Pond Vocabulary Words and Meanings

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1 Pond Vocabulary Words and Meanings Adapt: to adjust to a use or situation Aquatic: from or in the water Bacteria: tiny organisms, too small to be seen with the naked eye Carnivore: an animal that eats other animals Conserve: to protect habitats and wildlife; plants and animals Gill: an opening on the site of a fish s head through which it breathes Habitat: the place where an animal or plant lives; their environment Herbivore: an animal that eats only plants Larva: a young insect that has hatched from an egg, which then grows and turns into an adult Life cycle: the changes an animal or plant goes through from birth to death Mammal: an animal with hair that feeds it young with milk from the mother Marsh: wet ground near a lake or river; swamp Microscopic: too small to see with the naked eye, but visible with a microscope Pond: a small pool of water, often with many different types of animals and plants Predator: any animal that lives by hunting and catching other animals for food Prey: animals that are killed by other animals for food 1

2 Pond Information A pond can be divided into 3 areas. 1. Open Water (the surface center of the pond) 2. Muddy Bottom (in the pond, under the water) 3. Shallows (at the edge of the pond) The surface of the pond is covered by: 1. floating plants 2. large water lily leaves 3. insects 4. small birds that run across the leaves 5. microscopic plants 6. small organisms called plankton 7. algae 8. small animals, hydra, and insect larva The bottom of the pond is covered with mud. 1. Some animals live on top of the mud 2. Some animals live in the mud and search for food. The shallow part of the pond is along the edge. You will find: 1. plant roots 2. frogs, toads, and other small animals looking for food 3. small animals that use the plants along the edge of the pond for shelter. Some Pond Animals and Plants Water Lily Dragonfly Vole Pond Snail Iris Kingfisher Rushes and Reeds Frogs and Toads Water Beetle Insect Larva Perch Tadpoles Newt Stickleback Water Spider Water Striders Turtles Cattails Pike Swans Ducks Heron Butterflies Geese 2

3 Pond Life: The Surface The life on the surface of the pond gets a lot of sun. Plants need plenty of sun to grow. The water lily has broad leaves that are on the surface of the pond. It gathers energy from the sun. The roots of the water lily hang down into the deeper water of the pond. Many animals live on the surface of the pond. Water striders, water spiders, and beetles move easily across the top of the water because they are so light. Many insects are on the surface of the water, too. Some live in the water and come to the surface to get air. Plankton grows in the water and is used as food by many animals. 1. The surface of the pond a. has many earthworms. b. has water spiders moving along the surface. c. has water lily pads. d. both b and c. 2. Microscopic means a. large and easy to see. b. muddy. c. small, not visible to the naked eye. d. aquatic animals. 3. Many animals get their food from a. the sun. b. plankton. c. air.. 4. The sun a. helps plants grow. b. lights the earth. c. warms the pond. d. all of the above. 3

4 Pond life: The Muddy Bottom The bottom of the pond is muddy. Decaying dead leaves and animals sink to the bottom and form part of the mud. The mud is also full of fungi and bacteria. They help break down the dead animals and plants. This process helps provide nutrients for the plants to grow. The mud can be very deep in places. It is often very badsmelling, too. The larvae of many insects crawl on the top of the mud. They often stay there all day because it protects them from other animals. Some animals, like ducks and turtles, hunt for food in the muddy areas. Turtles spend the winter asleep in the mud. The muddy bottom is an important part of the pond habitat. 1. What helps form the muddy bottom of the pond? a. deer b. birds c. decaying leaves and animals. 2. Fungi and bacteria help a. turtles sleep through the winter. b. protect other animals. c. provide nutrients for plants by breaking down plants. 3. Larvae a. live on the surface of the mud. b. stay in the mud to hide from predators. c. can be food for other animals. d. all of the above 4. Turtles a. stay on the surface of the pond in the winter. b. sleep in the mud during the winter. c. don t do well in ponds. 4

5 Pond Plants There are many types of plants that live in the pond habitat. Aquatic plants contain air. These plants are buoyant. That means they are able to float on the top of the water. The plants that float on the top of the water get a lot of light from the sun. The plants get energy and make food from the sun. This is called photosynthesis. Plants help the pond habitat. They produce an element called oxygen. Animals need oxygen to live. There are tiny plants called algae that live in the pond. Sometimes the whole surface of the pond is covered with a green blanket of algae. Algae float on the surface. Some plants, like the cattail, live at the edge of the pond. The cattail has a big slender head filled with seeds at the top of its long stem. When the outer cover breaks open, the seeds fly away and plant more cattails along the pond s edge. Plants are an important part of the pond habitat. 1. The process of changing the sun s energy into food is called a. algae. b. habitat. c. photosynthesis. d. aquatic. 2. Aquatic means a. lives in or on water. b. To change sunlight to food. c. To float. d. buoyant. 3. In this article, green blanket refers to a. algae. b. cattails. c. muddy bottom. d. the pond. 4. Habitat means a. the sun. b. plants. c. the place plants and animals live. 5

6 Animals in the Pond The largest animals in the pond are fish. They come in various sizes. The stickleback is very small. Some fish, such as the pike, are very large. Fish swim in the pond water to get from place to place looking for food. They have gills to breathe. A gill is an opening on the site of a fish s head, through which it breathes. The gill helps filter out some of the pond material, like plankton. The fish feed on the small animals and plants. A large carp will even hunt larger animals, like the cygnets (baby swans) or ducklings. The stickleback is an interesting fish. It lays its eggs in a nest. The male makes a nest at the bottom of the pond in the mud. If the female stickleback likes the nest, she will use it to lay her eggs. There are many animals outside the pond, too. Birds, including herons, swans, and ducks, live on the shores of the pond and use the pond to find food. Butterflies, deer, and many other animals find the pond habitat inviting, and can be seen along the shores. The quiet pond is busy with life. 1. Gills a. help fish breathe. b. are a type of fish. c. help fish bite their prey. d. all of the above 2. The stickleback is a a. bird. b. fish. c. turtle. d. mammal. 3. A cygnet is a a. baby duck. b. baby turtle. c. baby swan. d. baby heron. 6

7 Answer Sheet Page 3 1. d 2. c 3. b 4. d Page 4 1. c 2. c 3. d 4. b Page 5 1. c 2. a 3. a 4. c Page 6 1. a 2. b 3. c 7

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