Habitats and Adaptations
How do adaptations help living things
survive in different habitats?
Life in the Desert
 Explain that a desert habitat has a dry
climate and dry, sandy soil.
 Explain that desert plants and animals have
specific adaptations to help them survive.
Some desert animals can hide in plain sight. Their body
coverings blend in with the environment. Blending in is
an adaption called camouflage. It helps animals stay
Rattlesnakes and coyotes, among others, are
nocturnal. This means they sleep during the day. They
come out at night when it is cooler.
A desert is a habitat that has a dry climate. Less than
10 inches of rain falls in the desert each year.
Temperature and Soil
Temperature in the desert is very different
between day and night.
During the day, the Sun’s heat warms the
land and air. The desert is much cooler at
night than in the day.
The soil in a desert is mostly sand. There is
little humus to soak up rainwater.
What adaptations help desert plants?
Some plants can grow in
deserts. Other plants cannot.
Plants that grow in deserts have
adaptations that help them
survive with little water.
Special Roots: help take in
Special Leaves and Stems:
help store water
Spines and Thorns: protect
them from thirsty animals
What adaptations help desert animals?
Sleeping the Day Away
Keeping Cool
Rattlesnakes and coyotes are nocturnal.
They come out at night when it is cooler.
Large ears and thin bodies help animals
such as the desert jackrabbit stay cool.
Blending In
Some desert animals can hide in plain
sight. Their body coverings blend in with
the environment. Camouflage helps
animals stay safe.
Desert Lesson Review
Main Idea: What adaptations help desert plants and animals
Vocabulary: What is a desert like? Describe it.
Critical Thinking: Buffalo have thick, dark coats. They eat
mainly grasses. Could a buffalo survive in a desert? Explain
your answer.
Test Prep: Deserts are habitats with…
Cold climate and frozen soil
Wet climate and marshy soil
Dry climate and sandy soil
Hot climate with lots of rainfall
Life in the Grasslands
 Explain characteristics of temperate and
tropical grassland habitats.
 Identify structures that enable plants and
animals to help them survive in grasslands.
Burrows- holes some animals dig in the ground to
Grassland- habitat covered by grasses.
Herds- groups of animals that stay together for safety.
Prairies- grasslands of North America.
Savanna- grasslands of the Serengeti Plain.
Temperate- environment with a mild climate that has
four seasons.
Tropical- environment that has a warm climate yearround because it is near the equator.
What is a grassland?
Grass is everything
to a grassland. Grass
is food for animals.
Grass is both a
hiding place and a
shelter from the wind
and cold. Grass
holds down soil that
would otherwise blow
away in the wind.
A fox uses the grass to hide.
Grasshoppers have back
legs built for jumping.
Two Types of
Temperate Grassland
 Means the environment has a
mild climate and four seasons.
 Have soil that is rich in humus.
Tropical Grassland
 Means the environment is near
the equator and is warm all year
 Have a rainy season and a dry
 Have more trees and poorer soil.
What adaptations
help grassland
plants survive?
Deep roots that work like
a sponge.
Deep roots can survive
Fire may burn the grass above the soil, but
deep roots are not harmed. This means grass
can grow back quickly after a fire.
Only grow leaves during
wet season.
Fire resistant bark.
Thick trunk to store water.
Baobab trees have bark that resists fire.
What adaptations
help animals survive
in grasslands?
Many kinds of animals live in
grasslands. All of them have
adaptations that help them survive.
Flat Teeth
 Animals have adapted for eating grass.
 Small animals can hide easily.
 Animals running fast to catch prey.
Zebras bite grass easily with their flat
Prairie dogs can escape danger
quickly by hiding in burrows.
Cheetahs have flexible spines
that help them run fast.
Grasslands Lesson Review
Main Idea: What are grasslands?
Vocabulary: What word describes grasslands that are
warm year-round?
Compare & Contrast: How are grasslands and deserts
alike? How are they different?
Test Prep: Where are Tropical grasslands found?
A. near the North Pole
B. near the equator
C. in North America
D. in Antarctica
Life in the
 Describe different types of forest environments.
 Identify adaptations of forest organisms.
Buttresses- these support a tall tree with shallow roots.
Camouflage- this allows an animal to blend in with its
Coniferous- this type of tree has tough needles that help it to
conserve water during winter.
Deciduous- this type of tree loses its leaves in fall so it can
conserve energy in water.
Drip tips- these help leaves lose extra rainwater.
Forest- this habitat has many trees.
Hibernate- this is what squirrels do when they sleep all winter to
store energy.
Mimicry- this is when a mantis is able to look like an orchid
What is a
A forest is a habitat that
has many trees
Tropical Rain Forest
• Found near the equator
• Have more kinds of living things than any other land habitat
• hot and wet
• About 200 to 460 centimeters of rain falls here in a single year
• Temperature stays between 68 degrees and 93 degrees all year
• Soil is not very rich in plant nutrients
What is a
A forest is a habitat that
has many trees
Temperate Forest
• Has four seasons (winter, spring, summer, and fall)
• Temperatures and rainfall change from season to season
• Winters are cold and dry
• Summers are warm and wet
• About 76 to 127 centimeters of rain fall each year
• Soil is rich with humus
The Rain Forest
The forest’s tallest trees
reach the emergent layer.
Tree branches and leaves
form the canopy.
Smaller trees and plants
grow in the understory.
This layer does not get
much light.
The forest floor is dark
and damp.
Forest Adaptations- Plants
Tropical Rainforest
 Trees grow very tall and have shallow roots
 Leaves have drip tips to lose extra water
 Plants of forest floor have large leaves to soak
up the very little sunlight that gets to them
Forest Adaptations- Plants
Temperate Forest
 Deciduous trees- lose leaves in fall
 Coniferous trees-make cones instead of
Temperate Coniferous Trees
Forest Adaptations- Animals
Tropical Rainforest
 Colors warn that a plant or animal could be poisonous
 Mimicry is when one living thing imitates another living
thing in color or shape
The poison arrow frog’s bright colors
warn predators to stay away
Mimicry helps this orchid mantis
stay safe
An iguana’s long tail helps it
balance in the high branches of the
tropical rain forest
Forest Adaptations- Animals
Temperate Forest: these animals have adaptations that help
them survive the changing seasons and to keep them safe.
Eat extra food in fall to store energy for winter
Grow thicker coats in winter
Hibernate- go into a deep sleep that lasts through winter
Dormice hibernate during winter
A porcupine’s sharp quills help it stay
Skunks spray a smelly chemical to
keep predators away
Forest Lesson Review
Main Idea: How are tropical rain forests different from temperate
forests? In what ways are these two types of forests similar?
Vocabulary: What is mimicry?
Main Idea and Details: What adaptations help plants and
animals survive cold winters in a temperature forest?
Test Prep: All of the following are layers of the rain forest
a. emergent
b. submergent
c. canopy
d. understory

Habitats and Adaptations