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Subjects /Class 6 / Science.6 / The Living Organisms Characteristics and Habitats

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INTRODUCTION
01 Jun 2022

Earth has different kinds of regions. These regions have different temperature and climate. As a result, there are different kinds of environment in different regions on Earth.

Thus, different kinds of living creatures live in these environments. These living creatures are called organisms.

For example, you may find a spider in balcony of your house and a tiger in a forest area. All these living creatures are called organisms. Even the openings of volcanoes have tiny living organisms.

Different kinds of Organisms living in different surroundings. For example:

  • Camel lives in Desert
  • Elephant lives in Forest
  • Fish lives in lake or ocean
  • Yak lives on Mountains

What is Environment

The surroundings around living organisms that includes living, non-living, physical and chemical and other components is called environment.

Different regions on Earth has different environments.

For example, the mountain region has cold environment whereas the desert region has hot environment.

 

The characteristics of the environment depends on various factors like its location, altitude, wind and amount of rainfall it gets throughout the year.

Habitat and Adaptations

Let us consider three different environments and organisms living in them:


The place where an organism lives is called habitat. Some features of habitat are:

  • Habitat means a dwelling place.
  • Habitat provides food, water, air, shelter and other needs to organisms.
  • Several kinds of animals and plants lives in the same habitat.

There are different kinds of habitats like:

  • Terrestrial habitat
  • Aquatic habitat
  • Forest habitat
  • Desert habitat
  • Mountain habitat

Adaptation

The presence of specific features or certain habitats which enable an organism to live naturally in a place is called adaptation.

Adaptation of an organism differs depending on their place of dwelling. For example:

  • Fish has gills to survive in water.
  • Camel has long legs to survive the hot weather of desert.
  • Yak has big chest and lungs to survive in low oxygen environment of mountains.


Components of Habitat

The surrounding where an organism lives, where it can find food, shelter and a favourable condition for breeding is called habitat.

The different kinds of components are:


Biotic components

  • The organisms both plants and animals living together in a habitat are called biotic components.

Abiotic components:

  • The non-living things such as rocks, soil, air and water are the abiotic components in a habitat.
  • Abiotic factors like air, water, light and heat are important factors for the growth of plants.
  • They make the survival of the organism possible in a habitat.

Importance of Biotic and Abiotic Components:

  • Organisms survive in very hot or very cold environments because they have adapted to the abiotic components of such environment.
  • Adaptation is the method by which organisms get well adjusted to the climate of the environment in which they are living.
  • Adaptation does not take place in a short time because the abiotic factors of a region also change very slowly.
  • Those organisms which cannot adapt to these changes die, and only the adapted ones survive.

Different kinds of Habitats

There are different kinds of habitats, most important are:

  • Terrestrial
  • Aquatic

Terrestrial: It refers to the land where all plants and animals survive. Animals and plants which survive on land are called as terrestrial animals and plants.


Aquatic: It refers to the region covered with water where plants and animals survive.


Classification of Terrestial Habitats

Forests:

  • Large areas in forests are covered with trees and plants. 
  • There is abundance of water and plants for the survival of the organisms.
  • Organisms living within the forest depend on abiotic factors like air, available of water, temperature, sunlight etc.
  • Three sorts of forests are tropical forests, temperate forests and boreal forests

Grasslands:

  • Grasslands are mainly covered by long and thick grasses.
  • Some of the animals living in these habitats are elephants, giraffes, lions.
  • Annual rainfall they receive varies between 50cm and 90cm.
  • Animals have to travel in summer season for water.

Deserts:

  • Some of the animals are camels, kangaroo rats etc.
  • It mostly hot regions but some of them are even too cold regions.
  • These areas that receive scanty rainfall. Fully dry with sand covering the entire region.

How animals survive:

  • Big animals like Camel have long legs and they can survive without water for days.
  • Small animals like rodents burrow in the sand and live below the surface to escape hot temperatures.

How Plants survive:

  • Desert plants lose very less water through transpiration.
  • The leaves in desert plants are either absent, very small or they are in form of spikes.
  • This helps in reducing loss of water from the leaves through transpiration.
  • The leaf-like structure you see in cactus is in fact a stem. Photosynthesis in these plants is carried out by the stems.
  • The stem is also covered with a thick waxy layer, which helps to retain water in the tissues of cacti.
  • Most desert plants have roots that go very deep into the soil for absorbing water.