Swamp Life

Swamp Life

What You Already Know

A habitat is a place where animals and plants live. A habitat has air, food, water, and shelter.

A forest is a habitat. A forest has many plants. The forest has food, water, and sunlight for plants and animals in summer. It has less in the winter.

An ocean is a habitat. An ocean has salt water. Plants and animals live in the ocean.

A desert is a habitat. A desert is dry. It does not rain much. Deserts have lots of

sunlight. Many deserts are hot. Many plants and animals live in the desert.

A wetland is a habitat. A wetland has a lot of water. One kind of wetland is a swamp. Plants and animals live in wetland habitats.

Plants and animals live in many different habitats. In this book, you will learn about swamps. You will learn about the plants and animals that call the swamp their home.

Life in a Swamp

A swamp is a wet place. Most swamps are full of water. Sometimes a swamp looks like a lake with trees and plants growing in it. There are swamps all over the world.

The dirt in a swamp is waterlogged. This means that the dirt is always very wet. There is a lot of mud.

A swamp has many kinds of plants. Many animals live in the swamp too. Some animals live in the water. Some animals climb in the trees.


Many kinds of plants grow in swamps. Cypress trees grow in the water. The trunks are very wide at the bottom. They have long roots. Part of the roots grows on top of the water. The roots grab the wet dirt.

Mangrove trees also grow in the water. These trees can look like they are walking in the water.

Trees are important to life in a swamp. Animals eat their leaves. Trees give food and shelter to animals in the swamp.

Some plants need a lot of water. These plants grow well in swamps.

The water hyacinth is a swamp plant. It floats on the water. It has big blue flowers. It can be as tall as a kitchen stove!

Water lettuce is also a floating plant. It has big green leaves.

In the Water

Some swamp animals swim in the water. Sometimes these animals rest at the edge of the water. Turtles, snakes, lizards, caimans, and alligators swim in swamp water.

Most of this caiman is under the water. Its eyes stay on top of the water to see.

A caiman looks like an alligator. But it has a bump on top of its nose. It also has thick skin on its belly.

Alligators and caimans look like logs when they are in the water. This helps them catch prey. They can be very dangerous!

In the Trees

Animals in swamps live in the water. They also live in the trees.

A green tree frog climbs and rests in swamp trees.

A bobcat is a kind of cat. It has long legs and a short tail. Bobcats swim and climb well.

A swamp is a good home for them.

A raccoon looks like it is wearing a black mask. It also has black stripes on its tail. Raccoons eat animals and plants. They climb well in the trees of swamps. Trees are home to many swamp animals!

Raccoons find the food and shelter they need in swamps.


Many birds live in swamps. A lot of swamp birds wade in the water. They are wading birds.

Wading birds have long legs and necks. They look for food in the water. Their toes are long and spread out. This helps them stand on wet ground. Wading birds eat animals like fish and insects.

Flamingos are wading birds. They have webbed feet to help them stand in the mud.

Flamingos are bright pink.

Blue herons are also wading birds. They use their beaks to catch food. They can stand in the water or on the land.

Many plants and animals have special parts that help them live in these wet places. These plants and animals make up a swamp habitat.


Dangerous = not safe

Float = stay on top of water

Prey = an animal that is the food of another animal swamp wet, soft land

Wading = walking in the water

Waterlogged = full of water

What did you learn?

1. How do trees and plants in a swamp help swamp animals?

2. What body parts help wading birds live in a swamp?

3. Writing in Science:

A bobcat is a wild cat that lives in the swamp. Write to explain the things a bobcat can do that help it lives in the swamp. Use words from the book as you write.

4. Picture Clues:

What can you tell about the swamp when you look at the picture on page 5?

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