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Do Habitats Change Every Day?

In this worksheet students explore the sorts of changes that occur in a variety of habitats over a 24 hour period and how different plants and animals have adapted to those changes.

'Do Habitats Change Every Day?' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:  Biology: Interactions and Interdependencies

Curriculum subtopic:  Relationships in an Ecosystem

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Sometimes living somewhere can be a real challenge - it may get hot and then cold, be wet and then dry, be covered in seawater and then uncovered, all in a single day! The organisms living in the habitat have to be able to cope with these changes and many of them adapt to do so.

 

This worksheet explores these sorts of changes, and where they occur, and also looks at what sorts of adaptations that organisms have developed in order to survive there.

 

In a wood, what sorts of dramatic changes do you think that plants and animals have to cope with over a 24 hour period?

Tick any that you think may change significantly over 24 hours.

light to dark

very cold to very hot

wet to dry

tide in to tide out

high oxygen to low oxygen

 

Now thinking about life in a river, what sorts of dramatic changes do you think that plants and animals have to cope with over a 24 hour period?

Tick any that you think may change significantly over 24 hours.

light to dark

very cold to very hot

wet to dry

tide in to tide out

high oxygen to low oxygen

 

A surprising number of organisms live in deserts, so what sorts of dramatic changes do you think that plants and animals have to cope with over a 24 hour period?

Tick any that you think may change significantly over 24 hours.

light to dark

very cold to very hot

wet to dry

tide in to tide out

high oxygen to low oxygen

 

The Antarctic has its own set of factors to adapt to, so what sorts of dramatic changes do you think that plants and animals have to cope with over a 24 hour period?

Tick any that you think may change significantly over 24 hours.

light to dark

very cold to very hot

wet to dry

tide in to tide out

high oxygen to low oxygen

 

What about the organisms that have chosen the seashore as their home?  What sorts of dramatic changes do you think that plants and animals living there have to cope with over a 24 hour period?

Tick any that you think may change significantly over 24 hours.

light to dark

very cold to very hot

wet to dry

tide in to tide out

high oxygen to low oxygen

This woodland mammal adjusts to these daily changes by spending most of the day underground and coming out at dusk to forage for food over the night, returning to its home around dawn.

 

Which mammal do you think this describes?

squirrel

woodpecker

badger

This seashore animal has adapted to daily changes by moving slowly around its home rock when it is covered by the sea, feeding on algae. Once the tide goes out it settles in one place and pulls its shell tightly over itself to avoid drying out.

 

Which animal do you think is described here?

limpet

crab

sea anenome

This pond plant has adapted to the daily changes in its habitat by having flowers that open in the morning, when the insects are about, and then closing at night.

 

Which plant do you think fits that description?

duckweed

water lily

Canadian pondweed

This farmland bird is designed to deal with the daily changes in light by being adapted to hunt for its prey at night. It has large forward-facing eyes, sharp talons on its feet and its feathers are designed to fly in 'stealth mode' - it's a NOCTURNAL predator.

 

Which bird might this be?

heron

kestrel

barn owl

This American reptile lives in desert conditions where it is often very hot in the day and surprisingly cold at night. As a result the animal is active, out hunting, only around dawn and dusk.

 

Which reptile do you think might fit this description?

rattlesnake

red-necked terrapin

cane toad

  • Question 1

 

In a wood, what sorts of dramatic changes do you think that plants and animals have to cope with over a 24 hour period?

Tick any that you think may change significantly over 24 hours.

CORRECT ANSWER
light to dark
EDDIE SAYS
You can be forgiven for ticking more than one, but it's only really a day/night thing! With wet/dry it might rain and then the sun comes out, but a wood is not going to dry out significantly in 24 hours creating hardship for its inhabitants, neither is the temperature going to change significantly. The oxygen level will vary a little but it won't affect the community.
  • Question 2

 

Now thinking about life in a river, what sorts of dramatic changes do you think that plants and animals have to cope with over a 24 hour period?

Tick any that you think may change significantly over 24 hours.

CORRECT ANSWER
light to dark
wet to dry
EDDIE SAYS
Once again day/night will change things for the community and it is quite possible for the river level to change over a 24 hour period following heavy rain (or a lack of it), so organisms living at the margins of the river, or in the bank, will be affected. Once again temperature is fairly stable and the oxygen levels won't change significantly (unless a kingfisher's nest burrow is flooded, but it cannot adapt to that!).
  • Question 3

 

A surprising number of organisms live in deserts, so what sorts of dramatic changes do you think that plants and animals have to cope with over a 24 hour period?

Tick any that you think may change significantly over 24 hours.

CORRECT ANSWER
light to dark
very cold to very hot
wet to dry
EDDIE SAYS
The desert is a tough environment, even over a single day: it can have a 50°C fluctuation in the temperature and go from waterless to flooded; many plants, for example, respond to such changes by taking advantage of the extra water by flowering. They, too, have to cope with the change from day to night.
  • Question 4

 

The Antarctic has its own set of factors to adapt to, so what sorts of dramatic changes do you think that plants and animals have to cope with over a 24 hour period?

Tick any that you think may change significantly over 24 hours.

CORRECT ANSWER
light to dark
tide in to tide out
EDDIE SAYS
This is an interesting one because the day/night issue has less significance here than almost anywhere else, bearing in mind that in winter it's 24 hour darkness and in summer it's 24 hour light! However, in between, there is a daily change. The temperature is always cold but doesn't change much over 24 hours. It snows but isn't wet; however, organisms living at the edges of the continent have to cope with daily tidal changes.
  • Question 5

 

What about the organisms that have chosen the seashore as their home?  What sorts of dramatic changes do you think that plants and animals living there have to cope with over a 24 hour period?

Tick any that you think may change significantly over 24 hours.

CORRECT ANSWER
light to dark
wet to dry
tide in to tide out
high oxygen to low oxygen
EDDIE SAYS
The seashore is a very challenging environment to inhabit (much more so than the sea itself, which is very stable) because the tide goes in and out each day, causing periods of wet and dry and also, for many inhabitants of rock pools, changes in the amount of oxygen as the sun warms the pool and the amount of oxygen decreases significantly. Add to that the day/night changes and it's a tough place to live!
  • Question 6

This woodland mammal adjusts to these daily changes by spending most of the day underground and coming out at dusk to forage for food over the night, returning to its home around dawn.

 

Which mammal do you think this describes?

CORRECT ANSWER
badger
EDDIE SAYS
The badger lives in its underground sett during the day and emerges at dusk to trundle off looking for earthworms, snails and so on. The squirrel is more active by day and the woodpecker is a bird.
  • Question 7

This seashore animal has adapted to daily changes by moving slowly around its home rock when it is covered by the sea, feeding on algae. Once the tide goes out it settles in one place and pulls its shell tightly over itself to avoid drying out.

 

Which animal do you think is described here?

CORRECT ANSWER
limpet
EDDIE SAYS
The limpet is that cone-shaped shelled animal (mollusc) which feeds on the rocky shore - it has a 'home' spot to which it returns when the tide goes out. The sea anenome is the jellyfish living on the side of rock pools with the waving tentacles (and no shell!).
  • Question 8

This pond plant has adapted to the daily changes in its habitat by having flowers that open in the morning, when the insects are about, and then closing at night.

 

Which plant do you think fits that description?

CORRECT ANSWER
water lily
EDDIE SAYS
The water lily has those large leaves you see on the surface of the pond and large pretty flowers which close up at night. Duckweed rarely flowers and Canadian pondweed has male and female flowers on different plants.
  • Question 9

This farmland bird is designed to deal with the daily changes in light by being adapted to hunt for its prey at night. It has large forward-facing eyes, sharp talons on its feet and its feathers are designed to fly in 'stealth mode' - it's a NOCTURNAL predator.

 

Which bird might this be?

CORRECT ANSWER
barn owl
EDDIE SAYS
The barn owl is that lovely light brown/pale cream coloured owl with the large eyes and soft feathers which its prey (mice and voles mainly) don't hear until it's too late. The kestrel is a day-flying hawk and the heron hunts by day in rivers and ponds with its long beak.
  • Question 10

This American reptile lives in desert conditions where it is often very hot in the day and surprisingly cold at night. As a result the animal is active, out hunting, only around dawn and dusk.

 

Which reptile do you think might fit this description?

CORRECT ANSWER
rattlesnake
EDDIE SAYS
The rattlesnake is an American predator that hunts at either end of the day when the temperature is not extreme - reptiles cannot control their own temperatures as mammals can. The terrapin is a water-dweller, so does not suffer such extremes and the cane toad is an amphibian.
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