Wednesday, June 19, 2013


A desert is a very dry habitat that receives less than 10 inches of rainfall per year.

Nearly 33% of the land surface on earth is covered in desert.

Deserts are found on every continent in the world.

Without easy access to the water that is essential to life, many deserts appear to be barren wastelands.

Many species of plants and animals thrive in deserts because of their special adaptations. For example, many species of cactus store water in them for most of the year. They are protected by sharp spines to keep animals from taking advantage of this easy water supply.

Many warm blooded mammals, like these Fennec Foxes, have very large ears so they can regulate their body temperature. Most desert animals are nocturnal, so they can hide during the intense heat of the day and take advantage of the cooler temperatures at night.

The temperature in a desert may be scorching while the sun is out, but at night, temperatures are drastically lower.

Many deserts receive nearly all their annual rainfall in a single season, or even just one rainstorm.  Desert rainstorms can be massive, and very violent.

The plants and animals of the desert will store every precious drop of water they can and use it to survive and thrive in this harsh environment.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Rainforests are forests that have a high volume of rainfall, normally between 70 and 80 inches per year. Tropical rainforests are treasure troves of life, with an abundance of plants and animals. Because of the tropical climate, plants and animals in a tropical rainforest can thrive and grow all year round.  

Rainforests cover only about 6-7% of the Earth's total land area, but they are home to nearly half of its plants and animals. A single square mile of rainforest can be home to over 50,000 species of insects, 375 species of plants, 180 species of trees, and 100 species of birds. The plants in rainforests are responsible for over 28% of the Earth's total oxygen supply.

Most of the time when we talk about rainforests, we are referring to tropical rainforests, but there are also temperate rainforests in many other parts of the world, including the Western United States. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013


Over 71% of the Earth's surface is covered by oceans, but only about 5% of the ocean has been explored. Nearly 50% of the known species on the planet live in the ocean, but scientists discover new species in nearly every deep sea exploration expedition.

The ocean is vital to the health of the planet. Nearly 50% of the oxygen in the atmosphere is produced by tiny plants in the ocean called phytoplankton.

While the ocean may seem like just a vast expanse of blue, there is a thriving ecosystem full of abundant and diverse life just below the surface.