water and breathe using gills. Water goes in through the mouth and out through the gills, which take oxygen from the water. Most fish swim by moving their tail (also called the caudal fin) left and right.
There are many kinds of fish; some have bones but others, like sharks and rays have no bones, only cartilage.
The biggest fish in the world is the Whale Shark; it is a shark but not a whale. The whale shark is up to 46 feet (14 m) long and weighs up to 15 tons.
The Lake Trout, Salvelinus namaycush, is also known as the gray trout, mackinaw, laker, and salmon trout. It is a large, fast-swimming fresh-water fish that is native to Alaska, Canada, and the Great Lakes area. This solitary fish has been introduced in other deep-water lakes, and is now widely distributed in North America. It has a life span of about 20 years and is slow-growing. Lake Trout are commercially valuable fish that are prized for their meat.
Anatomy: The Lake Trout is torpedo-shaped and has a deeply-forked tail. It has a large head with well-developed teeth on the jaws, tongue, and the roof of mouth. The Lake Trout grows to be about 50 inches (1.25 m), but is usually 17 to 27 inches (43-68 cm). Most weigh from 3 to 9 pounds (1.3-4 kg), but it can weigh up to 120 pounds (55 kg).
Diet: The Lake Trout is a carnivore (meat-eater), eating small crustaceans (like shrimp), insects, fish (including Whitefish and Cisco), and even some tiny mammals. Young lake trout eat plankton, insects, shrimp, and small aquatic invertebrates.
Salmon are anadromous fish - they live in the sea but reproduce in fresh water (in a stream or lake). They are amazing fish that live in fresh water during their early life, mature in salt water, and then return to fresh water to breed (and then die). Some salmon (sockeye and chinooks) travel up to 1,000 miles (1,600 km) upstream in order to spawn.
Reproduction: Salmon live most of their life in the sea, but when they are mature and ready to breed, they enter fresh water to spawn (reproduce), traveling to a stream or pond high in oxygen. The female digs a nest in the gravel (called a redd) with her tail. She then pushes her thousands of eggs into the nest and the male milks the eggs, fertilizing them. Most salmon die after spawning.
The Eggs Hatch and Grow: The newly-emerged salmon (called alevins) still have a food sac attached to them. When the food sac is used up, the salmon fry emerges from the nest - and must find food (like insects) for the first time. As the fry matures, it becomes camouflaged (with parr marks) and is called parr . When it becomes silver-colored, it will be called a smolt. After growing for a while, the smolts swim downstream to the sea.
Adapting to Salt Water: When smolt reach the estuary (where the river meets the sea), a process begins in which their body changes, allowing them to soon live in salt water (this is called smoltification).
Maturing at Sea, then Returning Home: The salmon lives in the sea until maturity (1 to 7 years, depending on the species); some migrate thousands of miles in the sea. They then return to the place where they hatched and continue the cycle. No one knows how salmon return home -perhaps they remember the distinctive set of smells along the way. On their journey home, they do not eat at all, they often change color, their muscles soften, and they will die soon after spawning.
Anatomy: Salmons have silvery skin with spotted back and fins. The biggest salmon is the chinook, which weighs up to 120 pounds (55 kg).
Diet: Salmon are carnivores (flesh eaters) - they eat fish (like herring and pilchard), squid, and crustaceans (like shrimp).
Predators: Salmon are preyed upon by many animals, including bears, people, many birds (like wading birds and kingfishers), and other fish. For every 8000 eggs produced, 4500 alevin survive, from which 650 fry survive, from which 200 parr survive, from which 50 smolt survive, from which only 2 spawning adults survive (who produce thousands of eggs).
Classification: Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata, Class Osteichthyes (bony fish), Family Salmonidae (salmon, trout, and char), Genus Salmo (Atlantic salmon - salmo means jumper) and Genus Oncorhynchus (Pacific salmon - 5 species; Oncorhynchus means "hooked snout").
1. Do salmon hatch in salt water or fresh water?
2. After maturing enough to swim well, does the young salmon swim upstream or downstream?
3. What is the name of the area where a river meets the sea (and where salmon undergo body changes that let them live in salt water)?
4. Where do salmon live until they are mature and ready to reproduce?
5. What sense do scientists think that salmon use to return to their birthplace?
Данное учебное пособие предназначено для студентов специальности «Лесное и лесопарковое хозяйство» и «Охотоведение и звероводство» по дисциплине «Английский язык». В пособие включены тематические тексты для дополнительного чтения, которые ориентированы на совершенствование знаний, умений и навыков студентов. Материал представлен для изучения и закрепления специальной лексики будущих специалистов.
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