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Life Cycles: Extreme Cycling!

In this worksheet, students learn about the life cycles of animals found in hot and cold desert habitats created by the Earth's tilt.

'Life Cycles: Extreme Cycling!' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  Living Things and Their Habitats

Curriculum subtopic:  Reproduction: Plants and Animals

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

The picture shows the tilt of the Earth as it orbits the sun.

Places on Earth that have extreme temperatures and very little water available to plant life are known as deserts.

The North and South Poles are the places on Earth which receive the least energy from the sun, this makes the poles permanently cold (freezing temperatures all the time). These places are known as cold deserts.

The equator is an imaginary line that is drawn around the centre of the Earth's surface. It divides the Earth into two halves or hemispheres. In the UK we live in the Northern hemisphere. Places at the equator receive the most energy from the sun, making them hot and dry. These places are known as hot deserts.

Due to a lot of things we do on Earth, like burning fossil fuels, our planet is slowly getting warmer. This is known as global warming and is causing climate change.

Due to climate change, some of the ice that covers large areas of the Arctic circle is melting. Many scientists predict that the arctic summer in 2040 will be completely ice free if we do not take urgent action to slow climate change now. They also predict that if we do not do something to stop climate change then desertification of parts of the Earth may occur. This means that even more of the Earth's surface could become desert.

Complete this sentence.

Places on Earth which have extreme temperatures and very little or no water available to plant life are called ___________ .

freezers

deserts

desserts

Complete this sentence.

The North and South Poles are examples of ____________.

food chains

ice and snow

cold deserts

Complete this sentence.

Frozen water at the poles means that _______________.

 

plants cannot grow

it looks nice

it is very slippery

Choose the three reasons why plants are essential in habitats.

animals reproduce in and on plants

they smell nice

they look good

they provide shelter

they make food for herbivores

Which three animals are adapted to living in the Arctic circle, close to the North Pole?

turtle

walrus

elephants

polar bears

moose

Reindeer can also be found in the Arctic circle.

Winter in the Arctic circle is very cold and deep snow covers the ground. During these winters, reindeer often migrate from open grassland to forest.

Migrations help the reindeer to survive the cold winters.

 

Select two advantages of migration from the list below.

Bears and wolverines also live in the forest so they will also have more food.

There is less snow on the ground in forest regions, making it easier to find food.

The trees provide shelter from the worst of the weather and it is slightly warmer.

Which three of these animals are adapted to living in hot deserts?

meerkats

humans

lizards

sidewinder rattlesnake

sperm whales

The ostrich is a bird that also lives on the African savannah.

The male ostrich has black feathers and often incubates eggs in the nest during the night.

 

Why does the male ostrich incubate the eggs at night and not during the day?

Its black feathers camouflage the bird against the night sky, this means predators struggle to find the nest.

It is out hunting for food during the day.

Due to climate change, some of the ice that covers large areas of the Arctic circle is melting. 

What would happen to the numbers of polar bears that live in the Arctic if the current rate of climate change is not slowed down?

Nothing, they'll adapt to the change and carry on as before.

They will decrease because the bears will not be able to access food sources like seals.

They will increase, animals prefer warmth and often breed more when it is warmer.

Flamingos live in mudflats and swamps in regions such as southern Europe which is at risk of desertification. They build nests on the mudflat using mud and other materials such as small branches from trees.

What would happen to the number of flamingo eggs that successfully hatch in these areas if desertification was to occur?

They would decrease.

They would increase.

  • Question 1

Complete this sentence.

Places on Earth which have extreme temperatures and very little or no water available to plant life are called ___________ .

CORRECT ANSWER
deserts
EDDIE SAYS
There are both cold and hot deserts.
  • Question 2

Complete this sentence.

The North and South Poles are examples of ____________.

CORRECT ANSWER
cold deserts
EDDIE SAYS
Fresh water here is not available to plants and animals because it is frozen.
  • Question 3

Complete this sentence.

Frozen water at the poles means that _______________.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
plants cannot grow
EDDIE SAYS
Plants need liquid water to germinate and grow. If the water is frozen, plant roots cannot take up this essential liquid.
  • Question 4

Choose the three reasons why plants are essential in habitats.

CORRECT ANSWER
animals reproduce in and on plants
they provide shelter
they make food for herbivores
EDDIE SAYS
Most food chains start with a plant. Without the plants there can be no animal life because there's nothing to eat! Plants also provide shelter and nesting places for a wide range of animals.
  • Question 5

Which three animals are adapted to living in the Arctic circle, close to the North Pole?

CORRECT ANSWER
walrus
polar bears
moose
EDDIE SAYS
There are many animals which have very special adaptations to life in the freezer!
Most of the animals that live in the Arctic are large and covered in thick fur. They also have lots of blubber (body fat) which they can use to give them energy when food is in short supply.
  • Question 6

Reindeer can also be found in the Arctic circle.

Winter in the Arctic circle is very cold and deep snow covers the ground. During these winters, reindeer often migrate from open grassland to forest.

Migrations help the reindeer to survive the cold winters.

 

Select two advantages of migration from the list below.

CORRECT ANSWER
There is less snow on the ground in forest regions, making it easier to find food.
The trees provide shelter from the worst of the weather and it is slightly warmer.
EDDIE SAYS
Some reindeer migrate over 3000 miles from grasslands to forest regions. Did you know that a reindeer can outrun an Olympic-standard sprinter when only a few days old?
  • Question 7

Which three of these animals are adapted to living in hot deserts?

CORRECT ANSWER
meerkats
lizards
sidewinder rattlesnake
EDDIE SAYS
The animals that live in the hot desert usually have special adaptations that allow them to survive the extreme temperatures and conditions.
  • Question 8

The ostrich is a bird that also lives on the African savannah.

The male ostrich has black feathers and often incubates eggs in the nest during the night.

 

Why does the male ostrich incubate the eggs at night and not during the day?

CORRECT ANSWER
Its black feathers camouflage the bird against the night sky, this means predators struggle to find the nest.
EDDIE SAYS
Male ostriches often live in large groups surrounded by females. The eggs from all the females in the group are placed into one single nest.
  • Question 9

Due to climate change, some of the ice that covers large areas of the Arctic circle is melting. 

What would happen to the numbers of polar bears that live in the Arctic if the current rate of climate change is not slowed down?

CORRECT ANSWER
They will decrease because the bears will not be able to access food sources like seals.
EDDIE SAYS
Polar bears hunt for seals swimming under the ice in the polar regions. If this ice melts then the Arctic ocean will have much more open water (less frozen) and the seals will be able to hide in deeper seas further away from the ice. Polar bears will starve and eventually die out.
  • Question 10

Flamingos live in mudflats and swamps in regions such as southern Europe which is at risk of desertification. They build nests on the mudflat using mud and other materials such as small branches from trees.

What would happen to the number of flamingo eggs that successfully hatch in these areas if desertification was to occur?

CORRECT ANSWER
They would decrease.
EDDIE SAYS
If swamp land and mudflats become desert then there will be less space for flamingos to nest and lay eggs.
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