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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
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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1. Fill in the blank with either generalist, or specialist.
The koala eats only eucalyptus leaves. It is a animal.
2. Fill in the blank with either generalist, or specialist.
Omnivores can eat plants and animals. Most omnivores are animals.
3. If a habitat changes, which types of plants and animals will be affected most—generalist or specialist? Explain why you think so.
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4. Rats are a specialist species.CorrectIncorrect
5. Tiger salamanders cannot reproduce unless they live in wetland habitats that do not dry out. They are a specialist species.CorrectIncorrect