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1059 Main Avenue

Clifton, NJ 07011

07:30 - 19:00

Monday to Friday

123 456 789


Goldsmith Hall

New York, NY 90210

07:30 - 19:00

Monday to Friday

Habitat Studies

Habitat Studies

Introduction: (Initial Observation)

A habitat is the area or environment where an organism or ecological community normally lives or occurs. Habitats are very important to all animals and their survival. The purpose of this project is to understand the importance of a habitat and look into different habitats of several animals. After studying habitats, you will research and create a habitat of the animal that most interested you in your studies.


This project guide contains information that you need in order to start your project. If you have any questions or need more support about this project, click on the “Ask Question” button on the top of this page to send me a message.

If you are new in doing science project, click on “How to Start” in the main page. There you will find helpful links that describe different types of science projects, scientific method, variables, hypothesis, graph, abstract and all other general basics that you need to know.

Project advisor

Information Gathering:

Find out about what you want to investigate. Read books, magazines or ask professionals who might know in order to learn about the effect or area of study. Keep track of where you got your information from.

Research and Project Ideas:

Habitats to choose from:

grasslands (savanna), temperate forest, tropical rain forest, desert, polar ice (tundra), tide pools, pond, ocean and more…

Grasslands (savanna):

Research the speeds of animals that live in the African grasslands.


Create a display that compares the different speeds of these animals. Write an explanation for why speed is important for survival in the grasslands. (There are few trees or places for animals to hide in grasslands habitats. Therefore, speed is important for both predators that are hunting and animals that are fleeing predators.)

Temperate forest:

Explain to students that in the winter, less water is available for trees to take in through their roots, because much of the water in the ground is frozen. Since trees lose water through their leaves, losing leaves is a way for a tree to conserve water. Coniferous trees do not lose nearly as much water through their needles as deciduous trees lose through their leaves.


Put a twig from a coniferous tree (cone-bearing tree with needles instead of leaves) in a cup of water, and tightly fasten a clear plastic bag around its needles. Put a twig from a deciduous tree (leafy tree that loses its leaves in the fall) in a cup of water, and tightly fasten a clear plastic bag around the leaves. Observe what happens. Draw pictures and write an explanation for what you observed. (There will be more water droplets on the inside of the bag covering the leaves, showing that leaves lose more water than do needles.)

Tropical rain forest:

Describe the three main levels of the rain forest—canopy, understory, and forest floor.


Make a diagram or model showing examples of animals and plants that live on each level. Choose an animal or plant from each level and explain how it is adapted to its particular place in the tropical rain forest. (Canopy examples: monkeys can use arms and legs and sometimes even tails to swing from branch to branch; birds such as parrots have specialized feet with two curling front toes and two curling back toes to help them hang on to branches. Understory example: snakes such as boa constrictors spend their days curled around branches or vines. Forest floor example: jaguars’ spots help them to be better hunters by making them hard to see among the speckled shadows of the rain forest floor.)


Choose a desert animal or plant.


Make a model of it, draw it, or describe it. Explain how it is particularly well adapted to survive in a place where there is very little water. (Plant example: the saguaro cactus has an expanding trunk that allows it to take in a great deal of water when water is available. The saguaro has stored-up water during the long desert dry periods. Animal examples: many desert animals dig burrows in the sand to stay cool in the intense heat; many desert animals sleep during the day and are active at night, when the temperature is lower.)

Polar ice:

Research both the polar bear (North Pole) and the penguin (South Pole).


Draw or make a model of each animal. For each animal, explain at least three ways—physical or behavioral characteristics—in which it is well adapted for life in a very cold and snowy climate. (Polar bear examples: two layers of fur and an extra layer of fat under its skin keep it warm; ears are very small so that very little heat can escape from them; paws are huge to help spread out its weight over the snow and keep it from sinking in; it builds snow dens to keep its babies warm in winter; it has white fur that helps it blend in to its surroundings.)


Explain how a tidepool is formed, and describe several animals that are found in tidepools.


Make two models of a tidepool—one at high tide and one at low tide. Use sand, rocks, salt water, and other materials (e.g., modeling clay) for your models. Draw at least three tidepool animals and explain how they survive in a constantly changing habitat (sometimes wet, sometimes dry). (Examples: periwinkles, limpets, and barnacles attach themselves to rocks by suction so they will not be swept away when the tide goes out; the incoming tide brings food to clams, oysters, and mussels—all they have to do is open up their shells and tiny bits of animals and plants flow in.)

Habitat display project is not limited to animals. You may want to study and make a display for plants habitat specially some wild flowers, mushroom and etc.

Food Chain

You may use drawings or plastic models to show different animals in their food chain hierarchy.

Question/ Purpose:

What do you want to find out? Write a statement that describes what you want to do. Use your observations and questions to write the statement. Following is a sample:

The purpose of this project is to display the habitat of a rabbit and find out where a rabbit stands in a food chain.

You may choose any other animal instead of rabbit.

Identify Variables:

When you think you know what variables may be involved, think about ways to change one at a time. If you change more than one at a time, you will not know what variable is causing your observation. Sometimes variables are linked and work together to cause something. At first, try to choose variables that you think act independently of each other.
Identifying variables is not required for a display project.


Based on your gathered information, make an educated guess about what types of things affect the system you are working with. Identifying variables is necessary before you can make a hypothesis.

Suggesting a hypothesis is not required for a display project.

Experiment Design:

Design display to show a habitat of any animal of your choice. As a part of your habitat display you must show the food in which your animal feeds. This can also lead to a food chain display.
Recreate the habitat that you researched either on a poster board or a shoe box. Your habitat display is also known as Biome Box. If you choose to do a poster board, have different animals of the habitat and a description of how they survive and what they are adapted to. Also include the temperature and other living conditions of the area. If you choose to do a shoe box display, recreate the habitat by having animals of that habitat there and the appropriate surroundings.

The following questions can help you design your animal habitat:

  1. What does your animal eat to survive?
  2. How does it obtain the food and eat it?
  3. What are its possible enemies?
  4. How does it protect from its enemies?
  5. What are its special features for survival in your environment?
  6. What elements may bring its extinction?
  7. Does your habitat offer safe places that your animal can move around and sleep?
  8. Does your animal hatch eggs or have babies?
  9. Does your habitat offer safe places that your animals off springs can grow up?

Sample Procedure:

A pond is a habitat for many different animals. Any of those animals can be the main subject of your display. Insects, frog, snake, rabbit, birds (including hawk), deer, wolf and wild cats are among the animals that may be found around a pond. Many of such animals live around a pond in order to have access to water and food.

To make a model of pond, start with a cardboard (or foam board) about 20 inches by 30 inches. Draw a blue/green body of water on the center of your cardboard. Paint the pond with water based colors. You may be more creative and paste a layer of cellophane on the body of water to give it the natural shine of water. You may also draw small waves for the pond.

All food chains start with plants. Either draw or glue model plants on your board. A local craft store may have all material that you need to simulate the plants around the pond. For the grass background, first paint it green; let it dry; then apply some white glue on that and while the glue is wet, sprinkle some dry vegetables or small pieces of green fabric or green crepe paper.

Inside the pond you will need fishes, frogs, or maybe a turtle. You may draw these in the pound; however, it is best if you make them using paper or modeling paste and place them on the pond area.

Around the pond, also put some trees. Some small – dry bushes or weeds may look like a tree in your model. Feel free to use them with or without painting them. You may also make paper trees or buy model trees from a craft store. Trees are usually away from the water. Some birds live on trees and some animals rest in the shades of trees.

Make varieties of animals using paper or modeling clay for your pond habitat. Make sure to include the animal that is the main subject of your project. (Such as rabbit)
You may use small plastic animals

It is important to include some writings with your display. Write about the main animal of your project, its habitat, its foods and its enemies. Your writings must have the answer to all of the following questions.

  1. What does your animal eat to survive?
  2. How does it obtain the food and eat it?
  3. What are its possible enemies?
  4. How does it protect from its enemies?
  5. What are its special features for survival in your environment?
  6. What elements may bring its extinction?
  7. Does your habitat offer safe places that your animal can move around and sleep?
  8. Does your animal hatch eggs or have babies?
  9. Does your habitat offer safe places that your animals off springs can grow up?

For example about a rabbit you may write:

Rabbits are mammals with long ears and short fuzzy tails. They can be black, white, brown, gray or mixed colors. They can weigh between two and eleven pounds and be 12 to 24 inches long. There are many different kinds of rabbits.

In a rabbit’s habitat you may find scattered brushes and grass, young evergreen branches near to the ground, corn, weeds, brush pile, fertile soil, den.

Rabbits eats bark, buds and twigs, fruit, grass, herb.
Rabbits may be eaten by a bobcat, coyote, fox, hawk, mountain lion, owl.

Materials and Equipment:

1.) Research Materials on habitat

2.) Either a poster board or shoebox for your display.

3.) Materials for your poster or 3-D visual display depending on project.

Results of Experiment (Observation):

Experiments are often done in series. A series of experiments can be done by changing one variable a different amount each time. A series of experiments is made up of separate experimental “runs.” During each run you make a measurement of how much the variable affected the system under study. For each run, a different amount of change in the variable is used. This produces a different amount of response in the system. You measure this response, or record data, in a table for this purpose. This is considered “raw data” since it has not been processed or interpreted yet. When raw data gets processed mathematically, for example, it becomes results.

This is a sample of forest Habitat or Biome.

The Emergent Layer has trees that break through the Rain Forest canopy. This area is full of birds and gets more sun. You can see the mist and clouds below the treetops.
The dense trees form an “umbrella” over the forest below.

The Understory is dense with plants and animal life. You can see that it is much darker in this lower part of the rain forest layers.

The Forest Floor is dark and damp, and many insects and animals live here. Scientists have discovered that the richness of the the rain forest lies in the plant matter, not in the soil itself. The decomposition of plants and animals by mushrooms, lichens, moss, fungi and bacteria in a rain forest provide rich nutrients and energy for other living things. Temperate rainforests have soil that is richer in nutrients, here the soil relatively young and less prone to damage.

Summary of Results:

Summarize what happened. This can be in the form of a table of processed numerical data, or graphs. It could also be a written statement of what occurred during experiments.

It is from calculations using recorded data that tables and graphs are made. Studying tables and graphs, we can see trends that tell us how different variables cause our observations. Based on these trends, we can draw conclusions about the system under study. These conclusions help us confirm or deny our original hypothesis. Often, mathematical equations can be made from graphs. These equations allow us to predict how a change will affect the system without the need to do additional experiments. Advanced levels of experimental science rely heavily on graphical and mathematical analysis of data. At this level, science becomes even more interesting and powerful.


Using the trends in your experimental data and your experimental observations, try to answer your original questions. Is your hypothesis correct? Now is the time to pull together what happened, and assess the experiments you did.

Related Questions & Answers:

What you have learned may allow you to answer other questions. Many questions are related. Several new questions may have occurred to you while doing experiments. You may now be able to understand or verify things that you discovered when gathering information for the project. Questions lead to more questions, which lead to additional hypothesis that need to be tested.

Possible Errors:

If you did not observe anything different than what happened with your control, the variable you changed may not affect the system you are investigating. If you did not observe a consistent, reproducible trend in your series of experimental runs there may be experimental errors affecting your results. The first thing to check is how you are making your measurements. Is the measurement method questionable or unreliable? Maybe you are reading a scale incorrectly, or maybe the measuring instrument is working erratically.

If you determine that experimental errors are influencing your results, carefully rethink the design of your experiments. Review each step of the procedure to find sources of potential errors. If possible, have a scientist review the procedure with you. Sometimes the designer of an experiment can miss the obvious.


Visit your local library and find some books about animal habitat and use them in your research.
Click Here to see more samples of Habitat Displays (Biome Boxes)

Make your own Ants Habitat

Another Simple Ants Habitat