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Topic – Generalist and Specialist Animals and Plants

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Read the Following Selection

Read about generalist and specialist animals and plants, or click on the play button below to listen aloud.

General and Specialist Animals and Plants

Pandas need to eat between 26 and 84lbs of bamboo each day.

Some animals can live in different habitats. For example, raccoons can live in cities, swamps, or forests. Raccoons do not have special needs. They can eat many foods and can make homes in many places. A raccoon home can be in a hollow tree, a cave, or the attic of a house.

Animals that can live in different habitats are called generalist animals.

Animals that have special needs are called specialist animals. They can live only in habitats that meet their special needs. For example, the giant panda eats only bamboo plants. It can only live where bamboo grows.

There are also generalist plants and specialist plants. A generalist plant can live in many different habitats. A dandelion does not have special needs. Dandelions can live in forests, rocky hillsides, and gardens. The dandelion is a generalist plant.

A specialist plant can live only in certain places. A cactus is a specialist plant. It will die if it is in extreme cold for too long or if it gets too much water.


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