This picture shows the leaves on a tree. The leaves have turned colors because it was autumn when the picture was taken.
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy of Corel Photography
Kingdom Plantae contains almost 300,000 different species of plants. It is not the largest kingdom, but it is a very important one!
In the process known as "photosynthesis", plants use the energy of the Sun to convert water and carbon dioxide into food (sugars) and oxygen. Photosynthesis by plants provides almost all the oxygen in Earth's atmosphere. Because plants can make their own food, they are the first step to many food chains in the world.
The first plants lived on land about 450 million years ago. Since then, plants have taken on many forms and are found in most places on Earth. Plants can live in dry places or wet places, low places or high places, hot places or cold places. Humans can't live in a world without plants, so it is very important to protect places that have plants!
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
"Science, Evolution, and Creationism
", by the National Academies, provides fascinating background on these topics for all, and is particularly useful for the Earth and space science classroom. Check our other books
in our online store
You might also be interested in:
Photosynthesis is the name of the process by which autotrophs (self-feeders) convert water, carbon dioxide, and solar energy into sugars and oxygen. It is a complex chemical process by which plants and...more
We often take plants for granted. But they are so important! They give us food, paper, wood, even medicine. They also absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen during photosynthesis. When big changes happen...more
Biomes are large regions of the world with similar plants, animals, and other living things that are adapted to the climate and other conditions. Explore the links below to learn more about different biomes....more
"People outside Brazil know only the Amazon. . . it's a shame because the Pantanal is a very important ecological place." -- Dr. Maria Pádua, Former Director, Brazil's National Parks The Pantanal wetland...more
Over a very long time, gradual changes in the earliest cells gave rise to new life forms. These new cells were very different from the earlier heterotrophs because they were able to get their energy from...more
Members of the Kingdom Protista are the simplest of the eukaryotes. Protists are an unusual group of organisms that were put together because they don't really seem to belong to any other group. Some protists...more
The sediment in an organic sedimentary rock is made of fossils! The hard parts of animals, such as bones and shells, can become cemented together over time to make rock. Usually the bones and shells are...more