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Georgia Habitats (PowerPoint download)

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					            Georgia Habitats



     Piedmont           Marsh/Swamp




                              Atlantic Ocean
Mountains       Coast
              Georgia Habitats

    The information on this slideshow will
    allow students to:
•   Differentiate among the habitats of Georgia and
    the organisms that live in each one
•   Identify features of animals that grow and thrive
    in each region
•   Identify features of plants that grow and thrive
    in each region
              Piedmont

The piedmont is an area of rolling hills.
Piedmont means “foot of the mountain.”
The piedmont has forests, lakes and
rivers. Red clay gives the ground its color.
It is located between the coastal plain and
the mountains in the northern half of
Georgia.
    Animals of the Piedmont
Raccoons can be found all over
Georgia! When people move in,
habitats become smaller or
disappear. Raccoons have adapted
to their environment. They eat fruit,
acorns, insects and vegetables.
They will also forage through
people’s garbage cans.
    Animals of the Piedmont

The Great Horned Owl is
the largest owl of the
southern United States. Its
"horns" are really ear tufts. It
lives in wooded areas. It
hunts during the night and
eats rabbits, rodents, birds,
fish and insects.
   Animals of the Piedmont

The Timber Rattlesnake
lives in forests. It eats
rodents, rabbits, squirrels,
birds, other snakes, lizards
and frogs. Predators are
bobcats, coyotes and skunks.
   Animals of the Piedmont
The White-tailed Deer is
found in all habitats, from high
mountain forests to coastal
marshes. It is mainly found in
areas which have a mix of
forest, old fields and active crop
lands. The White-tailed Deer
eats leaves, buds, twigs, acorns,
fruits and mushrooms.
   Animals of the Piedmont
The Opossum is nocturnal
(actively looking for food at
night). The species is
omnivorous (eating both
plants and animals). Its diet
includes fruits, berries,
insects, crayfish, small
rodents, carrion (dead animal
flesh) and even human
garbage.
     Plants of the Piedmont
With the arrival of European settlers,
agriculture expanded quickly, with
forests being cleared and cotton
being grown in almost any place that
was flat enough to plow. This
exposed the land to erosion and
leaching of nutrients, causing the
valuable topsoil to wash away and
leave the famous Georgia Red
Clay.
     Plants of the Piedmont

Pine trees are the first to come
back when a field is abandoned
because they are tolerant of
sunlight and dry conditions.
Forestry became the main form
of agriculture instead of cotton
farming.
    Plants of the Piedmont

Two other types of trees
that populate this area
are the live oak (Georgia
state tree) and hickory
tree.
    Plants of the Piedmont

Kudzu was brought to
the United States from
Japan and was planted to
help with soil erosion.
        Marsh/Swamp

The Okefenokee Swamp is in
southern Georgia and extends all
the way to the Georgia-Florida
state line. Few places in America
can offer as varied and extensive
wildlife as this southeastern
swamp. Much of the wildlife is
protected by law.
        Marsh/Swamp
The Okefenokee
Swamp is a true wildlife
refuge. It is covered
with peat (decaying
plants). The peat is so
thick in some areas
that you can walk on
top of it when you are
in the water.
  Marsh/Swamp Animals
The cottonmouth water
moccasin is the only North
American poisonous water
snake! It is a pit viper in
the same family as the
copperhead and the rattler.
This is a dangerous snake
which will fight when
attacked or even approach
an intruder.
  Marsh/Swamp Animals
Alligators are the largest
reptiles in North America.
Alligators are carnivorous.
They like shallow fresh
water with mud or sandy
banks. When they are not
hunting they like to take
sun baths.
   Marsh/Swamp Animals
The otter is a very smart,
curious and playful
animal. It loves to make
slides on river banks. It eats
fish, crabs and small
reptiles. Alligators are their
only predator in the swamp.
  Marsh/Swamp Animals
The Green Tree Frog
(Georgia state amphibian) is
nocturnal and may gather in
large numbers at night to call.
It eats small insects and other
invertebrates. It can be found
among floating plants or in the
vegetation around the water.
  Marsh/Swamp Animals
The Sandhill Crane is a large
bird between 4-5 feet in
height. They nest in fairly
open places where trees do
not block their vision. When
frightened or sensing danger,
a crane sounds its alarm cry
that can be heard for miles.
Their nickname is the
"watchmen of the swamp."
   Marsh/Swamp Animals
At one time the osprey nest
served as guide post to the
local natives penetrating the
unchartered interior. A pair
will build their nest, usually in
a high tree near a prairie and
this area for a couple of miles
in all directions will become
their domain.
   Marsh/Swamp Plants
The ecosystem of the swamp
is fire dependent. Fires
generally burn lightly due to
the wet nature of the swamp.
Cypress trees need
occasional fires to survive.
       Marsh/Swamp Plants
Some of the swamp is a prairie
and covered with grass, moss
and ferns. The Okefenokee has
meat-eating plants which           Bladderwort
lure, trap and digest small
animals. This specialization gives
them the advantage of living in
impoverished areas with little
crowding from other plants.
                                   Golden trumpet
            Mountains

Georgia's mountains are much older than
the Rockies or even the Himalayas. The
base of the Blue Ridge formed over a
billion years ago, but the bulk of our
mountains were created from oceanic
sediments between 200 and 450 million
years ago. The mountains cover the
northern part of Georgia.
        Mountain Animals
Largemouth Bass (Georgia state
fish) are freshwater fish and
generally inhabit clear, vegetated
lakes, ponds and swamps. They
prefer quiet, clear water and often
hide in dense vegetation
along the edges of a water body.
Largemouth bass eat crayfish, frogs,
insects and small fishes.
        Mountain Animals
Bats are a valuable and fascinating
part of Georgia’s natural heritage.
They provide a beneficial service by
foraging on flying insects, many of
which are pests. A single bat can eat
hundreds of mosquitoes in one hour!
The large number of caves formed in
this area are an ideal habitat for bats.
        Mountain Animals
The cardinal is a bird that lives in
wooded areas. Cardinals like to eat
seeds, fruits and insects. The male
bird is red with a black face. The
female has a red tail, wings and
crest; the rest of her body is brown.
Both have a red beak. It does not
migrate in the winter.
        Mountain Animals
The Black Bear is the smallest of
the American bears but it is the
largest carnivore in eastern North
America. It has a large heavy body
with long legs, flat feet, stout claws
and a very short tail. The Black Bear
is nocturnal in the summer. It is an
omnivore. It can also be found in the
Okefenokee Swamp.
         Mountain Plants
The Georgia mountains provide a lush,
thick area for a variety of plant life to
grow. This mountain range originally
formed by pressure, heat and water. It
has been eroding for the past 400 million
years. The resulting rounded mountain
range has formed rich forest soils which
support the most diverse plant life in the
State. The types of plants growing
depend on the elevation.
         Mountain Plants
Two of the state flowers are found
in the mountain area. Azaleas
(Georgia state wildflower) can be
found covering much of our state.
An interesting thing about these
lovely flowers is that they are
actually mildly poisonous! When
these flowers are eaten by animals,
they can cause stomach and heart
problems.
         Mountain Plants
The Cherokee Rose (Georgia
state flower) is also found in this
area. Native American folklore says
the flowers are a result of the
tears shed during the “Trail of
Tears.” Trees and bushes bearing
fruit are also located in the
mountains.
                 Coast
Georgia's coast is made up of sandy
beaches and barrier islands. The
coastline of Georgia is almost 110
miles long. The Coastal Plain is part of
a low land that extends around the
coast of the eastern United States
from New York to Texas. In Georgia, a
chain of low islands called the Sea
Islands lies just off the mainland.
         Coastal Animals
Sea Gulls are large birds and
are usually grey or white with
black markings on the head or
wings. They have stout, longish
bills and webbed feet.They are
ground nesting carnivores. They
eat crabs and small fish.
         Coastal Animals
Ghost crabs live in burrows along
the sandy beaches of the Eastern
United States. The crabs can reach
relatively large sizes of over 6
inches. They are omnivorous and
will eat other crabs, clams, insects
and vegetation. Feeding activity
takes place at night, while
burrowing occurs during the day.
         Coastal Animals
The Brown Thrasher (Georgia
state bird) can be seen throughout
Georgia, but is most common in the
southern and central portions of the
state. It eats a variety of food
including insects, invertebrates,
small vertebrates, fruits and nuts.
          Coastal Plants
The forests of Georgia's islands
often are more extensive and better
developed than those of other U.S.
barrier islands. Canopies of
Georgia's mature maritime forest
are dominated by Spanish moss
and live oaks.
          Coastal Plants
Other large canopy trees include
southern magnolias, pines and
cabbage palms. Smaller trees
include the American holly and
morning glory. On the beaches of
the coast, sea oats grow on the
dunes and help prevent erosion.
          Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is made of
saltwater. The Atlantic Ocean near
Georgia is warmer than most oceans
in the world. Georgia's offshore
waters lie along the migratory route
for several species of marine
animals that are unique and play
important environmental roles.
      Animals of the Ocean

The sand tiger shark is very
large and has a mouthful of
sharp, spike-like teeth. It can
eat just about anything it wants
and swallow it whole. It doesn't
attack humans. It is the only
shark that controls how it floats
in the water by burping!
      Animals of the Ocean
After baby loggerhead turtles
hatch, they immediately make their
way to the sea. The only time a
female loggerhead comes ashore is
to nest. She will crawl up a beach at
night, dig a pit in the sand with her
hind flippers, and lay between 80
and 120 eggs in the nest. Many of
the eggs will be eaten or stolen by
predators. After 50 to 80 days, a
few tiny hatchlings will struggle out
of their eggs.
      Animals of the Ocean
Right whales (Georgia state
marine mammal) can grow up to 60
feet long and weigh up to 100 tons.
Whalers thought the whales were
the "right" ones to hunt since they
float when killed. Over hunting
caused their numbers to decrease.
Today, the right whale is
endangered. There are only 350
left, so instead of hunting them,
people often watch these acrobatic
whales for pleasure.
      Animals of the Ocean
Many types of fish live in the
Atlantic Ocean off the coast of
Georgia. Black sea bass, grouper,
snapper, bluefish, tuna, amberjack,
barracuda, sailfish, barracuda and
mackerel are just some of the fish
common to the area. Georgia has
built a number of artificial reefs to
attract fish and other sea life.
        Plants of the Ocean
Gray's Reef contains both plant
and animal life. The rock that forms
the reef is mostly sandstone and
limestone that was formed between
two and five million years ago!
Gray's Reef provides a home and
foundation for hundreds of different
species of plants and animals.
Seaweed, algae and seagrass
thrive on Gray's Reef.

				
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