|Some factors that contribute to niche|
A niche is more than just the environment an organism lives in, it really is the role the organism takes (so the dictionary definition isn't entirely bad). It's not just where an animal lives, but the animal's behavior, what time of day its active in its environment, what foods it prefers most to eat, what foods it can eat when preferred foods aren't available, and so forth. How an animal responds to resources is part of its niche as is how it may respond to any predators. An animal's life history, or the sequence of events from birth to death related to reproduction, is also part of its niche. Many animals occupy the same environment. You could sit very, very quietly in a tropical forest for a couple of hours and see multiple animals exploiting a single fruiting tree.
If we just talk about primates for a minute, we may find one species of primate eats leaves from this tree. A second primate species consumes the ripe fruit on the tree during the day. A third species of primate ignores the fruit entirely, is only active at night, and instead hunts for insects and small reptiles on this tree.
|Fundamental vs realized niche|
Food for thought: I'd say humans have one of the most flexible and largest ecological niches of all species. Would you agree?
Here's a cool article about the first visualization of an ecological niche. Check it out!