What is a forest?
A forest is a large area of land, so thickly covered by trees that little light reaches the ground. Different types of forest grow in different parts of the world. Forests provide food and shelter for many different animals.
Most conifers are tough trees that can cope with extreme weather conditions.
Their hard, needle-like leaves do not dry out as easily as the wide leaves of broad-leaved trees, so they do well in hot, dry climates, such as around the Mediterranean.
They can also withstand cold, icy winters – the largest coniferous forests are in Russia and Canada.
Needle leaves Many conifers, such as pine trees, have leaves that are shaped like needles. However, some conifers have leaves that are strap-like or scale-like. Almost all are thick, tough, and resinous.
Coniferous forest animals
Many animals make their home in coniferous forests, especially in winter, when the trees provide shelter from snow.
Some animals would not be able to live anywhere else, because they only eat things that live and grow in a coniferous forest.
The next time you are out in a forest, see how many different things you can find.
Start by looking carefully at your surroundings – binoculars and a magnifying glass can help here. Why not take a notebook and pencil along to write down any important observations?
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