• Created by: Samb0y
  • Created on: 30-05-14 12:46

Desert Animals

Dessert animals have four main adaptations which make them suited to their environment. These adaptations vary depending on what the animal is but they are present in all the animals but just with caring levels. The four main adaptations are:

Large surface area compared to their volume of the body - animals in the dessert need to have a large surface area because this increases heat exchange allowing them to lose heat if they get to hot.

Efficient with water - Many of the dessert animals have ways of storing water in the body so that if can be slowly release into the bodies system. They also don't have a concentrated urine meaning their water hasn't got much water content.

Good in hot conditions - Animals in the dessert have thin layers of fat (fat insulates the body) i.e. a camel keeps a majority of its fat in its humps.

Camouflage (present in most animals but not all) - If you look at most animals in the dessert they have a browny colour so they can blend in with the sand. The most camouflaged animals is the chameleons.

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Desert Plants

Desert plants are incredibly resourceful when it come to trying to keep themselves alive in the hot and harsh conditions. They have three main adaptations which are almost essential for every plant in the dessert. The three main adaptations are:

Small surface area compared to volume - Plants lose water from their plants. So much water that plants on the desert have had to adapt to not having leaves but spines instead. Because they are short and thin, they lose less water.

Water storage tissue - Plants have to store water effectively due to the fact that the dessert has a very low average rain fall. Plants do this by storing water in tissue where it can be released. Am example is of a cactus, a cactus will sweep when it rains because it absorbs as much water as it can take and slowly release it to keep it hydrated.

Maximising water absorption - Most plants on the dessert have two different types of roots. The first type is long shallow ones which in-able it so absorb water very quickly and let the roots grow quickly over a wide spread of space. The second type of Roos are deep roots which can access underground water systems.

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Arctic Animals

Arctic animals have three main adaptations which make them suited to their environment. These adaptations vary depending on what the animal is but they are present in all the animals but just with slightly different strength levels. The three main adaptations are:

Small surface area compared to volume - They don't tend to be very outstretched but instead quite small around, giving them a compact look. This makes heat exchange (heat loss in the Arctics case) slower, this allows the animals keep a lot of their heat unlike exchanging it to their environment.

Well Insulated - Animals in the arctic have many layers of fat. This allows them to keep warm due to the fact that fat is a insulation material but also provides small amots of heat.

Camouflage - Many animals have a white colour whihc allows them to blend in with their surroundings i.e. Polar bear. This allows them to avoid predators or stalk prey without being seen.

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Deterring Predators

Due to the harsh environment all animals are part of. ,any of the plants and animals have grown and adapted to survive extremely well in their environment. The three most successful adaptations are as follows:

Armour - Some plants have adapted to have thorns or spikes allowing it to protect itself from any plant that may and attempt to eat it. Also some animals have shells (like the tortoise) which makes it incredibly strong and very hard to kill or eat.

Poisons - Som animals and plants have a safety mechanism of contains poisons. Like bees (when they sting can lead to am allergic reaction) or poison Ivey which can result in horrible rashes.

Warning Colours - Some animals have just had to change colour to deter their predators. Like the ladybird, it's a harmless creature but due to its black spots on red, it will deter most birds and other animals. But some animals are different flours due to the fact they are dangerous, like the wasp.

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Some microorganisms have adapted to such severe conditions that no other living creature or multi-cell creature can go near. There are three main adaptations which are present in some extremophiles. (You don't need to know a great amount of depth but it's quite interesting really).

High & Low Pressure - Some microorganisms have adapted to withstand massive pressure changes. A microorganism was found to withstand the pressure of the very bottom depths of the sea but when launched into space, it could also withstand the low pressure as well.

Heat - It's not uncommon of find microorganisms near the mouth of a volcano but some microorganism thrive inside the volcano, being able to withstand the heat of lava and surging quite comfortably.

Salt - As we all know, salt dries things up. It dehydrates cells and literally all organisms. But in some places, where the salt content in the water is so high (high enough that it burns skin) microorganisms have adapted to survive the salt conditions by adapting to have a higher salt content than the water around it. (A process called osmosis happens - Biology B3)

Light - Light is important for all plant based microorganism. But somehow, microorganisms have adapted to survive without any light!

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