Taiga is the largest of the earth's biomes and is notable for its coniferous forests. Located just below the tundra and above the steppes, it is found in Europe, Asia and North America. The taiga has a very cold climate with only two major seasons: summer and winter.
The winters in the taiga are harsh with a great deal of snow and average temperatures below the freezing level. Summers are short in duration and dry. Temperatures in the summer plunge to lows of 20 degrees Fahrenheit and rise to highs of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Annual precipitation ranges from 15 to 30 inches, with snow very common in the winter and rain during the summer.
Because of the harsh climate, not many species of animals inhabit the taiga. Those living there survive the winter by migrating, going underground or hibernating. Trees there grow close together for protection against the elements. Their waxy needles do not dry out easily in the dryer climate of the taiga and are not as susceptible to the cold. The needles stay on the trees all year long. Because wildfires are not uncommon, the trees have thick bark. Insects are very prevalent on the taiga in the summertime, and birds that eat insects tend to migrate there during the summer.