what do we mean by adaptation?

The characteristics of an organism (a plant or an animal) that help it survive in its habitat are called adaptations.

 

Example: Adaptations of animals in deserts

Deserts are very hot and receive very little rainfall in a year. These conditions make deserts very harsh for the survival of living beings. Therefore, animals living in deserts have some special features. 

  • Camels have long legs, which help them walk on sand. They do not sweat and their dung is dry. This allows them to conserve water in their body. 
  • Other desert animals such as rats and snakes live in burrows to stay away from the intense heat. These animals surface during the night when it gets colder.

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An adaptation is a physical or behavioral characteristic that has developed to allow an organism to better survive in its environment. Adaptations are the result of evolution, and may occur when a gene mutates, or changes by accident. That mutation causes the organism to better survive and reproduce, and it passes on that trait to its offspring. It can take many generations to develop an adaptation.

Examples:

One physical adaptation used in the intertidal zone is a crab's hard shell, which protects it from predators, drying out and being crushed by waves. A behavioral adaptation in the oceans is the use of loud, low-frequency calls by fin whales to communicate with other whales over great distances.

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