All living things depend on other living things for survival.
Physical Environment: plants and animals that share the same water, air, climate and type of soil.
Biological Environment: plants and animals that share their physical environment with other plants and animals living there.
Physical Environment + Biological Environment = Habitat
The four basic needs are:
All living things need energy.
All energy comes from the sun.
Plants are the only things that can trap the sun's energy.
Plants store energy for all other living things to use.
Energy comes from food which started with energy from the sun which was trapped by plants.
Some energy comes directly from plants (veggies) and some from animals who have eaten plants (chicken, beef).
Energy from plants is passed to living things through food chains.
Primary Producer: are plants because they trap the sun's energy first (primary means first).
Primary Consumer: are living things that get energy directly from plants. For example, a herbivore is a primary consumer because they only eat plants so they get their energy directly from plants.
Secondary Consumer: are living things that get energy from other living things who have eaten plants. For example, a carnivore is a secondary consumer because they only eat meat so they get their energy from other animals who have eaten plants.
An omnivore eats both plants and animals.
Below is a simple example of a food chain. The grass (primary producer) traps the energy from the sun. The deer (herbivore - primary consumer) eats the grass. The energy from the grass is passed on to the deer. The coyote (carnivore - secondary consumer) is a predator and preys on the deer. The coyote eats the deer. The energy from the deer is passed on to the coyote. The coyote doesn't have any predators so it is at the end of the food chain.
Here is another example of a food chain. See if you can explain it the way it is explained above, in the other example.
We know now that plants provide energy for all living things...but how do the plants get their energy? Plants get their energy from the sun through a process called photosynthesis.
Photosynthesis: making food with light (from the sun).
Plants need water from the soil and carbon dioxide from the air to make food.
Plants trap the energy from the sun (heat and light) and change it into food called glucose (sugar).
The sun helps the plants turn water and carbon dioxide into glucose through photosynthesis.
Photosynthesis takes place when sunlight falls on the green leaves of a plant. Chlorophyll is the substance that makes leaves green. Sunlight falls on the green leaves and is absorbed with the help of chlorophyll.
Plants produce oxygen when they make food for all living things to use.
Food chains are sometimes very complicated. When food chains become complicated they are called Food Webs. Food chains become complicated because most animals eat more than one kind of food.
Adaptations: plants and animals survive where they live because they have certain features that make them suited to its environment.
How can an animal be adpated to its environment?
- shape and size of body
- way it moves
- any other way that would make it easy to live in that environment and not in another.
Some animals who live in really hot or really cold environments need to escape the heat or cold by going to sleep for long periods of time:
Aestivation -when animals sleep during the summer because they cannot stand the heat.
Hibernation -when animals sleep during the winter to escape the cold since there is little food to be found.
Migration - when birds fly to a more suitable environment to escape the cold winters.
Can you explain how a polar bear is adapted to its environment?