Plants and Animals
Category : 4th Class
Plants and Animals
Plants and animals are found practically everywhere. Some live on land, some under water and some in air. The surroundings where organisms live is called their HABITAT.
Adaptations are special features in plants and animals which help them to survive in the habitats they live in. Over a long period, plants in a specific environment have developed special features which help them to live and grow in that particular habitat.
1. Terrestrial Plants [Plants Living on Land]
Plants that grow on land are called terrestrial plants. There are various kinds of terrestrial plants depending on different habitats.
(i) Plants on mountains (cold hilly areas):
In hilly areas like Ooty, Kashmir, Darjeeling, and the Himalayan ranges including Himachal Pradesh, the weather is cold in winter. Heavy snowfall can also be seen in these places. The plants that grow in these areas are tall and have a conical shape. They are flowerless. Instead of flowers, they have cones with seeds inside them. Leaves of these plants are needle-like. They have a wax coating to prevent any damage from snow. They have a triangular or conical crown. The sloping, shape of the trees makes the snow fall off easily.
Coniferous trees: The trees that have straight and tall trunks to protect them from winter are called coniferous trees. They have needle- like leaves. The main plants of these areas are pine, spruce, cedar (deodar), and fir trees.
(ii) Plants in the plains: In plains, the weather is hot summers and cold in winters. The trees and plants us the plains mostly have many branches and lush green crowns. Teak, babul, shisham , palash, etc., are some of the common trees in the plains.
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Teak Babul Shisham
(a) Evergreen trees: Trees that remain green throughout the year are called evergreen trees. The trees shed their leaves throughout the year and keep growing the new ones. The examples include pine tree and spruce tree.
(b) Deciduous trees: Some trees like oak, maple, birch and beech trees shed all their leaves in winter called deciduous trees. New leaves grow in spring.
(iii) Plants in hot and damp areas: Many kinds of plan grow best where it is hot and wet. Eastern ai western seacoasts of South India are such regions Palm, tamarind, rubber, and coconut are some of the trees that grow well in this type of climate. The trees in such areas evergreen and they usually have a large number of leaves and they do not shed the leaves in winter.
(iv) Plants in marshy land: Place where soil is very sticky and clayey is called marshy land. It is very difficult for plants to grow here because air cannot reach the roots; then how do plants survive in us areas? The plants hove breathing roots that grow above the ground to take in the air. Such roots are called aerial or breathing root. The trees that grow here are called mangroves.
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(v) Plants on seacoast: These include plants that can survive in salty water. They prefer the area where there is heavy rainfall. The seeds of these plants are seeds by water. The trees are tall and straight, which allow the wind to pass through. The example includes coconut tree.
(vi) Plants of the grass family. Some common varieties of plants that belong to the grass family are rice wheat, jowar, bajra, sugarcane, bamboo, etc. plants of this family provide food for us and animals they are usually herbaceous plants with narrow leaves growing from the base.
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(vii) Plants in deserts: The desert is very dry and of hot. There is a lot of direct sunlight shining on plants. The soil is often sandy or rocky and to hold much water. The plants that live here are exposed to extreme temperatures and drought conditions. Have you ever thought how do plan survive in such hot and dry deserts where there shortage of water?
The examples include cactus plants, date palms, etc.
2. AQUATIC PLANTS [PLANTS LIVING IN WATER]
Plants growing in water called aquatic plants. There are different kinds of aquatic plant depending on different habitats
There are three types of aquatic plants. They are:
(i) Floating plants, (ii) Fixed plants, (ii) under water plants
(i) Floating plants: Some plants that float on water are called floating plants. They have spongy bodies. Like a sponge, there are lots of empty spaces throughout their body that are filled with air. This makes the plants light enough to float. Some plants like duckweed, green-algae, wolfia, water-hyacinth and pistia are the floating plants that float freely on top of water.
(i) Fixed plants: Some plants like water lily and lotus have roots that are fixed to the bottom of the pond. They are known as fixed aquatic plants. They have plate-like leaves that float over the surface of water. The surface of the leaves have stomata. The stomata are holes present under the surface of leaves. These holes help the plant to breathe.
(b) Adaptations of animals found in grassland: Animals found in this region are lion, deer, etc.
(c) Animals in the polar region: In the Polar Regions, animals have to face harsh winters. Animals living in these regions have thick hair coat on the skin and at under it, which keeps them warm. Such animals are polar bears, penguins, etc.
(i) Polar bear: A polar bear is adapted to live in the arctic region where it is very cold.
(ii) Penguins: They are found in cold regions. They are flightless birds but they are good swimmers.
(d) Animals in deserts: Deserts are very hot during the day, but become cold at night. Animals have to adapt to these conditions, and also have to live with very little water. Animals living in a desert have skin with less hair. Desert animals are camels, desert rat, desert snake, etc.
Desert rat and snake survive in the heat of the day by staying in burrow. They come out at night when it is a
A camel has several adaptations that help it to survive a desert habitat, such as
(2) Aquatic Animals: Animals living in water are called aquatic animals. Different kinds of fish and several other animals like crabs, dolphins, whales, and octopus live in water.
Adaptive Features of Animals Found in Aquatic Habitat
(3) Amphibians: Animals living on both land and water are called amphibians. The examples include frogs, ducks, crocodiles, salamanders, etc.
Adaptive Features of Amphibians
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4. Arboreal Animals: Animals that spend most of their time on trees are known as arboreal animals. Some animals living on trees are monkeys, squirrels; garden lizard, etc.
Adaptive Features of Arboreal Animal
5. Aerial Animals: Animals that spend most of their time in air are called aerial animals. They have wings instead of front legs. Animals that can fly are birds and bats.
Adaptive Features of Aerial Animals
Adaptation For protection In Animals
Animals are hunted and eaten by other animals. So they need to adapt themselves in different ways to protect
Themselves from their enemies.
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Camouflage: Camouflage is the ability of an animal to blend with its surroundings, making it difficult to see the animal.
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