B2 Revision Cards

Revision cards for B2 adaptations

HideShow resource information

Adapting to the Cold

  • Some animals are adapted to live in cold conditions, for example, Polar Bears.
    • They keep warm by reducing heat loss.
  • Anatomical adaptations- How an animal/plants body is structured to either reduce heat loss, or to increase heat loss.
1 of 7

Adapting to the Cold 2

  • Animals have- excellent insulation- this cuts down heat loss, e.g. Arctic fox: thick fur to trap air for insulation. Seals: thin fur but thick layer of fat under skin.
  • These animals are usually quite large and have small ears- this decreases heat loss and surface area to volume ratio.
  • Animals may avoid the cold by changing their behaviour.
    • Some travel long distances to warmer areas.
    • Some hibernate (this slows down their body processes)
2 of 7

Adapting to the Cold 3

  • Penguins have counter-current heat exchange to help reduce heat loss.
  • Counter-current- The warm blood heats up a colder part of the body, for example in Penguins, the warm blood enters the flippers, warms up the cold blood leaving, to stop it cooling the Penguins' body.
  • Other organisms that live in cold climates may have biochemical adaptaions, such as antifreeze proteins in their cells.
    • Biochemical- invloving chemical processes in living organisms.
    • Antifreeze protein- produced by a specialised adaptaion like certain fish, insect, plant or bacteria.
3 of 7

Adapting to hot, dry conditions

  • Oragnisms like cactus and cacti live in very hot, dry conditions.
  • These animals need to increase heat loss. To do this, they adapt in a variety of ways:
    • Having very little hair on the underside of their body
    • They are usually smaller but have larger ears than animals that live in a cold environment. This gives them a larger surface area to volume ratio, so they can lose more heat.
    • They pant and lick their fur, which is behavioural (they choose to do it).
4 of 7

Adapting to hot, dry conditions 2

  • To reduce heat gain (keep cool), animals can change their behaviour, for example they search for shade during hotter hours.
  • To cope with dry conditions, organisms have behavioural, anatomical and physiological adaptations, for example:
    • Camals are able to survive with little water because they produce very concentrated urine.
    • Cacti reduce water loss because their leaves have reduced to spines. They have deep roots and store water in the stem.
5 of 7

Adapting to hot, dry conditions 3

Extremophiles- Organisms that can survive in hot conditions.

  • Some bacteria can live in hot springs as they have enzymes that do not denature at temperatures as high as 100°C.
6 of 7

Specialists or Generalists

  • Some organisms, e.g. Polar Bears, are called specialists, as they are very well adapted to living in their habitat. They would struggle to live somewhere else.
  • Other organisms, e.g. rats, can live in many habitats.
    • They are called generalists.
    • They will lose to the specialists in certain habitats.


7 of 7


No comments have yet been made

Similar Biology resources:

See all Biology resources »See all Adaptations of organisms to their environment resources »