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Where Living Things are Found. Living Things and Their Environments. Where things live: Hot dry places Cool shady forests Water In the ground On plants. Environment: everything around a living thing. All living things need food, water, air and shelter.

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Where Living

Things are Found

Living Things and

Their Environments

  • Where things live:

  • Hot dry places

  • Cool shady forests

  • Water

  • In the ground

  • On plants

Environment: everything around a living thing

All living things need food, water, air and shelter.

Many living things can share an environment and thus must also share the things they need to live.

Living Things and

Non-living Things

Living Things: any thing that needs food, water, air and shelter

  • Non-living things: do not need food, water, air and shelter

  • Air

  • Sunlight

  • Water

  • Rocks

  • Soil

The Parts of an


Ecosystem: the living and nonliving things that affect each other or interact

Example : pond

Population: a group of the same kind of living things that live in the same place at the same time.

Community: All the populations that live in an ecosystem.

Habitat: the home of all the living things that make up the community (provides all the needs including living and nonliving things)

The Parts of an


  • Populations:

  • Frog

  • Birds

  • Insects

  • Water lilies

  • cattails

The ecosystem of this pond is made up of all the living and nonliving things that interact in and around the pond.

Nonliving things , such as air, sunlight, water, rocks and soil are also part of ecosystem. The community of living things needs the nonliving things to survive.

Pond is the habitat or home of all living things that make up the community.

The edge of the pond is the habitat for the cattails.

How Ecosystems


2 ways an ecosystem can change:

  • Change by nature:

  • Floods : harms ecosystem but flood brings new layer of rich soil to river bank

  • Fires: doesn’t destroy all seeds in the ground. The surviving seeds grow into new plants. As the plants grow, animals that feed on them will return to the area.

  • Change by living things:

  • People cut down trees and use wood to build homes and make other products. Beavers cut down trees to build dams or lodges in streams. The other animals that lived in the trees must find new homes, sometimes it will be nearby part of the ecosystem or will need to live somewhere completely different.



Forest: area in which the main plants are trees

Some forest named for types of trees that grow in them or the area in which they grow.



Deciduous Forests are forest made up mostly of trees such as maples and oaks.

  • Grow in places that have warm, wet summers and cold winters

  • Specific changes to forest during seasons (fall, spring, summer, winter)

  • Plant life – ferns, shrubs and mosses

  • Animal life – insects, spiders, snakes, frogs, birds, rabbits, deer and bears

Tropical Rain


Tropical Rain





  • Grow in places like Hawaii and Costa Rica

  • Hot and wet all year

  • Trees grow very tall and their leaves stay green all year

  • More types of living things live in rain forest than anywhere else

  • 3 layers

  • Canopy – top layer : gets lots of water and sunlight

  • Understory – middle layer: shorter trees, orchids mosses and ferns grow on trunks of the tall trees

  • Forest Floor – lowest layer: little sunlight, few nutrients found in soil, plant find other ways to get nutrients. Many kinds of plants and animals make home in this layer.



  • Lots of rainfall

  • Not too cold or too hot weather

  • Thick, tall trees

  • Same 3 layers as tropical rain forest





  • Very cold winters and cool summers

  • Trees forms from seeds in cones and needle –like leaves (don’t loose needle leaves)

  • Trees are triangular shape – help keep heavy snow from piling up

  • Many lakes and streams

  • Trees stay green all year – called evergreens examples are firs, spruce and pine



Desert: an ecosystem found where there is very little rainfall. (less than 25 cm. per year)

  • Cold Deserts:

  • Freezing temperatures/blizzards in winter

  • Hottest months – as hot as hot deserts





  • Hot Deserts:

  • Temperatures about 110 degrees Fahrenheit during day

  • Temperatures about 45 degrees Fahrenheit at night

  • Mild winters in which temperatures stay above freezing



  • Grow low to ground – keep cool

  • Thick stem that stores water

  • Skin and spines help plant from losing water

  • Spines also protect the plant from being eaten by animals

  • Shallow roots that spread out near soil’s surface and can quickly soak up the water






  • Desert animals get most of their water by eating plants that store water or by eating other animals

  • Reptiles: snakes and lizards

  • Mammals: bats, rabbits, squirrels – active at night when cooler. During day sleep in shelters. Some animals burrow into the soil

  • Others: scorpions and insects – their hard body coverings help prevent them from losing water.






Water ecosystem covers more than 70 % of Earth’s surface

Salt Water: water that has a lot of salt in it

Oceans and seas (plus marshes and a few lakes) have salt water - these are called Saltwater ecosystems

Fresh water: water that has very little salt in it.

Lakes, rivers, ponds, streams and marshes – are freshwater ecosystems



  • Amount of salt in ocean water is different in different places.

  • Near surface – rain makes water less salty

  • Also less salty near shores where fresh water from rivers and streams flows into oceans

Tide Pool: saltwater ecosystem that forms near shoreline





Oceans are Earth’s largest ecosystem

  • Not all parts of oceans are the same:

  • Saltiness of water can be different

  • Water is deeper in some places

  • Water temperature also changes from place to place

  • How deep into water sunlight can reach affects the kinds of living things found in different parts of oceans



Ocean divided into zones (how much sunlight it gets)

  • Where water is shallow, sunlight reaches the ocean bottom. Allows many plants to grow and animals that feed on these plants live here.

  • Sunlight cannot reach the floor of the deep ocean. This part of ocean has almost no plants. Water very cold here. Because few plants (if any at all) the deep ocean also has the fewest animals.

  • Farther from shore, sunlight cannot reach the ocean bottom. Plants float near the surface, where they can get sunlight. Swimming animals come to surface to feed. Others feed on the animals that eat the plants.



Main freshwater ecosystems are rivers, streams, lakes and ponds

  • Rivers and streams have moving fresh water. (quick or slow moving)

  • How fast water moves determines what living things can survive in water


  • Water in lakes and ponds is still.

  • Lakes have deeper water and are usually larger than ponds

  • Water temperature depend on where lake or pond is and how deep water is.






As in ocean, most plants and animals in a lake or pond live in the shallow water. The fewest plants and animals live where the water is too deep for sunlight to reach the bottom.