The following points highlight the two major types of habitat. The types are: 1. Aquatic Animals 2. Terrestrial Animals.
Type # 1. Aquatic Animals:
They live in water. Animals of sea water are called marine animals. Animals of rivers, streams, lakes, ponds and even drains are called fresh water animals. Animals which live in between salty and fresh water are called brackish water animals.
The aquatic animals are of different kinds:
The aggregate of passively floating or drifting animals in a body of water is called zooplankton e.g., many protozoan protists, small crustaceans (arthropods) and various invertebrate larvae.
Nano plankton (Gk. nanos = ‘dwarf’, a prefix meaning extremely small). This plankton are too small to be caught in a plankton net.
ii. Nekton (Gk. nektos = swimming):
The aggregate of actively swimming aquatic organisms in a body of water able to move independently of water currents is called nekton, e.g., sharks, bony fish, etc.
The animals which live in the upper layer of the sea are called pelagic animals which include the zooplankton and nekton.
Coral reefs provide the best habitat for marine animals.
iii. Benthic Animals (Gk. benthos = depths of sea):
These animals live at the bottom of lakes, oceans and seas, e.g., star fishes, sea cucumbers, sponges, corals, etc.
iv. Littoral Animals (L. litoris = shore):
These animals live near the sea-shore.
v. Neritic Animals (pertaining to shallow waters):
The animals which live in the shallow waters of sea, less than 200 metres deep are called neritic animals.
vi. Lentic Animals:
These animals live in stagnant water body such as ponds, lakes, etc.
vii. Lotic Animals:
These animals live in running water such as streams, rivers, etc.
viii. Neuston (Gk. neustos = swimming):
A collective term used for minute organisms which rest on the surface of water.
ix. Anadromous Fishes:
These marine fishes migrate from the sea into the estuaries for spawning, e.g. Hilsa.
x. Catadromous Fishes:
These fishes migrate from estuaries to sea for spawning, e.g. Anguilla (eel).
xi. Euryhaline Animals:
These animals have a wide salinity tolerance, e.g. marine animals.
xii. Stenohaline Animals:
These animals have only a narrow range of salinity tolerance and hence remain restricted to either fresh water or salt water.
xiii. Sternothermal Animals:
These animals can tolerate a narrow range of variation in temperature, e.g. trouts (a type of fishes).
xiv. Eurythermal Animals:
These animals tolerate a wide range of variation in temperature, e.g. Mahseers (a type of fishes).
Type # 2. Terrestrial Animals:
They live on land and are of different kinds.
i. Cursorial Animals:
They run fast, e.g. kangaroo, dog, horse, etc.
ii. Fossorial Animals:
They live in burrows/underground, e.g. earthworm, rabbit, etc.
iii. Arboreal Animals:
They live on the trees, e.g. bats, monkeys, etc.
iv. Scansorial Animals:
They climb walls, rocks, etc., e.g., wall lizard, flying squirrel, etc.
v. Volant or Aerial or Flying Animals:
They can fly, e.g., winged insects, birds, bats, etc..