Adaptations - Biology topic 3

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To survive and reproduce organisms need a supply of materials from their environment.

Physical factors that may affect organisms include:

  • Temperature
  • Amount of light
  • Avaliability of water
  • Avaliability of oxygen and carbon dioxide

If the animal has a large surface are in relation to its volume it will lose heat rapidly

Adaptations to the environment:

In hot environments:

Surface area of extremities - large

Thickness of insulating coat - thin

Amount of body fat - little/none

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In cold environments:

Surface area of extremities - small

Thickness of insulating coat - thick

Amount of body fat - thick layer


  • Some organisms live in environments that are very extreme
  • Known as extremophiles
  • May be tolerant to high levels of salt, heat or pressure eg. hot water springs

How to deter a predator:

  • warning colouration
  • throrns/spikes
  • poison
  • camoflage
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What do animals compete for?

  • food
  • mates
  • territory

What do plants compete for?

  • light (for photosynthesis)
  • space
  • water in soil
  • nitrates (minerals) in soil
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