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Biomes of the World :: Aquatic

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What is a Biome?

A biome is a place on earth that has the same climate, plant life and animal life over a vast area of land. Every place on earth is part of one biome or another. There are five major biomes in the world: aquatic, desert, forest, grasslands and tundra. These biomes are often broken down into numerous categories and sub-categories as well. Kidzworld's got the 411 on the aquatic biome.

What Makes The Aquatic Biome Unique?

The aquatic biome is definitely the largest biome out there. Water covers nearly 75 percent of the earth's surface, in the form of oceans, lakes, rivers, etc. Just like all other biomes, the aquatic biome can be divided into two categories: freshwater regions and saltwater regions. There are also different types of freshwater and saltwater habitats.

Saltwater Habitats:

Oceans

Oceans are the largest ecosystems on earth.

Who Calls The Ocean Home?

  • Algae, sea snails, octopuses, fish, crustaceans (crabs, lobsters, etc.,) sea anemones, sharks, whales, seaweed and much, much more. Tons of bacteria and fungus also call the ocean "Home, Sweet Home."

Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are found as barriers along continents (for example, the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia.)

Who Calls Coral Reefs Home?

  • Coral, (which does look rock but is actually an animal!) Fish, sea urchins, octopi and sea stars (a.k.a. star fish) also call coral reefs home.

Estuaries

An estuary is where a stream or river merges with the ocean. The mixing of fresh and salt water creates a unique salt concentration that is found nowhere else in the world.

Who Calls Estuaries Home?

  • A variety of worms, oysters, crabs and different kinds of waterfowl (like herons, ducks and geese).

Freshwater Habitats:

Ponds and Lakes

Ponds and lakes support similar organisms but ponds don't stick around for very long. Ponds are often seasonal, meaning they are created in the rainy seasons and often dry up after a few months. Lakes, on the other hand, will often survive for hundreds of years.

Who Calls Ponds and Lakes Home?

  • Both ponds and lakes are home to various aquatic plants, grazing snails, clams, insects, crustaceans, fish, amphibians (frogs, salamanders, newts, etc.,) turtles, snakes and lots of birds.

Streams and Rivers

A stream or river can be started in a lot of different ways. Some are the product of a natural spring bubbling out of the earth. Others find their way out of a mountain lake. Then there are the streams and rivers started by melting snow.

Who Calls it Home?

  • Many freshwater fish can be found in streams and rivers, such as trout and salmon. Algae, fungi and other plant life can also be found here.

Wetlands

A wetland is a body of standing water that supports aquatic plants. Marshes, swamps and bogs are all forms of wetlands.

Who Calls Wetlands Home?

  • Frogs, lizards, snakes and birds like ducks, pelicans, herons, woodpeckers, etc.
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