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
- 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)
- 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.
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.
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
Plant Populations can be affected by:
- Competition of light
- Competition for space
- Availability of minerals
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
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.
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.