30 terms

Wildlife Safari - Science Olympiad

STUDY
PLAY
adaptation
how the characteristics of a species change over many generations in response to the environment
Cacti have adapted to living in the desert by...
...developing a special stem to store water.
Polar bears have adapted to living in the Arctic by...
...developing thick fur & layers of blubber to stay warm.
abiotic
non-living things in an environment (sun, water, light, precipitation, temperature, soil type, air)
conifer (coniferous) tree
trees that do not lose their typically needle-like leaves
algae
plant-like organisms that thrive in moist places
Arctic
The most northern part of the Earth is called the North Pole. The North Pole and the region around it is called the Arctic. Very few plants and animals live in the Arctic because it is so cold. Snow and ice remain year round there. Plants and animals must have special adaptations that allow them to survive in the harsh conditions.
biome
a major ecological community such as grassland, tropical rain forest, or desert
biotic
all of the living parts of an ecosystem (plants, animals, bacteria)
deciduous forest
a forest containing trees that lose their leaves each year
carbon cycle
a natural cycle in which carbon compounds, mainly carbon dioxide, are incorporated into living tissue through photosynthesis and returned to the atmosphere by respiration, decay of dead organisms, and the burning of fossil fuels
carnivore
consumers that eat only meat
decompose
the break down of plants and animals into simple nutrients
decomposers
fungus and bacteria that decompose plants and animals
deforestation
the clearing, by cutting or burning, of trees in a forested area
desert
an area that gets little precipitation and has very little vegetation
desertification
the spread of desert-like conditions often due to the actions of humans - uncontrolled grazing in grasslands depletes plant life the bare surface is exposed to the forces of wind; without plants to anchor the soil, wind erodes the top layer leading to dry desert-like conditions
drought
prolonged periods of little or no rain
endangered species
a species that is in danger of extinction due to its low number of remaining individuals
energy pyramid
a model that shows the available amount of energy in each layer in a ecosystem - 90% of energy is lost as it moves up the energy pyramid
erosion
the process through which wind, water, ice, or other things move pieces of rock and soil over Earth's surface
Estuary
a coastal body of water where fresh water from a river mixes with salt water from the ocean
evaporation
the process in which matter changes from liquid to gas (like water to water vapor)
extinct
a word to describe a species of animals or plants that once lived on Earth, but which no longer exists
food chain
a model that shows one set of feeding relationships among living things
food web
a model that shows many different feeding relationships among living things
fungus
an organism made of many cells that cannot make its own food and cannot move; acts as a decomposer
grassland
an area of land covered mostly with grass with few bushes or trees
habitat
the place an organism lives
life cycle
the various stages of an organism's development