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Life on mountains for animals and plants can be very difficult for lots of reasons. Some plants and animals are able to live on mountains because they have adapted to the environment. This means they have or do special things that enable them to survive.

It is very cold, especially at night, and can be very windy. Mountain goats, yaks and lynx have thick coats to keep them warm. Bears and marmots go into a deep sleep (called hibernation) during the winter. Elk and deer only go up high in the summer, when it is warmer. Lynx and panthers have padded paws so their feet don't get too cold when they walk on snow.

There is not much food (because other plants and animals also struggle to survive there). Large birds, like eagles and hawks, fly high and have excellent eye sight, so they can see prey from a long way away.

The ground can be very steep and rocky, making it difficult for plants and animals to cling on, especially in the wind. Mountain goats, ibex and markhor all have hooves which are very good at gripping the ground.

On rocky ground, there is not much water. Plants often grow with their roots in cracks in rocks, where water collects. Trees are usually evergreen because ordinary leaves "leak" water in sunshine (this is called transpiration) whereas needles do not leak as much.

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