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Science

The rock cycle

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Weathering

Biological weathering

tree growing from a cliff face

Plants can cause biological weathering

Animals and plants can wear away rocks. This is called biological weathering. For example, burrowing animals such as rabbits can burrow into a crack in a rock, making it bigger and splitting the rock.

You may have seen weeds growing through cracks in the pavement. If you have gone for a walk in the countryside, you may even have seen bushes or trees growing from cracks in rocks or disused buildings. This is because plant roots can grow in cracks. As they grow bigger, the roots push open the cracks and make them wider and deeper. Eventually pieces of rock may fall away.

People can even cause biological weathering just by walking. Over time, paths in the countryside become damaged because of all the boots and shoes wearing them away.

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