Adaptation

The biological process in which a species tries to fit itself in the given environment and continue for further generations is termed Adaptation. The mode of adaptation occurs in various forms such as structure, physiology, genetics, locomotion, defense and attack, reproduction, and development. The term adaptation refers to the link between the design and function of the organism in the environment.


An example of adaptation is: A Melanistic or dark phenotype of the Peppered moth (Biston betularia), has increased in its numbers in Britain. This helped the moths to be escaped from predation by birds. The gene frequency is the initial stage of adaptation.


Habitat

In relation to ecology, habitat refers to a natural environment in which a species of organism lives. A habitat. A habitat is created where there is the availability of food, shelter, protection, and mates for reproduction. Habitat mainly depends on both physical and biological features. The physical factors include soil, moisture, range of temperature, and light intensity. Biological factors include availability of food and presence or absence of predators.


Adaptation in Plants and Animals

Animal Adaptation

The animal adapts itself to live according to the specific place and specific way. The adaptation happens according to the animal’s physical structure like the size and shape of body. The adaptation also occurs according to the way the animal behaves.


There are certain challenges which are faced by animals while adapting themselves to a new environment. Few animals which do not adapt eventually die and the rest start mating and producing babies which result in the increase of their species.


Important things required for an animal to adapt to an environment are the place, and climatic conditions as these things influence the creatures living in the place. The availability of food also plays an important role in the adaptation. This is known as ‘Survival of the Fittest’ as every animal needs to adapt accordingly and develop defense mechanisms to protect themselves from predators.


Plant Adaptation

Adaptation of plants to survive in different areas is extremely important. Once the plants get adapted to an environment and they tend to grow in that place and not move. The scarcity of water is the main factor in desert areas and plants tend to adapt to this environmental condition.


Various Habitats of Animals and Plants

Animals tend to select a place according to the environment, surrounding and other animals living. Following are the different habitats of Animals:

Grassland Habitat

One-fourth of the land is covered by grassland Habitat. In this habitat, there is more frequency of rain when compared with deserts. The precipitation is low when compared with the forest. The usage of water by the plants present in this habitat is low with respect to forests. The grassland habitat is named differently according to the region it is present.


Antarctica is the only region which does not have any grassland. In Africa, it is named as Savannas and Veldts; In South America, it is called Pampas; Steppes in Europe and Asia; Prairies or grasslands in North America; Rangelands in Australia.


Polar Habitat

This habitat covers the two ends of the planet which are the North and South poles. The Arctic Ocean covers the North pole and Antarctica is located at the South pole. The entire region of the arctic is covered with ice and no land. Antarctica has land covered with a thick layer of ice. The temperature in the Arctic region is usually around -22°F, whereas in Antarctica it goes up to -129°F.


The Rainfall in these regions is very less and there is plenty of snow. These are considered deserts due to the lack of rainfall. Animals like Polar Bears, Walruses, and Humpback, Different kinds of Antarctica, Walruses and Narwhals.


Desert Habitat

Desert is considered the driest place on earth and there are less than 10inches every year. The rain frequency varies with every desert, few deserts have continuous rainfall, and they won't rain for the next few months. The temperature in the desert is extreme i.e., it has very hot conditions at 134°F during the day and gets very cold during the night.


The Desert in Africa is named Sahara, in Asia, it is Gobi, in North America, it is Mojave, in Mexico it is Sonoran, in Australia, it is the Great Victoria Desert. Animals like Kangaroo rats, Desert foxes, and Plants like Cacti, and Mesquite grass are present in the desert habitat.


Mountain Habitat

Mountains are big slabs of rock known as Tectonic plates which make the Earth’s crust to crash into each other. These rocks form into mountains over the years. The longest mountain range is over 40,000 miles long and the majority of it around 90% is under the ocean known as Mid-Ocean Ridge. The longest aboveground mountain range is the Andes. Mount Everest in Asia is the highest mountain.


Plantations like deciduous forests at the bottom of mountains and coniferous forests at the top of mountains are present. Mosses and Lichens grow low to the ground. Animals like Red Panda in Asia’s Himalaya, Snowshoe hares in North America, Mountain lions, Grizzly bears and hoary marmots in North America, Mountain goats and Ibexes in Europe alps live on the Mountains.


Temperate Forest Habitat

The temperate forest has a balanced temperature and the forests are full of trees with wide, thin leaves. They absorb sunlight during summer and there is a change in the appearance with decrease in sunlight. Deciduous trees drop their leaves in autumn and some of them are Oaks, elms, ash, and beeches.


There is a temperature variance in every season. North America, Northeastern Asia, Canada, Japan, England has the temperate forests available. Squirrels, Chipmunks, bobcats, brown bears, timber wolves, and monarch butterflies are present in this habitat.


Freshwater Habitat

Only 3% of freshwater is present in the world's water. Around 100,000 species of plants and animals live in freshwater. Rivers, creeks, lakes, ponds, and streams constitute freshwater habitat. Animals like fish, snails, worms, turtles, frogs, marsh birds, mollusks, alligators, beavers, otters, snakes, and many other types of insects dwell in this habitat. Plants like Algae, Cattails, Water lilies, and Aspen and Willow trees in this habitat.


Ocean Habitat

Oceans consist of salty water which covers the majority of the earth’s surface. The saltwater bodies like the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Antarctic Ocean, and Arctic Ocean constitute the ocean area. Oceans are deep and wide. On average an ocean is more than two miles deep. Oceans help to maintain a balance in the temperature conditions by moving around the globe. Ocean currents carry the heat around the planet and without the oceans earth will be an icy rock.

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FAQs on Adaptation and Habitats

1. Why is animal adaptation important?

The process where the animal’s body accommodates itself to survive, or live, in its environment. This also depends on their physical features to help them obtain food, keep safe, build homes, withstand weather, and attract mates.

2. What are the five features of habitat ?

The essential elements which must be present to provide a viable habitat are : Food, Water, Space, Cover and Arrangement.