Ask A Biologist: Virtual Biomes

Explore Biomes in Virtual Reality

While it is fun to visit and explore each biome in person, it is not likely that you can get to all of them. So we are gathering some 360 views of the different biomes that you can use to explore and learn about each biome. It is like having your own private window looking into these amazing places.

There are three ways to view each biome. You can use a computer and click and drag to look around. You can also use your smart phone like an iPhone or Android with their gyroscope enabled function to look into each biome. In this mode you can move the phone around as you to look into the biome. Finally, if you have Virtual Reality (VR) goggles like Google Cardboard, you can immerse yourself into each biome. Be sure to stand up and turn and look around to view all of the space.

We are just getting started, so bookmark this page so you can find your way back to explore more virtual biomes as they are released. We also welcome your feedback and suggestions.

How to explore the virtual biomes

On a computer, smart phone, or tablet you can click or touch the Location icon to move to the new area. When using goggles, you place the pointer on top of the Location Icon to move to a new area. Below are the other icons you will find in the different tours. Review the list below before you jump into these virtual worlds.

Biologist Notebook

When you explore these different biomes you will want to take notes of what you see and hear. You can use your own notebook, or download our custom designed Biologist Notebook that can be used to document your travels and discoveries.

Desert Biome VR 360

This virtual biome is from the desert southwest of the United States. This biome is filled with desert plants and animals. See if you can find biologist Karla Moeller who is studying Gila monsters. Oh, and be sure to be on the lookout for the rattlesnake.

As you explore this biome, take notes on the types of plants and animals you find. Here are a few questions to get you started.

  • How are the plants and animals different than in other biomes?
  • What would you expect to be the biggest challenges for plants and animals that live in the desert?
  • Can you find the rattlesnake, Gila monster, and bird nest?
  • Learn more about the desert biome.

Grassland Biome VR 360

This virtual biome explores the grasslands of the United States, across Iowa, South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. See how many different bird calls you can find and learn all about the types of grasslands that are disappearing from biologist Meghann Jarchow. Don’t miss the butterfly video in this tour.

As you explore this biome, take notes on the types of plants and animals you find. Here are a few questions to get you started.

  • How are the plants and animals different than in other biomes?
  • What would you expect to be the biggest challenges for plants and animals that live in the grassland?
  • Can you find the harvester ant hill, the red-winged blackbird, and the cup plant?
  • Learn more about the grassland biome.

Rainforest Biome VR 360

Pop into this virtual rainforest found in Panama. Listen to the animals and explore the lush green plant life. Biologists David Pearson, Karla Moeller, and Peter Marting are also there to show you around this biome. If you click on Karla, you can listen to her talking about what they are doing in the rainforest. Be sure to track down the howler monkey in this tour.

As you explore this biome, take notes on the types of plants and animals you find. Here are a few questions to get you started.

  • How are the plants and animals different than in other biomes?
  • What would you expect to be the biggest challenges for plants and animals that live in the rainforest?
  • Can you find the termite nest?
  • What role do fungi have in the forest?
  • Learn more about the rainforest biome.

Savanna VR 360

This virtual biome allows you to explore the savanna of Kenya Africa. Join biologist Beth Pringle and her research team as they travel in the savanna where they are researching the relationship between some ants and trees that live in this biome. While they are out they also see many animals that make the savanna their home. Be sure to find Beth and click on her to hear her talk about the research and animals that are part of the virtual tour. Later, you can read her PLOSable story, Trees Get By with Ant Aides, to learn more about her research.

As you explore this biome, take notes on the types of plants and animals you find. Here are a few questions to get you started.

  • How are the plants and animals different than in other biomes?
  • What would you expect to be the biggest challenges for plants and animals that live in the savanna?
  • How many animals can you find in this trip?
  • What would it be like to live in the savanna?
  • Learn more about the savanna biome

Temperate Forest VR 360

This virtual biome allows you to explore the temperate forest in North America.  Not only can you jump from location to location, you can also travel in time. Look for the time travel icons that let you move between summer, fall, and winter seasons.

As you explore this biome, take notes on the types of plants and animals you find. Here are a few questions to get you started.

  • How are the plants and animals different than in other biomes?
  • What would you expect to be the biggest challenges for plants and animals that live in the rainforest?
  • What differences are there between the different seasons?
  • What animals or signs of animals can you find?
  • Learn more about the temperate forest biome.

Tundra VR 360

Tundras are cold, wind-swept areas where low-growing bushes, grasses, and mosses seem to rule the land. Travel around the country of Iceland to check out many faces of the tundra, but without the biting cold. This tour has some extra stops, so make sure to check the thumbnail menu so you don’t miss any locations.

As you explore this biome, take notes on the types of plants and animals you find. Here are a few questions to get you started.

  • How are the plants and animals different than in other biomes?
  • What would you expect to be the biggest challenges for plants and animals that live in the rainforest?
  • What differences are there between the different seasons?
  • What animals or signs of animals can you find?
  • Learn more about the tundra biome.

Read more about: Boundless Biomes

 

 


Science Topics
Biology, Ecology
K-6, Middle School, High School, Educator
3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade
Descriptions of PDFs

* Biome Map Worksheet
* Biome Matching Game Worksheet

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Arizona State University, Ask A Biologist

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Activity Sheet
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Virtual Field Trip

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