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.
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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)
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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.
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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).
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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.
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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.
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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.
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