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What are ecosystems?

Dung beetles feed on the droppings of large mammals such as camels or elephants. They share the same ecosystem. Many kinds mould...Read More >>Dung beetles feed on the droppings of large mammals such as camels or elephants. They share the same ecosystem. Many kinds mould the animal droppings into a ball. Then they roll it away—usually travelling backwards—to a safe place for burial. They will then use it as a food store or lay their eggs inside it.Animals, plants and other living things have to survive in the wild. They must find food, water and shelter. They must cope with changing conditions, such as weather, climate and seasons. They also depend on one another. For example, meat-eating animals hunt other animals, or some insects feed on the droppings of large mammals. Scientists think of the natural world as being made up of ecosystems. These are areas in which living things survive together in conditions to which they are suited.



A seashore habitat, a rock pool

Habitats

In any ecosystem, living things that rely on each other for survival form a community. Their natural homes may be small like a garden pond or a rotting log. Or they may be much larger—a lake or forest, for example. These homes are known as habitats. Habitats contain similar kinds of plants and soils. Oak woodland, salt marshes, coral reefs and sand dunes are all examples of habitats. 
 

Biomes

The world's largest land biome is the taiga. This is the coniferous (or boreal) forest that covers most of Canada, Alaska and Scandinavia, together with a large part of Russia.

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