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  • Created by: victoria
  • Created on: 16-04-13 21:32


Adaptations to environment

Conditions in different environments and vary gratly. Desserts are hot and dry environments.The Arctic is cold.

There are animals that can survive in each of these environments- but they must be adapted to suvive.

An adaptation is a feature of an animal's body which helps it to live in its environment- making it better to compete for limited resorces.

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Coping with extreme temperatures 

Organisms can survive in extremes of temperature- demonstrating adaptations that enable them to survive.

Biochemical adaptations 

1- Bacteria living in hot water spirngs and geysers in volcanic areas can survive temperatures above 80oC - Thier enzymes work well at these temperatures- normal enzymes would be destroyed.

2- Some organisms have to withstand extreme cold- Periwinkles living on the beach produce glycerol as an antifreeze in winter. Carrots in frosty soils produce a protein- based antifreeze. 

Physiological adaptations

Penguins living on ice have a special blood flow system called a counter-current exchange system. 

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Specialists- well adapted survives the well in its particular enviroment- but can not nesessarily survive as well/ at all in anther environment. 

Generalists- Able to live in a range of habitats but are easily out- competed. 



Plants need to adapt to compete for limited resources. 

stressful environments- environment always changing- animals have to cope with environmental stress- stress includes changes in temperature and water availability. 

Plants ( such as cacti) in areas where the water is scarce may have a reduced surface area to reduce amount of water lost 

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Animal behaviour

Animals use  behaviour patterns to cope with environmental stress, such as temperature changes and water loss:

Migrateion- move to more favourable conditions 

Hibernation- hibernate when temperature falls, slowing down thier life processes and entering a dorment state until conditions improve.

Sun Basking- some cold blooded animals ( like crocidiles) lie in the morning sun to warm up their bodies after a cold night- allowing them to become active- in hot weather they cool off in water. 

Water storage- some animals, like camels can drink and store huge quantities of water when they find it. 

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