Biomes are large ecosystems divided into six areas across the Earth.
The taiga biome is located in the mid- to high latitudes. Its climate is very cold in the winter, cool in the summer, and averages about 20 inches of precipitation a year. The taiga's soil is acidic, very poor in minerals, and the surface is covered with dead needles from pines and spruce. The spruce, fir and other evergreens makes up the plant life. Animals include rodents, snowshoes, hares, lynx, sables, ermine, caribou, bears, wolves, and birds.
The deciduous forest is located in the mid-latitudes with mostly a mild climate for the summer and winter. The precipitation is usually around 30 - 50 inches per year. In the deciduous forest, the surface is clay overlaid with top soil and allows for plant growth such as oak, beeches, hickory, and maple trees. Living within the forest are animals such as wolves, deer, bears, and a large variety of small mammals, along with birds, amphibians, reptiles, and insects.
The tropical rain forest is located near the equator. The climate is hot year round, yet it averages between 80 - 180 inches of precipitation a year. In the tropical rain forest, the nutrients in the soil is very poor. The tropical rain forest has the greatest diversity in plant life than any other biomes which includes vines, orchids, ferns, and a wide variety of trees. There are more species of insects, reptiles and amphibians than any other place. There are also monkeys, other small and large mammals, including elephants and all sorts of colorful birds.
The desert biome is located in the mid-latitude. Its climate is known for its very hot days and cool nights. The precipitation averages around 10 inches a year. The plant life consist of cacti, yuccas, bunch grasses, shrubs and a few trees. Rodents, snakes, lizards, and tortoises, make up most of the animal life, but there are also insects and some birds. The soil is poor with animal decay products but often rich in minerals. Camels, gazelles, antelopes, small foxes, snakes, lizards, and gerbils all have their home in the Sahara in Africa.
The tundra is located in the high northern latitudes. The climate is very cold, harsh, and the winters are long. There are short and cool summers with an average precipitation of 4 - 10 inches a year. The soil is nutrient-poor with a permafrost layer a few inches underneath. In the tundra, plant life consists of grasses, wildflowers, mosses, and small shrubs. The animal life consists of musk oxen, migrating caribou, arctic foxes, weasels, snowshoe hares, owls, hawks, various rodents, and an occasional polar bear.
The final biome is the grassland which is located in the mid-latitudes, within the interiors of the continents. The climate is cool during the winter, and hot during the summer with an average precipitation of 10 - 30 inches a year. The soil is a rich top soil that supports plant life such as grasses, small shrubs, and trees near sources of water. In the America Grassland the animal life consists of prairie dogs, foxes, small mammals, snakes, insects, various birds. The Grasslands in Africa includes elephants, lions, zebras, and giraffes.
In summary the six biomes include taiga, deciduous forest, tropical rain forest, desert, tundra, and grassland. The biomes each have different climates, animals, plants, and other characteristics.
Biomes Facts for Kids
Chaparral Biome Facts
What are Biomes?
Grassland Biome Facts
Desert Biome Facts
Tropical Rainforest Biome Facts
Tundra Biome Facts
Temperate Deciduous Forest Biome Facts
Taiga Biome Facts
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