Biology Unit 1 - Adaptations

This is for the Biology AQA GCSE Exam board.

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: L Lawliet
  • Created on: 19-03-12 19:17
Preview of Biology Unit 1 - Adaptations

First 361 words of the document:

Biology Revision - Adaptation (Unit 1)
1. Insulation
The rate of heat loss is proportional to the difference between the two temperatures (inside and
outside the huddle of animals), so if the temperature gradient on a graph is reduced, the heat loss is
The less the surface area exposed, the slower the rate of heat loss.
There are two main ways to insulate the body:
1. Trap a layer of air on the surface of the skin with hair/fur/feathers because air is an excellent
2. Have an even layer of fat inside the body, under the surface of the skin, which insulates but can also
be used as an aid for respiration in which the fat is burned to release energy and heat, which especially
useful in cold condition.
2. Adaptations of animals
Predators Prey
Acute eyesight: eyes at the front of head giving the Acute eyesight: eyes at side of head for 360 vision.
animal 3D vision.
Fast reflexes. Easily startled.
Acute sense of smell and hearing. Acute sense of smell and hearing.
Sharp teeth, claws, talons and beaks for piercing and May have armour, horns or spines for defence.
Ambush prey. -
- May be nocturnal to reduce likelihood of attack
Can move fast. Can move fast.
- Warning colours that warn others that they are
Camouflaged. Camouflaged.
Specific cases
Roots - have roots which are shallow. They spread out near the surface and a long way in order to
collect water. They grow extra roots known as feeding roots when it rains heavily so that they gain
as much water as possible. These roots die after it stops raining as the plant no longer needs them
and the plant does not want to waste valuable energy sustaining them.
Leaves - Has a waxy texture which helps them to reduce water evaporation therefore saving
precious water. They have minute leaves which reduce the surface area so that they don't lose

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

The small sharp spines on a cactus prevent other organisms from
attacking the plant for water and other nutrients. They also provide shade for the plant and direct
rain water to the base of the plant so that the roots can absorb it. They serve also as a wind break
to prevent dehydration of the plant from dry winds and help to trap warm air for the night when the
temperatures drop to below freezing.…read more

Page 3

Preview of page 3

Here's a taster:

Hunting - Male lions have large thick manes, which acts as a protection from other animals biting
them while fighting. The fur prevents the other animal's teeth from finding a grip on its neck, as the
fur is slick. This makes the male lion much harder to kill. The lions have sandy fur which enables
them to stay hidden from their prey in the Sahara/ sub-Sahara climate. They have thin fur, which
helps them to stay cool in the heat.…read more

Page 4

Preview of page 4

Here's a taster:

Guard cell - they open and close the stoma.
Chloroplasts include chlorophyll which traps energy from light allowing the chloroplasts to
4. Bioindicators
What they are
Bioindicators are living things like animals and plants.
What they are for
They tell us about the environment that species lives in for example the level of pollution.
Land indicators
Lichens are living organisms which are a mix between a plant and a fungus.…read more

Page 5

Preview of page 5

Here's a taster:

AUTUMN Leaves fall and change Birds migrate away Mild
colour Animals hibernate
WINTER Not much More animals hibernate Cold/dark
Population Increase/Decrease
A population is a group of the same animals or plants living in the same habitat.
Micro-organisms can be used to study population growth because they reproduce rapidly
(much faster than animals or plants). One organism may become more abundant (increase in
numbers) but even in the absence of predators or competition from other species, the
population will not go in increasing indefinitely.…read more

Page 6

Preview of page 6

Here's a taster:

They are cold/ low temperature loving organisms.
Other animals would not survive these conditions because their inner enzymes would be
denatures, leading to their death. Denaturing is the losing of shape of an enzyme, after which
the enzymes do not function properly afterwards. Also, any other creature's blood would
freeze so their body would burst as the ice expanded.
They are acid loving organisms.
Other animals would not survive these conditions because their inner enzymes would be
denatures, leading to their death.…read more

Page 7

Preview of page 7

Here's a taster:

How Science Works
Accuracy is when we have found the true value of an experiment i.e. the closest value to the
exact value required.
Precise is when you measure your results extremely carefully, making sure that it is a fair test.
Reliable is when you have repeated the experiment over and over again whilst getting similar
results each time.…read more



This is a very well written set of notes for the AQA GCSE Unit 1 that provide a very good summary of the key points. The notes cover adaptations, pollution indicators and organisms living in extreme habitats. Writing a glossary or set of flashcards for the key terms would be a useful exercise.

Similar Biology resources:

See all Biology resources »See all resources »