- from Mountains
Mountains are not easy places for plants and animals to live. Thin soil, thin air, freezing temperatures, and strong winds make the environment harsh. The higher up an animal lives, the less food there is for it to eat. Even so, a wide variety of species make their homes in the mountains.
As you go higher up the mountain and it gets colder, the vegetation and wildlife change. On the lowest slopes, there may be forests and many kinds of animals. At a certain height, the weather is too cold and windy for trees to survive. That level is called the timberline, or tree line. The colder it is, the lower the timberline is. Above that are meadows and pastures where only low-lying plants grow. These include grasses, shrubs, alpine flowers, mosses, and lichens. Above the snow line, almost nothing grows. Only the toughest animals can live up there. In each of these zones, plants and animals have special abilities that help them survive.