Adaptations Plant & Animal
Definition • Characteristics that give an organism a better chance of survival. • Special traits that help living organisms survive in a particular environment.
Reasons for adaptations • To suit their habitat • For protection • For attack • For feeding • For movement
Types of adaptations • Structural – external characteristics • size and shape • Feet, eyes, bills, skin • Behavioral - differing ways of reacting to the environment • Nocturnal • Arboreal • Burrowing
Types of adaptations • Physiological - internal characteristics • Hibernation • Rumination • Endothermic
Examples • Sharp teeth and claws for carnivores • Flat teeth for grinding and chewing • Moving in large groups is a behavioral adaptation; it helps protect the members of the group from predators. • The thick fur coat of an arctic fox is a structural adaptation. It helps protect it against the cold weather.
Examples • Camouflage • Mimicry
Habitat: Dry inland Australia, including deserts and grasslands Adaptations: It is able to go with out drinking as long as green grass is available and it adapts well to drought. They can hop as fast as 40 mph (64 km). They use this as their first line of defense. Kangaroos have a tendon in the leg which acts like a rubber band, conserving energy as the animal moves. The tail serves as a balance when the animal leaps and as a prop when it stands.
Habitat: Frigid seas Adaptations: Black and white colors. These colors help camouflage them. Their blowhole is at the top of their head. This enables them to come up and breathe more easily. Blubber keeps them warm in the frigid seas. Orcas are the fastest mammals in the sea. They can go up to 34 mph. Their speed helps them catch their prey.
Habitat: Wet, humid and hot jungles as well as icy cold forests Adaptations: A tiger's hindlimbs are longer than the forelimbs, an for jumping. The forelimbs and shoulders are well-muscled, and the forelegs can twist inward, enabling the tiger to grab and hold large prey. The underside of the paws have soft pads which allow tigers to quietly stalk their prey.
Habitat: Tropical secondary forest Adaptations: Opposable thumb enables manipulation of objects; big toe also opposable for grasping. Large and powerful arms used to break stalks or uproot vegetation while foraging. High intelligence probably an adaptation for finding scarce or isolated fruit plants in the rain forest.
Habitat: Dry deserts Adaptations: The spines serve a number of purposes in addition to protection from hungry and thirsty animals. They provide shade, serve as a windbreak to prevent dehydration from dry winds, and help trap warm air close to the plant. The root systems of cacti are very close to the surface of the soil, making it possible for them to take advantage of the slightest rain shower.
Habitat: Underwater Adaptations: Little or no mechanical strengthening tissue in stems. If these plants are removed from the water, they hang limply. They are normally supported by water all around them and so have no need of mechanical strengthening. Air-filled cavities often extend throughout the leaves and stems of aquatic plants, providing an internal atmosphere.