Himalayan Mountain Peak
The Himalayas is the highest mountain range in the world. (A mountain range is many mountains grouped close together.) The Himalayas stretch through Nepal, Tibet, India, Pakistan, and Bhutan.
The Himalayas is one of the youngest mountain ranges in the world. The mountains are still rising. The Himalayas has the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest. It is 29,028 feet (8,848 meters) high.
The mountains of the Himalayas are at a high altitude. They rise from plains in India. The plains are about 1,000 feet (305 meters) above sea level. Many of the mountains are 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) or more above sea level.
The air is thinner at that higher elevation. It is also colder and dryer. Winters have constant snow and freezing temperatures. Even in summer it usually snows in the higher elevations.
The weather is dangerous. The Himalayas has snowstorms, high winds, and floods.
Only a few plants grow in the higher parts of the Himalayas. Most plants cannot live in such a freezing climate. The plants that do live there usually grow low to the ground. Some of the plants there are rhododendrons, tea plants, and shrubs.
Above the trees, it is mostly rocky. There are snowcapped peaks and some meadows. Grasses and herbs grow a little farther down on the mountains.
Fir and spruce trees grow even farther down the mountains. Some forests with cedar, horse chestnut, and evergreen oak trees grow even lower than that. The lowest parts of the valleys have subtropical forests.
Animals that live in the mountains adapt to the icy weather. For example, the mountain goats have special hooves. These hooves let them climb rocky slopes. The mountain goats also have thick coats to keep them warm.
The Himalayan tahr is a goat found only in this type of climate. The yak has a shaggy coat to help it stay warm in the cold climate.
The Great Himalayan National Park in India has many different types of animals. They include snow leopards, mule deer, blue sheep, monkeys, and Himalayan black and brown bears. Other animals include the barking deer, the goral (a type of goat), and the flying squirrel. Small animals such as weasels and mice also live in the mountains.
Many birds can be found in the Himalayas. Pheasants and partridges are common. Some birds in the area are rare.