Biology: Interdependence and adaptations

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Adaptations

Every organism has certain features and characteristics (adaptations) that allow it to live successfully in its habitat. Organisms within a community compete with each other for limited recourse, for example, water, space, minerals and light. 

Habitats have limited resources needed by living organisms and organisms can only survive if they get enough of these resource so they must compete with other organisms.

The resources that animals compete for include food, water, space and a mate. 

Plants make their own food using photosynthesis so they don't compete for food. They compete for space, light, water and mineral salts. 

The Arctic is very cold and windy with little rain fall. Plants in the Arctic often grow close to the ground and have very small leaves. This helps to conserve water and avoid damage from the wind.

Polar bears are well adapted to the Arctic. Their adaptations include:

  • Camouflage: white colouring
  • Thick layers of fat and fur: insulation
  • Small surface to area ratio: minimise heat loss
  • Greasy coat: sheds water after swimming
  • Large furry feet: distribute their load and increase grip on ice

Camels live in deserts that are hot and dry during the day but cold at night. Their adaptations include:

  • Large, flat feet: to spread their weight on their feet
  • Thick fur on the top of their body: for shade, thin fur everywhere else to allow easy heat loss
  • Large surface to area ratio: maximise heat loss
  • Ability to go a long time without water: lose little water through urination and sweating
  • Ability to tolerate body temperatures of up to 42 degrees Celsius
  • Slit like nostrils and two rows of eyelashes: to help keep out…

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