Why isn’t a polar bear happy in the desert? Why aren’t spider monkeys essential in the Arctic? In this episode of Crash Course Kids, Sabrina Cruz explains how habitats provide animals with the air, food, water, shelter, and a place to raise their offspring that they specifically need. She also explains how habitats and their food webs — interdependent food chains — maintain or fall out of balance:

ICYMI, watch Gotta Eat! and Feed Me: Classifying Organisms, the first videos in Crash Course Kids’ Life Science: Ecosystems and Flow of Energy playlist.

Related online play: Rutgers Marine and Coastal Sciences’ Food Web game.

TED Ed also has more in Feedback loops: How nature gets its rhythms and Dead stuff: The secret ingredient in our food chain.

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