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Animal Adaptations and Survival

by Mandy Barrow

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How can animals live
in such different places in the world?

Animals and plants are adapted to the conditions of the habitats in which they live.

Animals live everywhere on Earth. Some places on Earth are very hot and some are very cold. Some places on Earth have a lot of water and plants, and other places have very little water and few plants. More than 99 percent of Antarctica is covered with ice but a few plants still grow there, mostly lichens, mosses, and algae. Antarctica is very cold.

Guess what?
Animals even live in Antarctica! The animals in Antarctica are dependent on the sea for feeding or are migratory and leave the continent when the winter arrives.

Animals can live in many different places in the world because they have special adaptations to the area they live in.

What is an adaptation?
An adaptation is a way an animal's body helps it survive, or live, in its environment. Camels have learned to adapt (or change) so that they can survive.

Animals depend on their physical features to help them obtain food, keep safe, build homes, withstand weather, and attract mates. These physical features are called called physical adaptations. They makes it possible for the animal to live in a particular place and in a particular way.

Each adaptation has been produced by evolution. This means that the adaptations have developed over many generations.

Examples of the basic adaptations that help creatures survive:

  • shape of a bird's beak,
  • the number of fingers,
  • colour of the fur,
  • the thickness or thinness of the fur,
  • the shape of the nose or ears

What is a mimicry adaptation?

Mimicry is adapting to look like something else. An example would be the hawkmoth as it looks just like a dead leaf, tattered and veined.

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