Biology 1- Adaption&Classification


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What is Adaption?

Adaption is a special feature or behaviour that makes an organism particularly suited to its environment. Adaptions can be:

  • General e.g. having legs to walk/fins to swim
  • Specific- Special features so an animal can survive in its environment
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Desert Animals

  • Large surface area compared volume-lose more body heat which stops them overheating.
  • Efficient with water- Lose less water by producing small amounts of concentrated uring. Makes very little sweat (e.g. camels tolerate big changes in body temperature)
  • Thin layers of body fat- help lose body heat
  • Large Feet- Spread weight across hot sand
  • Sandy Colour- good camouflage (not as easy for predators to spot)
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Arctic Animals

  • Small surface area compared to volume- compact (rounded) shape which keeps surface area to minimum reducing heat loss
  • Thick layer of blubber for insulation- acts as an energy store when food is scarce
  • Thick hairy coats- keeps body heat in 
  • Greasy fur- sheds water (provents cooling due to evaporation)
  • White fur- matches surroundings (Camouflage)
  • Big feet- spread weight which stops animals sinking into the snow or breaking ice.
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Living things are divided into kingdoms. There are 5 kingdoms they are:

  • Plant Kingdom- e.g. algae, fern 
  • Animal Kingdom- multicellular animals e.g. jellyfish, worms, birds, mammals
  • Fungi Kingdom- e.g. moulds, yeast, mushrooms
  • Prokaryotes- e.g. bacteria, blue-green algae
  • Protocists- e.g. amoeba, paramecium

Living things are then sub-divided further into phylum, class, order, family, genus and species. For example lions, have the following classification:

  • kingdom - animal
  • phylum - vertebrate
  • class - mammal
  • order - carnivorous
  • family - cat
  • genus - big cat
  • species - lion

Each rank groups together organisms that have similarities. Each rank going down means those organisms will have more common characteristics.

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A population is the number of organisms of a particular species that lives in a habitat. 

Animal Populations can be affected by:

  • Competition of food
  • Competition for space
  • Being eaten by predators
  • Pollution
  • Disease

Plant Populations can be affected by:

  • Competition of light
  • Competition for space
  • Availability of minerals
  • Pollution 
  • Disease.

Indicator species- An indicator species is any biological species that defines a trait or characteristic of the environment. changes in pH and oxygen levels may be used as signs of pollution in stream. Lichens can be used as indicators of air pollution

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Classification 2

There are three rules for writing organisms names:

1) They are always in Latin

2) They are always written in Italics

3) The Genus name always starts with a capital letter and the species name always starts with a lowercase letter.

A scientific system ensures that scientists from different countries who speak different languages will be able to communicate and ensure they are discussing the same organism.

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Animal Kingdom

The animal kingdom is split into vertebrates and invertebrates. 

Vertebrates are animals with a backbone and an internal skeleton. Invertebrates don't have these structures- some do have an external skeleton thought.

Vertebrates are divided into five groups, called classes- fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals:

  • Fish live in water. They have scales, and gills for gas exchange
  • Amphibians exchange gas partly through their skin, so gases must be able to move in and out- their skin's got to be permeable and moist
  • Reptiles are more adapted to live on the land. They've got a dry scaly skin which stops them losing too much water
  • Most Birds can fly and they've got feathers to help them do this. You'll also find a beak- useful for cracking seeds or catching prey
  • Mammals have fur covering their bodies to keep them warm. They give birth to their young and produce milk to feed them.
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