So what is an Adaptation anyway? ~Anything that helps a plant or animal survive in its environment is an adaptation. It also refers to the ability of living things to adjust to different conditions in their environments.
How can animals adapt? There are 6 different kinds of adaptations: Physical Protective Behavioural Mimicking Migration Hibernation
It’s all PHYSICAL! • Physical adaptations involve some part of an animal's body, such as the size or shape of the teeth (beak), the animal's body covering, or the way the animal moves. Teeth - since different animals eat different things, they don't all have the same kind of teeth Body coverings - Hair, scales, spikes, and feathers grow from the skin. All of these parts help animals survive in their environments. Movement - animals find food by moving from place to place
Protective Changes in Colour • Allow an animal to blend into its environment. • Another word for this might be camouflage. • Their camouflage makes it hard for enemies to single out individuals.
Now you see me…now you don’t • Camouflage is a type of adaptation that allows animals to blend in with their surroundings. This adaptation helps protect them from their enemies. • An animal is much better able to "hide" by blending into its surroundings. On the other hand, camouflage also helps a predator "fit in" to its environment so that it won't be seen very easily as it comes up on its prey.
The Artic Fox • Take the Arctic fox. During summer months, the Arctic fox has a brown coat. During winter, the coat of the Arctic fox is white, matching its icy, snowy surroundings
Behaviour Adaptations • Behavioural adaptations include activities that help an animal survive. Behaviour adaptations can be learned or instinctive (a behaviour an animal is born with). • Social behaviour - some animals live by themselves, while other live in groups. • Behaviour for protection - An animal's behaviour sometimes helps to protect the animal. For instance the opossum plays dead. A rabbit freezes when it thinks it has been seen.
Rocky Raccoon • Raccoons are a great example of behavioural adaptation in action! In their natural forest environment, they nest in trees and eat everything from berries to fish. They are mostly nocturnal, which means they come out at night. As night creatures, they are not seen by humans very often.
Those little trouble makers! • For some people living in populated areas, raccoons can seem like one of the biggest pests — and it's all our fault! As humans destroyed the raccoon's natural habitat, these animals have learned to change their habits — to adapt. • Instead of nesting in trees, suburban raccoons have made very comfortable homes in people's attics, basements, garages, and storage sheds. Since they are not picky eaters, they have traded forest food for the delicious leftovers found in our trash. Using their grasping hands, they have learned to open garbage cans and gates, creating quite a problem for their human hosts!
Mimicry • Mimicry allows one animal to look, sound, or act like another animal to fool predators into thinking it is poisonous or dangerous.
Migration • Migration-is the behavioural adaptation that involves an animal or group of animals moving from one region to another and then back again. • Animals migrate for different reasons: better climate better food safe place to live safe place to raise young go back to the place they were born.
Hibernation • Hibernation- is a deep sleep in which an animal's body temperature drops to about the temperature of the environment. Body activities, such as heartbeat and breathing are slowed causing the animal to need very little food. Animals that hibernate are bats woodchucks snakes bears. • During the hibernation the animals live off of the fat that is stored in their body.
A looooooooooong sleep! • How would you survive the long, cold winter without food? Bears do it in a very cool way — hibernation.
Animal Defence • Many animals have developed remarkable defences to keep themselves from being eaten. • Grazing animals often feed in herds. When a predator attacks, the animals scatter and run in different directions which confuses the predator and allows the animals to escape.
Night Crawlers! • Some animals are active only at night when it is harder for predators to find them • What kind of adaptations are these?
Common Sense • Many animals have keen senses of sight, smell, and hearing so that they can detect danger and escape. • Some animals have horns or antlers to fight off predators. • What kind of adaptations are these?
CAMOUFLAGE • Many animals rely on camouflage or the ability to blend in with their surroundings to hide from predators. • What type is this?
That’ll leave a bad taste in your mouth • A few animals are even poisonous or unpleasant-tasting, and predators soon learn to leave such animals alone. • These poisonous kinds of animals are often brightly coloured, as well, which acts as a warning to predators.
Toxic Chemicals • Some animals use chemicals which they spray from various parts of their bodies to deter predators. • What type are these?
Shark!!! • If you look at a shark, you will see it has a number of special adaptations that allow it to fit into an ocean environment. A shark has fins and a streamlined body that help it swim through water. It has gills, which take in oxygen directly out of the water. Because of its gills, sharks can stay underwater and not have to come to the surface to breathe.
Sharp Teeth! • Sharks also have a tremendous number of sharp teeth, which make them fierce predators. In fact, if a shark accidentally breaks a tooth while chomping down on something, the tooth is almost immediately replaced by another tooth growing in the jaw. With all these special adaptations, sharks do really well in the ocean, but it would be very hard for a shark to survive in the Sahara Desert!
Two famous color-shifters are the octopus and the chameleon. Each of these animals can change its shades not only to improve its camouflage but also as a way of showing emotion or mood. In this picture, the bright green color of the chameleon on the left is telling the other chameleon “This is MY branch—buzz off!” The skin of the other chameleon turns a dull gray shade, which means “Oops, sorry, pal—my mistake!”