Animal Adaptations

Adaptations are the special features that help an animal live and survive in certain places or habitats. There are three kinds of animal adaptations: Behavioral, Physical, and Life Cycle.

A behavioral adaptation is something an organism does, a behavior it performs to help it survive. A common animal adaptation is migration, when animals travel to a different place so it can find food and survive. Migration usually takes place in the winter.

Sounds animals make for different reasons are behavioral adaptations. Bird calls are an example. It is a behavior the bird does to communicate to other birds. A lion humming is a behavior a lion does when it is content. They grunt when they move from one area to another. Female lions roar to protect the young, and male lions roar to display strength. Roaring is also a method of communication.

The movements animals make are behavioral adaptations. Bats are nocturnal animals, so flying is very tiring for them during the day. It is easier for them to fly at night when it is cooler. Raccoons like to come out only at night, too, and are not seen very often. There are less predators at night.

The interactions between animals can also be behavioral adaptations. The honey bee dance is a behavioral adaptation that attracts a honey bee to its mate. Honey bees also learn from other bees how to pollinate flowers and collect honey. The dance helps communicate information about food to other bees. A monkey removing parasites from another monkey's head is an example of an interaction.

A physical adaptation is a physical part of an organism that helps it survive. The fur on a bear is an example, because it is part of the bear's body structure and helps keep it warm during cold weather.

The beak of a bird and the blue jay's color are both part of their bodies, helping them to survive. The ostrich has many thick feathers helping the ostrich look bigger to scare away predators. The ostrich also has a large mouth it uses to fight predators like cheetahs.

Prairie dogs have many adaptations like sharp claws to help it dig their burrows. They have sharp hearing so they can hear if a predator is coming. Prairie Dogs have whiskers that they use for balance so when they walk they won't fall over. The thick, dense coats of a sloth help keep them dry during the rainy season. They also have very sharp teeth to help defend themselves. Many fish have color patterns that help them blend in with their environment. This may allow the fish to avoid being seen by a predator.

A life cycle adaptation is a process an animal goes through to help it survive. Before becoming a frog, the tadpole first hatched from an egg, which was laid by an adult frog. Atlantic salmon spend their early phase in rivers before traveling or migrating to sea to grow and mature. To complete their life cycle they must return to their river of origin to release new eggs. Butterflies go through four stages of life. They start out as eggs, change into a caterpillar, then a pupa, and finally an adult butterfly. All are examples of life cycle adaptations.

In summary, whether it is a physical, behavioral, or life cycle adaptation, the environment an animal lives usually has an effect on the adaptation. All of the adaptations help an animal survive, scare off predators, or communicating with others.

A: Adoptions
B: Adaptations
C: Migrations
D: Life cycles

A: Color and beak of a bird
B: Tadpole becoming a frog
C: Whiskers a prairie dog uses for balance
D: Bats flying at night

A: The fur on a bear
B: Bird calls
C: Life stages of butterflies
D: Bees pollinating flowers

A: Female lion protecting her young
B: Ostrich looking bigger to scare away predators
C: Salmon migrating to the sea to grow
D: Prairie dogs sharp hearing

A: Behavioral adaptations
B: Migrations
C: Physical adaptations
D: Life cycle adaptations

A: Animal survival
B: Scaring off predators
C: Communication
D: All of the above

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