Adaptation and Survival

Individuals of the like species are not all the lapp. Some animals are larger, hairier, or louder than others, even if they are the lapp species. These differences are largely determined by an individual ’ randomness genes, which are like instructions that are passed from parent to child. Some differences provide advantages like travel rapidly, intensity, or attractiveness. Those advantages help animals survive and reproduce. Over generations those traits, or adaptations, will be passed on to more individuals until the trait becomes common in that species.

Structural and Behavioral Adaptations

An adaptation can be structural, meaning it is a physical part of the organism. An adaptation can besides be behavioral, affecting the way an organism acts.

An example of a geomorphologic adaptation is the way some plants have adapted to life in dry, hot deserts. Plants called succulents have adapted to this climate by storing water in their short, thick stems and leaves.

Migration is an example of a behavioral adaptation. grey whales ( Eschrichtius robustus ) migrate thousands of kilometers every year. They swim from the cold Arctic Ocean to the quick waters off the coast of Mexico. Grey whale calves are born in the warm southern water, and then travel union in groups to feed.

Adaptations that help with one challenge are sometimes used to help with other problems. such traits are called exaptations. For example, feathers were probably first adaptations for managing temperature. Later, feathers became longer and helped some species glide or fly.

Some adaptations, on the early hand, lose their officiate. Whales and dolphins have vestigial leg bones, the remains of an adaptation ( leg ) that their ancestors used to walk.


Adaptations normally develop in response to a transfer in an organism ‘s habitat.

England ‘s pepper moth ( Biston betularia ) is a celebrated exemplar. Before the 1800s, the most coarse type of this moth was cream-colored with black spots. few pepper moths were gray or black.

As the heighten of factories changed the environment, the colors of the pepper moth changed. The darker-colored moths became more common. Their coal-black color blended in with the trees stained by industrial pollution. Birds could n’t see the dark moths, so they ate the cream-colored moths alternatively.


Sometimes, an adaptation or fixed of adaptations develops that splits one species into two. This is called speciation.

One way this can happen is through the forcible isolation of a species.

A estimable example is the wide variety of marsupials in Oceania, the area that includes Australia and New Zealand. Long ago, this region was function of Asia. Before it broke away, marsupials arrived. Marsupials are mammals that carry their young in pouches. Marsupials are now the main type of mammal in Oceania. interim, placental mammals are the independent type on every other continent.

Koalas ( Phascolarctos cinereus ) are one of the most celebrated marsupials. They adapted to feed on eucalyptus trees, which are native to Australia. The extinct tasmanian tiger ( Thylacinus cynocephalus ) was a flesh-eating marsupial. It adapted to fill the function played by big cats, like tigers, on other continents. Marsupials in Oceania are an case of adaptive radiation. This is a type of speciation where species develop to fill empty roles in their environment.


Organisms sometimes adapt to and with other organisms. This is called coadaptation. certain flowers have adapted their nectar to appeal to hummingbirds. Hummingbirds have adapted long, sparse beaks to collect nectar from certain flowers. When a hummingbird drinks nectar from a bloom, it incidentally picks up pollen. It then carries that pollen to early flowers. In this kinship, the hummingbird gets food, and the plant ‘s pollen gets distributed. The coadaptation helps both organisms.

Mimicry is another type of coadaptation. With mimicry, one organism has adapted to resemble another. For model, the harmless king snake has developed a color pattern that resembles the deadly coral snake. This apery keeps predators away from the king snake.

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