Adaptations

Here are just some ways that animals are adapted to their environment.

Dry Environments

Animals and plants in dry environments are adapted to live on less water and to store water for later. Think of the thick stem of a cactus plant. It’s made to hold more water inside. It has thorns instead of leaves. Leaves lose water through transpiration (evaporation happening from the plant). The thorns don’t have a lot of surface area exposed like a leaf does. A camel’s hump doesn’t hold water but fat. Fat is stored energy. We get energy from food. When food is scarce, like it can be in a desert, the camel can live off of its store of energy, the fat in its hump.

Cold Environments

Animals in cold environments are adapted by having warm fur or blubber for insulation. Animals in cold areas can hibernate, which is basically shutting down their bodies so that they don’t need energy when food is too hard to find.

Toxic Environments

There are animals that can live around very acidic or very alkaline waters that would kill others. One of these animals is the flamingo. Flamingos can live off of salt water and boiling water. They have adaptations to allow them to get rid of salt from their bodies and to tolerate near boiling water shooting up from hot springs.

High Altitude Environments

There are animals that are adapted to live high up on mountains where oxygen levels are low.

Hot Environments

There are plants that rely on heat to open their seed pods so that they can germinate.