Animal Adaptations

Animals have no problem adapting to their surroundings because to them, adaptations mean survival.


Humans have the ability to adapt to their surroundings quite easily, for example if it is cold outside we just put a sweater on.

Animals have no problem whatsoever to adapt to their surroundings because adaptations to them means survival. Take for instance the five-lined skink which can shed an appendage (its tail) if under attack. The casting off a part of the body (autotomy) is an amazing adaptation which helps the lizard live another day. A predatory snake that grasps hold of the skink's tail is in for a surprise leaving with only a bit sized tail for lunch.

There is a long list of adaptations that animals use such as camouflage, mimicry, body coverings, gills, hibernation, defense, locomotion, and migration. The most well known adatpation being camouflage can be seen in the Uroplatus Gecko, while mimicry can play a huge role in survival of animals as well. The Spicebush swallowtail butterfly's young caterpillars resemble bird droppings and no bird wants to eat them. Body coverings or body parts set one species apart from another. The shape of a bird's foot determines whether it is a swimmer, climber, runner, percher, grasper or scratcher.

Whiskers on an animal especially around the face can help the animal feel its way through tight spots as well as sense its prey. Large teeth or a large beak determine what an animal eats or be able to acquire the food. For example, a macaw uses its beak to open large nuts. A rhinoceros' hornbill is used to tear meat.

Birds with brightly colored feathers are another example of an animal with an adaptive body covering helping with camouflage, defense, and mating. While a peacock's bright colour helps attract a mate, the female's dull motley colour helps her while guarding the nest and protecting her young.

Scales have a different purpose than fur or feathers and are mainly used for protection from their environment or another animal, serving a purpose different than that of fur and feathers. Scales help protect the body of the animal in an instance where skin, fur, or feathers would become damaged or destroyed.

Really a person could write a book about adaptations. I find it the most fascinating subject when speaking about animals. Each animal was created with an adaptation that helps in their survival in almost any part of the world.

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