California Chaparral


The chaparral biome is found in a little bit of most of the continents - the west coast of the United States, the west coast of South America, the Cape Town area of South Africa, the western tip of Australia and the coastal areas of the Mediterranean.

Lay of the land: The chaparral biome has many different types of terrain. Some examples are flat plains, rocky hills and mountain slopes. It is sometimes used in movies for the "Wild West".

Chaparral is characterized as being very hot and dry. As for the temperature, the winter is very mild and is usually about 10 °C. Then there is the summer. It is so hot and dry at 40 °C that fires and droughts are very common.

Fortunately, the plants and animals are adapted to these conditions. Most of the plants have small, hard leaves which hold moisture. Some of these plants are poison oak, scrub oak, Yucca Wiple and other shrubs, trees and cacti.

The animals are all mainly grassland and desert types adapted to hot, dry weather. A few examples: coyotes, jack rabbits, mule deer, alligator lizards, horned toads, praying mantis, honey bee and ladybugs.

So, if you ever go somewhere that is like chaparral, make sure to bring some sunscreen and lots of water!

by Lucy M. 2000



"Biomes". The World Book Encyclopedia. 1994 ed.

Ricciuti, Edward. Chaparral. Marshal Cavendish Corporation. 1996.

"Research/Project Results for Chaparral Biome",, (3 June 2000)

"Biomes of the World - Chaparral",, (3 June 2000)

Silvia, Ben. "Summary of the Chaparral Biome",, (3 June 2000)


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