Oh hello again, friend! I was having so much fun playing amongst these huge plants with my kite, but I seem to have lost it. Can you see where it has gone?
These plants are pretty cool, huh? Did you know planet Earth is the only place in the known universe where plants can grow? From creeping mosses to majestic trees, plants are growing all around us. It is thanks to plants that humans have air to breathe and food to eat.
The first plants to grow on land appeared around 470 million years ago. Today, there are over 400,000 known plant species. I still remember the story WOL told me about the first time it saw a plant! I think I would have fainted from excitement if that were me…
There are two main groups of plants. Vascular plants have roots, stems, and leaves, and they make up most types of plants. They include flowers, bushes, and trees. Vascular plants have certain tissues that help move things like water through their systems. Non-vascular plants don’t have roots, stems or leaves and aren’t great at absorbing water, so they need to grow in moist environments to stay hydrated. Moss is an example of a non-vascular plant.
Plants are living things that, like animals, can perform seven essential functions. They move, grow, breathe, feed, reproduce, make waste products and react to their surroundings. While animals have to find food, plants can make their own. They use energy from sunlight to turn carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O) into sugary food. This incredible process is called photosynthesis. Plants use the sugar to make the materials that form their roots, stems, and leaves. The photosynthesis process also allows plants to convert carbon dioxide from the air into oxygen that humans can breathe – how cool is that!
Do you have any plants growing at home? Which ones are your favourites?
Universe - the collective name given to all living things and space.
Moss - a plant that grows in damp areas and often looks like a fuzzy green carpet!
Species - a group of living things that are able to breed with one another.
Tissue - the material that makes up animals and plants.
Hydrated - reaching a level where enough water has been absorbed.
Reproduce - to breed and produce offspring.
Extinction - when there are no more living members of a particular species.
1. 85% of plant life is found in the ocean.
2. One in five plant species faces extinction.
3. 90% of the foods humans eat come from just 30 species of plants.
1. How many million years ago did plants first grow on land?
2. Name three types of vascular plants.
3. Name an example of a non-vascular plant.
4. Plants turn nitrogen into oxygen so that humans can breathe – true or false?
5. What percentage of plant life is found in the oceans?
Increase your knowledge by completing these activities.