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Quite Amazing!

Amy Takes A Hike!

Take a hike, Amy!

This month's Spotlight story on naturalists inspired Amy to go off on a web hike. We'll have to hurry to catch up with her. She's already off exploring the biosphere.

Earth and its atmosphere make up the biosphere, which contains all organic and inorganic matter. Organic matter is divided into living and non-living things. Amy decided to explore living things on her hike.

In order to catch up with her, we'll need to understand the basics for exploring living things. All living things in our biosphere are classified under Five Kingdoms.

One kingdom is Plantae, the plant kingdom. Any experienced hiker knows how important the plant kingdom is for a good hike. Botanists spend their careers studying all of the details of Plantae, but a hiker just needs to understand the basic classifications of plants in order to appreciate their beauty.

Another kingdom of living things is Fungi, or the fungus and mold kingdom. A hike in the shade of the forest often provides many chances to explore the fungus kingdom. Cool, shady, moist climates help fungi thrive.

Animalia, the animal kingdom, could use some exploring too. After all, there are a million species idetified in this kingdom alone. And that's just the ones we know about. Scientists estimate that there may be 20 to 30 million more unkown species in Animalia. Hopefully, Amy won't bump into any of them on her hike.

Unless Amy brought a microscope along, she won't be able to explore the Protoctistae or the Monera kingdoms. These consist of the many microscopic organisms that inhabit our biosphere. Hikers do need to worry about these kingdoms, though, because many of these species can be enemies to human beings.

As hikers like to say, a really good webhike can be quite amazing!


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