Animal Habitats

Table of Contents

The dwelling place of organisms is known as a habitat. It provides food, water, air and shelter for the organisms. Plants, animals and microorganisms coexist together in the same habitat. There are also various types of habitats ranging from hot deserts to cold mountain caps. Let us look at the various animals that live in different habitats.

What is a Habitat?

In Ecology, habitat is defined as a natural environment that can support the survival and reproduction of a particular species throughout the year, or for shorter periods of time. Such habitats consist of biotic and abiotic factors as well as other resources that support life.

What is a Microhabitat?

A microhabitat is a smaller environment that subtly differs from its surrounding habitat. Such habitats contain unique species which are not found in the larger habitat. For example, a temporary pool of water, the underside of a rock or a decomposing log are examples of a microhabitat.

What are the Types of Habitats?

Habitats can be broadly categorized into two types. They are terrestrial habitats and aquatic habitats. The animals that live in land are said to be in terrestrial habitats. There are wide range of terrestrial habitats like forests, grasslands, deserts, mountain ranges, coastal regions, wetlands, ice caps and wetlands. The animals that live in water bodies like river, lakes, ponds and oceans are said to be in aquatic habitats. The animals have different adaptations which make them suitable for living in a particular habitat.

Terrestrial Habitats

The habitats present on the land surface are known as terrestrial habitats. The animals breathe in the oxygen from air using lungs. They have legs to walk on the ground and some have wings to fly in the sky. Some of the terrestrial habitats are forests, grasslands, deserts and wetlands.

  • Forests
    • Temperate
    • Tropical
    • Boreal
    • Snow forest
  • Grasslands
    • Tropical grasslands
    • Temperate grasslands
  • Deserts
    • Hot and dry deserts
    • Coastal deserts
    • Cold deserts
    • Semi-arid deserts
  • Wetlands
    • Marshes
    • Ponds
    • Swamps
    • Peat Bogs

Read More: Terrestrial Habitats

Aquatic Habitat

The habitats present is water are called aquatic habitats. The animals in aquatic habitats use the dissolved oxygen from water for respiration. They have gills for this purpose. They have fins to swim in water. Aquatic habitats can be marine or freshwater habitats.

  • Freshwater
    • Rivers
    • Lakes
    • Streams
  • Marine
    • Pelagic habitats (open sea other than coast and sea floor)
    • Demersal habitats (ocean floor and the water near it)

Read More: Aquatic Ecosystem

Which Animals Live in Which Habitat?

Following is a table that will help you understand the characteristics of the habitat and the types of animals that live there:

Terrestrial Habitats Types Sub Types Examples of Animals that live in this Habitat
Forests Temperate White tailed deers, red foxes
Tropical Mountain gorilla, capybara, jaguar
Boreal Elk, lemmings, grizzly bears
Grasslands Tropical grasslands Giraffes, elephants, zebras
Temperate grasslands Prairie dogs, coyotes, badgers
Deserts Hot and dry deserts Fennec foxes, Mexican Coyotes, Thorny devil lizards
Coastal deserts Snakes, coyotes
Cold deserts Bisons, mule deer, caribou, wolves, Arctic fox
Semi-arid deserts Kangaroo rats, rabbits, skunks
Wetlands Marshes Racoons, beavers, muskrats
Ponds Ducks, geese, turtles, salamanders
Swamps Minks, egrets, white tailed deers, raccoons
Peat Bogs Frogs, turtles, insects and insect eating birds
Aquatic Habitat Freshwater Rivers Otters, crocodiles, catfish, amphibians
Lakes Fish, beavers, turtles, snakes, alligators
Marine Pelagic habitats Sea turtles, sharks, tuna, jellyfish, octopus and squids
Demersal habitats Rattails, hagfish, lumpfishes, eels

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Frequently Asked Questions on Animal habitats


How do terrestrial animals breathe?

The terrestrial animals breathe using lungs. They use the molecular oxygen present in the air.


What are the aquatic adaptations of animals?

Aquatic animals breathe through their gills and take in the dissolved oxygen present in water.


Name some animals present in the boreal forests?

Elk, lemmings and grizzly bears are animals present in the boreal forests.


What is a microhabitat?

A microhabitat is a smaller environment that subtly differs from its surrounding habitat and contains unique species which are absent in the larger habitat. E.g.: underside of a rock, a decomposing log.

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