Thursday, 2 June 2016

Grand Canyon National Park (by: Adriana Resino, Alicia Gonzalez, Rocío Castellanos & Alejandro Torvisco 4ºA)

The Grand  Canyon National Park

1.Type of ecosystem
   The Grand Canyon National Park is a desert based on this:

  • There is very poor biodiversity.
  • Only plants and animals that have adaptations to the lack of water survive.


2.1 Geographical location

grandcanyonmap.jpg  The Grand Canyon national park is located in  North America, exactly in the state of Arizona near to the Colorado desert and river (36º 36’ 19” N, 112º 07’ 19” O).


2.2 Geology

     In this type of environment we can find very different types of rocks due to its formation. It is an structural landform in horizontal regions. It was formed around 65 million years ago, about the same time as the dinosaur’s disappearance. It mainly formed of sedimentary rocks.

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2.3 Climate

    We need to separate the grand canyon national park in 3 different areas depending on the altitude and its proximity to the rim of the Colorado river.

  • The south rim: in an elevation of 2133 m  above the sea level. In winter there is snow and cold nights even in summer.
  • The inner canyon: 1000 m lower than the south rim, the temperatures can reach 48º C.
  • The north rim: 2438 m can have snow almost throughout the year, weather is very unpredictable in fall and spring.

   Summer temperatures on the South Rim are relatively pleasant (10-26 ºC; low teens to high 20s C) but inner canyon temperatures are extreme; daytime highs at the river (1500 m below the rim) often exceed 38º C. North Rim summer temperatures are cooler than those on the South Rim because of its increased elevation.

Spring and fall:

In both seasons the weather is quite unpredictable


Winter conditions at the South Rim can be extreme: expect snow, icy roads and trails, and possible road closures. Canyon views may be temporarily obscured during winter storms; in such cases entrance fees are not refundable. The North Rim is closed in winter.

  • Pallid Bat
    Bats:  Grand Canyon National Park is home to one of the highest bat diversities anywhere in the united states, providing habitat to 22 species of bat.

  • Eagle:  It's a bird of praid found in North America. A sea eagle, it has two known subspecies and forms a species pair with the white-tailed eagle. Its range includes most of Canada and Alaska, all of the contiguous United States, and northern Mexico. It is found near large bodies of open water with an abundant food supply and old-growth trees for nesting.

  • Bighorn sheep in scrubBighorn sheep: This species is the largest native animal in the park. They are generally associated with mountainous terrain.

  • lion: Also commonly known as the puma, panther or catamount, is a large feline of the subfamily Felinae native to the Americas. Its range, from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes of South America, is the greatest of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere An adaptable, generalist species, the cougar is found in most American habitat types. It is the second-heaviest cat in the New World, after the jaguar.

  • Squirrel on a branchTassel eared squirrel: It's one of the most commonly seen mammals at the Grand Canyon National Park.

  • condor:  It's a New World vulture, the largest North American land bird. This condor became extinct in the wild in 1987 (all remaining wild individuals were captured), but the species has been reintroduced to northern Arizona and southern Utah (including the Grand Canyon area and Zion National Park), the coastal mountains of central and southern California, and northern Baja California. Although other fossil members are known, it is the only surviving member of the genus Gymnogyps. The species is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN.

  • They are the largest member of the deer family in Grand Canyon National Park. The Rocky mountain elk come from 303 individuals introduced to the state from 1913-1928 from Yellowstone National Park.

  • Hog-nosed Skunk: belongs to the genus Conepatus and are members of the family Mephitidae (skunks). They are native to the Americas. They have white backs and tails and black underparts.

  • widow spider: It's a genus of spider in the big spider family Theridiidae, most of which are commonly known as widow spiders. The genus contains 31 recognized species distributed worldwide, including the North American black widows, the button spiders of Africa, and the Australian redback. Species vary widely in size. In most cases the females are dark-colored and readily identifiable by reddish hourglass-shaped markings on the abdomen.

  • It's a canid native to North America and Central America. It is a smaller, more basal animal than its close relative, the gray wolf, being roughly the North American equivalent to the Old World golden jackal, though it is larger and more predatory in nature. It is listed as "least concern" by the IUCN, on account of its wide distribution and abundance throughout North America, even southwards through Mexico and Central America. It is a highly versatile species, whose range has expanded amidst human environmental modification. This expansion is ongoing, and it may one day reach South America, as shown by the animal's presence beyond the Panama Canal in 2013. As of 2005, 19 subspecies are recognized.

3.2 Plants:
  • maple: It's a species of maple native to eastern and central North America in the eastern United States and Canada. It is one of the most common trees in the United States.

  •$File/red_brome_flowerhead1.jpgRed brome: It's a species of brome grass known by the common name compact name.It is native to Europe (the specific name madritensis refers to Madrid, Spain) but it has been widely introduced elsewhere, such as North America, where it is found in many areas. It is now known nearly worldwide. This is an annual grass growing solitary or clumped stems to maximum heights between 10 and 50 centimeters. The panicle inflorescence holds spikelets with long awns which vary in color from green to distinctly purplish-red. The species is resistant to dry conditions.

  • Sahara mustard: It's known by the common names Asian Mustard and Pale Cabbage  and is well known as an invasive species, especially in California.The plant is generally similar to other mustards, but the yellow flowers are not as bright and flashy as closely related species. It is a spreading annual herb with long stems up to 40 inches in length.

  • Carduus Nutans: with the common names of musk thistle, nodding thistle, and nodding plumeless thistle, is a biennial herb in the Asteraceae—sunflower family. It is native to regions of Europe and Asia.

  •  It's a genus of about 100–170 species of flowering plants in the family Brassicaceae, native to Europe, Asia, and northern Africa, with the highest species diversity in the Mediterranean region. The genus comprises annual and perennial herbaceous plants or (rarely) small shrubs, growing to 10–100 cm tall, with oblong-oval leaves and yellow or white flowers (pink to purple in a few species).

3.3 Trophic network:


  • Google images
  • Wikipedia
  • Biology & Geology Book
  • Grand Canyon NP official web page

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