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Animals of California Exploring Biodiversity in the 4 Regions Unit 2: Adaptations The Wonders of the Animal World.

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Presentation on theme: "Animals of California Exploring Biodiversity in the 4 Regions Unit 2: Adaptations The Wonders of the Animal World."— Presentation transcript:

1 Animals of California Exploring Biodiversity in the 4 Regions Unit 2: Adaptations The Wonders of the Animal World

2 A Closer Look at the Coast The Coastal region of California runs along the westernmost border of the state. From Baja to Oregon, the winding coastline guarantees spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. The weather of this area is TEMPERATE, ranging from 60 to 80 degrees. Cool ocean breezes and the Marine Layer bring in pleasant weather and moisture that is much needed by our state.

3 Mammals of the Coast: Meet the Bottlenose Dolphin An animal that is spotted frolicking in the Pacific is the Bottlenose Dolphin. These animals are highly intelligent, swift and curious. Note their sleek torpedo shaped bodies. These animals were meant for speed.

4 Mammals of the Coast: Take a Look at the California Sea Lion The California Sea Lion falls under the family of Pinnipeds. These animals can be found in the waters off of Northern California and are agile and adept swimmers. Sea Lions feed on fish of all sorts and have physical traits that make them very unusual.

5 Birds of the Coast: Taking Flight Over the Sea The California Coastline spans over HUNDREDS of miles. With that wide span of land, there is a HUGE range of birds that can be spotted soaring the skies. The bird to the right is the Marbled Murrelet. Other common California birds are Sea Gulls, Albatrosses, Pelicans and Terns.

6 Invertebrates of the Coast: Underwater Oddities Not only are there interesting animals found in the sea, on land, and in the air, but there are MORE interesting animals found along the ocean floor. The coast has tide pools, rocky crags, and sea ledges where a wide range of sea life can be found. Photo top right is the Warty Sea Cucumber. The photo to the bottom right is an example of the purple and red anemone.

7 Exploring the Desert The Desert Region of California is not a barren wasteland. The deserts of California are BRIMMING with a wide range of flora and fauna that reveals that this HOT territory is capable of sustaining an amazing BIODIVERSITY. Temperatures within this region range from 40 to 120 degrees depending on the season and time of day. The MOST famous desert in California is DEATH VALLEY. The lowest point in California where temperatures can reach DEADLY degrees.

8 Top Predators of the Desert Pumas and Coyotes The dry and craggy terrain of the desert seems empty and alone BUT do not be fooled. Wild animals can be stalking you as their next meal. The Puma, or Bobcat, or Cougar, along with the Coyote are skilled hunters who manage to eke out a life in this harsh area. Keen senses, a sandy coloring, and a vicious bite keep them on top of the food chain.

9 Birds of the Desert: Soaring to New Heights Though many will claim that the desert is no place to hunt, birds of prey can be spotted aloft in the skies, while smaller birds carve out an existence amongst the cactus and rocks. Photo top right, the Red- Tailed Hawk scans the skies for a meal. Photo bottom right, the Cactus Wren uses the cactus itself as a home and hunting ground.

10 Desert Creatures: Beasts Big and Small With little water found in the California Deserts, the majority of the animal life found are reptiles, rodents, and insects. All of these animals have adapted to the harsh environment and have carved out a niche existence for themselves. Ask yourself what makes the Roadrunner, the Rosy Boa, the Kangaroo Rat and the Desert Iguana readily adapted for survival?

11 The Central Valley The Central Valley is the FERTILE region of California. Laying between the Coasts and the Mountains, temperate weather and a steady flow of fresh water keeps agriculture growing. The Central Valley was once marked wide ranging forests, grasslands, meandering rivers and tributaries, now….irrigation and organized farms and orchards define this area that produces BILLIONS of tons of consumable food stuffs.

12 The Mammals of the Central Valley: Large Predators on the Prowl The Central Valley at one time was noted for its dense wooded forests and its rolling hills of grass and grains. Large predators such as Bears, Wolves, and Foxes can be found roaming the valley looking for an easy meal.

13 The Mammals of the Central Valley: Small Animals on the Run With its heavily wooded forests and the wide open fields of grass and grains, many smaller animals are found within the Central Valley region. Squirrels, Gophers, Hares, Rabbits along with Raccoons, Opossums and more can be found throughout the Valley. Photo top right, Grey Squirrels traditionally are found in the treetops. Photo bottom right, Gophers burrow and dig underground to stay protected and safe.

14 The Birds of the Central Valley With many insects due to the lush forests and fields, birds are common amongst the Central Valley. Birds keep the insect and fish populations in check, preventing crop failure. Photo top right, the Marsh Geese can be found in wetland areas. Photo bottom right, the Marsh Wren, lives in marshes and along riverbanks, feasting on insects near the water’s edges.

15 Creeping Across the Central Valley Insects, Amphibians, and Reptiles The Central Valley is a fertile region where the soil allows for plant diversity. With this explosion of plant life, many insects, amphibians and reptiles can be found. Photo top right, California Hairstreak Butterfly Photo right, Elderberry Longhorn Beetle Photo bottom right Green Toad.

16 The View from the Top: Looking at Animals of the Mountains California Mountains are majestic and memorable. From the local San Bernardino and San Gabriel Mountains to the Sierra Nevada Range, these mountains have helped create fertile valleys and dry deserts. The Mountain Region is marked with cooler temperatures. As one goes HIGHER in elevation, the temperature generally decreases. California’s Mountain Regions are filled with a wide selection of wildlife. Insects, Birds, Mammals, Reptiles and Amphibians can be found in this ONE region.

17 The Might of the Mountain Predators on the Top In the mountains of California, you need to watch out for Bears, Wolves, and Mountain Lions. Large Mammals are the APEX predators in this region. With their muscled bodies, sharp claws and teeth, they are hunters on the prowl.

18 Birds of the Mountain Many birds can be found along the mountains of California. Owls, Eagles, Condors, Wrens, Finches and more fly about the wooded mountains in search of food. With so many different types of birds, they each serve a role in maintaining balance within nature.

19 The Middle Tier of the Mountain With dense forests and a wide variety of plant life, animals like Deer, Squirrels, Chipmunks, Raccoons, and more fill the middle level of the Mountain. These smaller mammals inhabit the region and serve a function within nature. From insect control to dispersing seeds, these smaller mammals serve a vital role within Nature’s circle of life and renewal.

20 Bugs & Other Beasts of the Mountain Mountains are FILLED with biodiversity. Mammals and Birds are represented in abundance BUT we need to also focus on the mysterious little animals found along the mountain trails. Mountains are teeming with thousands of types of insects, lizards, snakes and more. They can be found creeping and crawling in caves, the woodland floor, and so many more hidden places. Note how one region is capable of sustaining such a wide variety of wildlife.

21 Regional Wrap-Up Note that with 4 DISTINCT regions, the plant and animal life adapts accordingly. Each region has established weather/climate, geographic features and Animals that can survive in these regions have ADAPTED to survive. ADAPTATIONS are changes that allow for an organism to survive its environment. These ADAPTATIONS are then passed along to successive generations.


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