Biology 1b

On adapting, surviving, populations and competition with some added variation of plants and animals. Section 1b in the AQA GCSE exam, about a 1/3 of the exam!!

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  • Created by: Nicole
  • Created on: 12-02-11 08:38

Adapt and surviving 1

(,r:6,s:0&tx=134&ty=73)Animal and plants survive in many different environments. This is because they become adapted to that environment. 

Desert animals have adapted to save water: Animals that live in hot, dry conditions need to keep cool and use water efficientely. 

  • Large surface area compared to volume,
  • Efficient with water,
  • Good in hot sandy conditions,

Desert animals adapt as they have:

  • Large feet - so their feet doesn't sink in the sand,
  • A sandy colour- camouflage,
  • Lose less water - from concentrated urine,
  • Less sweat,
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Arctic animals 2

Arctic animals that live in very cold conditions need to keep warm:

  • Small surface area compared to volume,
  • Well insulated,
  • Good in snowy conditions,

Arctic animals ensure they have these by:

  • White fur - camouflage in their surroundings,
  • Thick hairy coats - to keep them well insulated,
  • Big feet - spreads weight so they don't fall into snow or thin ice,
  • Thick layer of blubber got insulator and a energy store
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Plants adaptation in the desert 3

Desert dwelling plants make best use of what little water is available:

  • Minimising water loss,
  • Maximising water absorption,

They do this by:

  • Spines instead of leaves - to reduce water loss,
  • Small surface area to reduce water loss,
  • Stores water in thick stems,

Some animals have armour to avoid their predators - like roses (thorns) catic with (sharp spines) and tortoises (with hard shells)!!

Others produce poisons - like bees and poison ivy,

Warning colours!!

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The size of populations 4

The size of any population depends on three main factors:

1. Competition - plants for light, water and space - animals for space, food, mates and water,

2. Disease - Infectious diseases can kill members of a population - animals that are fit and healthy stand a better chance of survival,

3. Predation - If a animal gets eaten its population will decrease. 

Organisms compete for resources:

1. Live where they can find resources, 

2. Competition - therefore some habitats only support a certain number of species, 

3. Space in which there is resources,

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Red and grey squirrels 5

In 1876 the grey squirrel was introduced to the UK, the native red squirrel was unable to compete very well with the larger grey squirrels - causing the red squirrel population to decrease, 

The grey squirrel is better adapted because: 

  • The deciduous woods,

However the red squirrel is best adapted in the coniferous forests because they eat conifer seeds,

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Variation in plants and animals 6

Different species look different - heights, wight, nose etc.

These differences are called variation:

  • Genetic variation,
  • Environment variation,

Different genes cause genetic variation:

  • Different characteristics similar to their parents, - characteristics are determined by genes inherited from their parents,
  • Most animals get some genes from their mother and some from their father - combining of genes causes genetic variation,
  • Some characteristics are only controlled by genes like - colour of plants, eye colour, inherited disorders and blood group,


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Variation in plants and animals 7

Characteristics are also influenced by the environment,

  • The environment that organisms live and grow cause differences,
  • For example in a sunny place you can suntan,
  • Basically any difference that has been caused by the conditions something lives in is called environmental variations, 

Plants grown in darkness - tall, spindly and the leaves are yellow,

Plants grown in the sun - luscious and green,

Most characteristics are due to genes and the environment,

  • Most characteristics like body weight, eye colour, skin colour, height etc are determined by a mixture of genetic and environmental factors,
  • The maximum height a plant can grow to is determined by its genes,
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was OK but could have write more


it is really helpful



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