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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A distribution map showing the range and breeding grounds of Great Black-backed Gulls

A habitat (which is Latin for "it inhabits") is an ecological or environmental area that is inhabited by a particular species of animal, plant or other type of organism.[1][2] It is the natural environment in which an organism lives, or the physical environment that surrounds (influences and is utilized by) a species population.[citation needed]



The term "population" is preferred to "organism" because, while it is possible to describe the habitat of a single black bear, we may not find any particular or individual bear but the grouping of bears that constitute a breeding population and occupy a certain biogeographical area. Further, this habitat could be somewhat different from the habitat of another group or population of black bears living elsewhere. Thus it is neither the species nor the individual for which the term habitat is typically used.



The term microhabitat is often used to describe the small-scale physical requirements of a particular organism or population. A microhabitat is often a smaller habitat within a larger one. For example, a fallen log inside a forest can provide microhabitat for insects that are not found in the wider forest habitat outside such logs. Microenvironment is the immediate surroundings and other physical factors of an individual plant or animal within its habitat.

Human habitat

Human habitat is the environment in which human beings exist and interact. For example, a house is a human habitat, where human beings sleep and eat.

See also


  1. ^ Dickinson, C.I. 1963. British Seaweeds. The Kew Series
  2. ^ Abercrombie, M., Hickman, C.J. and Johnson, M.L. 1966.A Dictionary of Biology. Penguin Reference Books, London

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Simple English

A habitat describes the place where many animals or plants live. Many different kinds of animals or plants can share the same habitat. In that case, it is called a biotope. A habitat can also be called an eco-system or a biome. An ecosystem is when there are many living and non-living things working together in one habitat. Habitat is also called a dwelling place.

Animal habitats

Most animals live in one type of environment because they are best suited to it. We say they are adapted to this environment. It provides them with food and water. For example, animals such as frogs, newts, and ducks have webbed feet to help them swim in the water.

Plant habitats

Just as animals adapt to the places they live, so do plants. Plants are adapted to a wide variety of habitats. As a result, each plant has certain characteristics. Some are adapted to living on land while others live in water. Plants that grow on land usually have stiff stems to hold them upright, while water plants tend to have less rigid stems because the water supports them. Plants that live in dry climates like the desert have small or very few leaves. This cuts down on water loss through the leaves. Their stems may also be thick to store water. Plants that grow in shaded areas have large leaves to capture as much sunlight as possible. [1]


  1. Learn Science workbooks grades 5-6, by Mike Evans and Linda Ellis. p.33


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