What Happens in the Freshwaters

The Amazing World of Freshwaters

The Freshwater Biome

The freshwater biome covers only 0.8% of the total water on this Earth. The total amount of water on this Earth is 70.8%, so that's only a little bit.

The Temperature

The temperatures on average range from 65 °F to 75 °F in the summer and 35 °F to 45 °F in the winter.

What Lives There and Their Adaptions

Water Lilie

Seed Dispersal: The flower of the water lily makes a fruit that floats in the water and then drops down to the bottom of the body of water. Then it takes root and the new plant will grow.
Adaptations: Water lilies have stomata that are open most of the time, because water is in good capacity so there is no need for it to be in the plant. In result guard cells on the plant are genrally inactive. They also have an increased number of stomata.
They have flat leafs and air holes to help with flotation. They also have specialized roots to take in oxygen.

Human Uses: Mashed roots are often used cure mouth sores.


Seed Dispersal: The phytoplankton parent organism makes a carbon copy of itself. This is done by spores that grow inside the parent organism. The spores are released into the water, and then grow, and develop into an adult phytoplankton
Adaptations: Phytoplankton do not require true leaves, stems, or roots like most plants. This is because they absorb water and nutrients directly from the environment. Phytoplankton have developed many pores, spines, and other projections that increase surface area, absorb nutrients, and increase exposure of sunlight for photosynthesis.


In streams and rivers vegetation is usually found along the edge of the water. Common species include stargrass, tape grass, and coontails. Streams and rivers will often support trees such as willows, river birch, and cottonwoods. These trees tend to grow in shallow water, where water flow is slow.

In wetlands such as ditches, swamps, marshes, and bogs, the water is saturated throughout the year. This means the dirt holds in as much water as possible, and creates mud. Common plants are cattails, and duckweed. Some trees include cypress, black spruce, and tamarack.

It is harder for lakes and ponds to support large communities of vegetation because of their great depth. The plants found here normally consist of grasses, and weeds. Sometimes plants like cattails, and lily pads can be found floating in shallow lakes and ponds.

Human Uses:

Seaweed: Seaweed is used in many cosmetics, skin care products, human food, and drugs.

Algae: Algae is used as a energy source, fertilizer, nutrients and a method of pollution control.

River Dolphin Adaptations

1. The Amazon River Dolphin, or Inia, has an unfused vertebrae in its neck. This gives the Inia the ability to turn its head 180 degrees to either side, giving them greater flexibility to catch prey in flooded forest floors, shallow waters, and tributaries.
2. The Inia has no dorsal fin, only a dorsal ridge. This ride, along with larger flippers, are an adaptation used for swimming and living in shallow river waters.
3. The Amazon River Dolphin has stiff hairs on its beak. These hairs are a sensory organ that help the Inia sense pray in muddy rivers.

River Otter Adaptations

1. The river otter has a dense layer of fat under it's skin, the otter also has oily skin that protects it in extremely cold weather.
2. The river otter is able to locate food in muddy with it's facial whiskers that are are very sensitive to touch.
3. The otter has many features which make it a great swimmer, some of these include; ears an nose close when it goes underwater, it's eyes are located near the top of it's head so it can see above the surface while it is swimming nearly submerged, the river otter has short legs with five webbed toes on each foot, the otter has tightly packed underfur, and it's long guard hairs are water-repellent .


Angry Otter



Fish Adaptions to Freshwater

Different parts of the fish play many parts in adaptions.

The Mouth

The mouth there is :

  • TERMINAL (at the end of snout) - Helps feeds throughout the water.
  • The VENTRAL (under the head) - Helps feeds off the bottom.
  • Also STRONG JAWS and WELL DEVELOPED TEETH - Helps the fish feed on other fish.

The Eyes

Different size eyes play a part.

  • LARGE EYES -Feeds by sight.
  • SMALL EYES - Mostly feeds off the bottom and relies on barbels to detect food

The Spine

Is for protection or to stiffen

The Shape

Depends if the fish prefers open water, stays close to rocks, swims fast, or stays on the bottom.

The Scales

If the fish has:

  • LARGE SCALES - Is used for protection and speed not needed for catching preys.
  • SMALL SCALES - Means the fish is more streamlined and is fast moving to catch a prey.

The Fish Form

If a fish is:

FAIRLY UNIFORM, or NO MARKINGS - Means it swims in open water.

STRIPES - Hides in weeds for protection.

MOLTED - Hides in rocks or on the bottom.

DARK ON TOP -Less visible to predators above it.

LIGHT COLORED BELLY - Less visible to predators below it.


Video By: Mr. Parr

Music By: Phil Philips

Song: Home

Freshwater Biomes Song

Freshwater Food Web