Animals have adapted to different climates and habitats and seem to be everywhere around us. When a species adapts itself biologically to inhabit a particular climate zone and physical terrain, then that specific zone becomes its habitat. Animals are usually found to be living in one or two kinds of habitats. If we force a barracuda, which swims in the salty water bodies to a fresh water lake, it would eventually perish. A walrus will never manage to survive in a desert. Similarly a rattlesnake that lives in the desert habitat cannot survive in the icy Arctic region. There are many animals that exhibit migratory habits. Birds, insects and rodents usually migrate in the spring. They move to zones where they can find abundance of food.
What are the various kinds of animal habitats?
Complex communities of plants and animals are found almost in all zones. All the groups of animals are specifically adapted to live and survive in the their specific animal habitats.
Desert: No matter how lifeless a desert is, the desert supports various plants and animal lives. It has a harsh environment with very little rainfall and extreme temperatures. There are some deserts which stay cold all throughout and are called cold deserts. Gobi desert or the desert of Ladakh is an example of cold desert. Bactrian camels are found in the latter. They are double humped camels. Apart from that jack rabbits, Arabian wild cats, wild ass and jackals are also found. But all these animals living in this kind of an animal habitat have specific adaptations to fight drought. They can store water and do without it for long. Desert animals are also found to be nocturnal and small. Due to the heat during the day, they usually stay in their dug burrows. At night they are found active. Their small size help them stay in burrows for lobg during daytime.
Tundra: Tundra is characterized with chilling temperatures and very little rain. They are usually of two types- arctic and alpine tundra. The former types are very windy and frozen. They are usually found in the Greenland plains Canada, Alaska, Russia and Europe. The mammals that are found in this region are Arctic hares, ermine, lemmings, caribou and arctic foxes. Song birds, snow geese, snow buntings, snow owls and ptarmigans are found. There are bogs of water bodies which remain frozen in most parts of the year. Fishes like trouts, salmons and flatfish are found here. Alpine tundra on the other hand is found occurring at a high altitude. They are found in the high mountains of many countries. Unlike the arctic tundra, the soils here are well drained and as a result they supportbetter growth of animal species. Mermots, mountains goats, pikas, elks and sheep are some of the mammals found in this region.
Scrubs or chaparrals: Chaparrals can be classified as animal habitats. Cold ocean currents are common in these coastal regions. The coast of Chile and the southern coast of California are examples of these. A wide variety of animals are found inhabiting these regions. Different kinds of birds, amphibians, reptiles and invertebrates are common in this region. The animals living in this animal habitat are well adapted to quick fires and spells of droughts. Cactus mouse, California striped racer Snake, California Thrasher, coyote, chipmunk, Bewick’s wren, deer, kangaroo rats, lynx and mountain lions are found in the southern California coastal region. Appenine wolf, weasels, wild boars, wild goats, hedgehogs, Spanish Imperial eagle, great bustard are found in the Mediterranean Sea coasts. Chilean deer is found in the coast of Chile.
Taiga: Taiga is located in the southern region of tundra belt. This is the largest land biome. Most animals that are found in the tundra regions are found inhabiting this region as well. Some exceptions are badgers, bald eagle, black and brown bear, Canada goose and malamute.
Temperate deciduous forests: These are the forests with a temperature range of 24 to 28 degree Celsius. They have trees that shed leaves. Some of the animals found living in this animal habitat are Collared Peccary, Mallard Duck, Muskrat, Newt, and the melodious Nightingale is also found in these forests. They are found in the southern hemisphere countries of South America and Australia.
Grasslands: There are two types of grasslands. The tropical grasslands are wet and experience torrential rainfall. While the temperate grasslands have cold winters and hot summers. The animals that live in the grasslands are found to have adapted windy and dry conditions of living. They are mainly grazing animals, insects and predators. The level of species diversity found in this animal habitat is moderate. Advarks hyenas, impalas, jaguars, llamas, pumas and many other kinds of species are found in this belt.
Rainforests: these are the dense warm forests. They are found near the equator mainly. They support a wide range of both flora and fauna. Tree kangaroo, bandicoot, duck billed platypus, cassowary, gray goshawk, frilled lizards, birdwing butterfly, zodiac moth and many more variety of animals. They are specifically adapted to libe in the humid conditions of the rain forests. They are well hydrated. Due to rampant deforestation, this animal habitat is getting threatened, and animals are losing their homes.
Terrestrial cave habitats: There are quite a number of animals that live in the caves of mountains. These animals are called troglobionts. Snails, millipedes and salamanders are some reptiles that are well adapted to living in the dark and damp atmosphere of caves. Due to less air circulation within this animal habitat, the animals found in this region also have a very slow metabolism rate. As a result they are sluggish.
Fresh water wetlands: These are usually low lying regions of marshes. They are close to streams, lakes and creeks. They are rich in minerals, and the water level keeps rising occasionally. The Florida everglades is the biggest freshwater marsh of United states. These waters can support fish crabs, insect larvae, tadpoles. They can also support frogs and turtles that live on the surface of waters. Opossums, muskrats and snails also use this as animal habitat for shelter and feeding. Animals living in Fresh water wetlands are usually stenohaline in nature. They cannot tolerate a wide range of salinity difference in their habitat.
Marine animal habitat: The marine animal habitat basically contains 2 zones. In the uppermost layer that receives sunlight, there are zoonplanktons, jellyfish, sea turtles, corals and seals. The zone right below the euphotic zone is called the littoral zone. Due to abundance of oxygen and nutrients, this section of the animal habitat can support many kinds of life forms. Anemones, brittle stars, crabs and chitons live in this section. They are use to lots of variation in the habitat. They are habituated to water turbulence in this region and both wet and dry spells. The species living here have the same concentration of salinity in their blood as the marine waters. This conditions helps them to adapt n live in these waters.