A lake in the mountains

Lakes and ponds

From the smallest pond (1m square) to the largest lake, this biome provides many opportunities for life to thrive. Because many of these bodies of water are closed environments, they often have self-contained ecologies, enabling some to become evolutionary microcosms. One such example is the African Great Lakes, where over a thousand new species of cichlid fish have evolved during the last 12,400 to 100,000 years.

Watch video clips from past programmes (12 clips)

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View all 12 video clips

What grows here?

What lives here?





Ray-finned fishes

Lobe-finned fishes




Crabs, shrimp and krill


Where you find Lakes and ponds

Map showing the location of the Lakes and ponds habitat

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.