Word Power | World Habitats

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Learn the words encircle, frigid, devoid, thrive, nourishment, uninhabitable, temperate, array, innumerable, and coexist in the context of world habitats from the Word Power series of English Plus Podcast.

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World Habitats

The earth is divided into separate ecological systems, or biomes, as they are sometimes called. The divisions are based upon climate and vegetation. Within each system are ecological communities that sustain their own plant and animal habitats.

The seemingly barren region that encircles the North Pole is marked by long, cold winters. Nevertheless, it is home to many types of plants and animals. Mosses and grasses exist in the frozen tundra. Bears, moose, ducks, weasels, and squirrels can also be found there.

Frigid, dry, and icy, Antarctica at the South Pole is almost devoid of plants. Surprisingly, though, it is rich in animal life, which thrives, thanks to nourishment provided by the sea. Microscopic sea life feeds multitudes of tiny floating animals called zooplankton. These become food for a variety of birds, fish, and mammals.

Even more uninhabitable than the regions at the polar tips of the earth is the desert. Extreme heat and a lack of water make this a hostile environment for living organisms. Nevertheless, many plants, such as cacti, and animals, such as camels, lizards, and other reptiles, have managed to survive in these hot, dry conditions.

Not as dry as deserts nor as moist as forests or jungles, grasslands are most abundant in the temperate regions of the earth. Grasslands boast a wide array of wildlife. Plants, insects, reptiles, birds, and a wide assortment of mammals can be found in the grasslands. Savannas are tropical grasslands with trees, shrubs, and grasses that support exotic wildlife. The African savanna, for example, is home to herds of wildebeest, elephants, and gazelles, as well as black rhinoceros, giraffes, hippopotamuses, and lions.

Jungles support the greatest variety of plant and animal life on earth. Although they cover less than 6 percent of the world’s land surface, these regions are the habitats for innumerable species of plants and animals. Their rainy, hot climate is ideal for supporting dense plant growth and large numbers of animals. Because climate changes with altitude, a mountain can contain more than one ecological system. Mountains are the home of predators, such as snow leopards and golden eagles. These animals can coexist in a mountain setting with foragers, such as Himalayan ibexes and Alpine voles.

Word list

To encircle something or someone means to surround or enclose them, or to go round them.

surround, ring, circle, enclose

The seemingly barren region that encircles the North Pole is marked by long, cold winters.

frigid means extremely cold.

freezing, cold, frozen, icy

frigid, dry, and icy, Antarctica at the South Pole is almost devoid of plants.

If you say that someone or something is devoid of a quality or thing, you are emphasizing that they have none of it.

lacking in, without, free from, wanting in

Frigid, dry, and icy, Antarctica at the South Pole is almost devoid of plants.

If someone or something thrives, they do well and are successful, healthy, or strong.

prosper, do well, flourish, increase

Surprisingly, though, it is rich in animal life, which thrives, thanks to nourishment provided by the sea.

If something provides a person, animal, or plant with nourishment, it provides them with the food that is necessary for life, growth, and good health.

food, nutrition, sustenance, nutriment

Surprisingly, though, it is rich in animal life, which thrives, thanks to nourishment provided by the sea.

If a place is uninhabitable, it is impossible for people to live there, for example because it is dangerous or unhealthy.

not capable of being lived in

Even more uninhabitable than the regions at the polar tips of the earth is the desert.

temperate is used to describe a climate or a place which is never extremely hot or extremely cold.

mild, moderate, balmy, fair

Not as dry as deserts nor as moist as forests or jungles, grasslands are most abundant in the temperate regions of the earth.

An array of different things or people is a large number or wide range of them.

An array of objects is a collection of them that is displayed or arranged in a particular way.

Grasslands boast a wide array of wildlife. Plants, insects, reptiles, birds, and a wide assortment of mammals can be found in the grasslands.

innumerable means very many, or too many to be counted.

countless, many, numerous, infinite

Although they cover less than 6 percent of the world’s land surface, these regions are the habitats for innumerable species of plants and animals.

If one thing coexists with another, they exist together at the same time or in the same place. You can also say that two things coexist.

To live together in peace

These animals can coexist in a mountain setting with foragers, such as Himalayan ibexes and Alpine voles.

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