Habitats Are Happenin’ HavensFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Eds Note: Photos Available
HABITATS ARE HAPPENIN' HAVENS
More Than Meets The Eye In These Communities Of Plant And Animal Life
LISLE, IL (June 3, 2009) - The whimsical, imaginative Animal Houses exhibition shines a spotlight on the importance of trees and other habitats for the creatures. These habitats are quite remarkable for their interesting features:
Prairies are grasslands, where tall grasses are the most common kind of plant. Prairies also have some beautiful flowering plants such as goldenrods, coneflowers, and asters.
Prairies grow where there are hot summers, cold winters, and not enough rainfall for most trees. The plants have deep roots, bend without breaking in the wind, and can move their leaves away from direct sunshine to reduce moisture loss.
Grasshoppers, butterflies, and beetles feed on prairie plants. Birds such as meadow larks and sparrows eat grass seeds and insects. Insects also attract spiders, snakes, and small mammals that feed on them. Larger predators, like coyote and hawk, move in to catch the smaller animals.
Woodlands usually contain a variety of different kinds of trees, bushes, and other plants. You find woodlands in places that receive plenty of rainfall, or along rivers in drier climates.
Trees can typically provide shelter for birds and squirrels perching high above fox, snakes, and other predators. Tree shade keeps the forest floor cool and moist, the perfect environment for mushrooms, snails, and toads. Woodlands are also home to larger mammals such as deer, raccoon, and badgers.
When broadleaf trees drop their leaves in fall, woodland animals move away, hibernate, or do their best to manage with less food through the winter.
Wetlands, habitats with water (part of the year), have plants that can live in the water or very wet soil. As water flows through wetlands, plants and soil filter and clean it. Oxygen rich air dissolves in water as it flows over rocks.
Wetlands are nurseries for many large birds, such as herons, cranes, and egrets, and insects, such as dragonflies, damselflies, and mosquitoes, breed in wetlands. These become dinner for larger animals, such as birds, fish, frogs, snakes, and skunks.
There are laws to protect wetlands because they are critical to the health of the environment and they are breeding grounds for endangered animals.
Media Contact: Gina Tedesco, (office) 630-725-2103,