Paw Creek Animal adaptations


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Paw Creek Animal adaptations

  1. 1. Homework Index Desert Animals Camels Desert Tortoise Fennec Fox Saguaro Cactus Tropical Grassland Giraffes Lions Lizards Arctic Conditions Penguins Polar Bears Dolphins Frogs Snakes Small-eared Zorro Other Creatures What is an adaptation? An adaptation is a way an animal's body helps it survive, or live, in its environment. Camels have learned to adapt (or change) so that they can survive. Animals depend on their physical features to help them obtain food, keep safe, build homes, withstand weather, and attract mates. These physical features are called physical adaptations. They makes it possible for the animal to live in a particular place and in a particular way. Each adaptation has been produced by evolution. This means that the adaptations have developed over many generations. Examples of the basic adaptations that help creatures survive: •shape of a bird's beak, •the number of fingers, •color of the fur, •the thickness or thinness of the fur, •the shape of the nose or ears How can animals live in such different places in the world? Animals and plants are adapted to the conditions of the habitats in which they live. Animals live everywhere on Earth. Some places on Earth are very hot and some are very cold. Some places on Earth have a lot of water and plants, and other places have very little water and few plants. More than 99 percent of Antarctica is covered with ice but a few plants still grow there, mostly lichens, mosses, and algae. Antarctica is very cold.
  2. 2. Desert Conditions The two main adaptations that desert animals must make are how to deal with lack of water and how to deal with extremes in temperature. Many desert animals avoid the heat of the desert by simply staying out of it as much as possible. Where do animals in the desert get their water from? Since water is so scarce, most desert animals get their water from the food they eat: succulent plants, seeds, or the blood and body tissues of their prey. How do desert animals prevent water from leaving their bodies? Desert animals prevent water leaving their bodies in a number of different ways. Some, like kangaroo rats and lizards, live in burrows which do not get too hot or too cold and have more humid (damp) air inside. These animals stay in their burrows during the hot days and emerge at night to feed. Other animals have bodies designed to save water. Scorpions and wolf spiders have a thick outer covering which reduces moisture loss. The kidneys of desert animals concentrate urine, so that they excrete less water. Desert Tortoise 1. The desert tortoise may be active during the day (diurnal) or the morning and evening (crepuscular), depending on the temperature. 2. This tortoise burrows under the sand to protect itself from extreme desert temperatures. 3. Adults can survive for about a year without water. They are able to obtain water from their diet. 4. Tortoises can withdraw their head, legs, and tail into the shell providing themselves protection against predators. 5. To utilize the infrequent rainfalls, tortoises dig shallow pits to catch the water. The tortoises may be found waiting by these areas when rain is in the forecast.
  3. 3. Camels Camels are herbivores; they eat desert vegetation, such as grasses, herbs, and leaves. How do camels adapt to their environment? Camels have many adaptations that allow them to live successfully in desert conditions. Deserts are hot and dry. Winds blow sand all around, so a camel has long eyelashes. It has nostrils that can open and close. Why do camels have long eyelashes? The long eyelashes keep sand out of the camel's eyes. Thick eyebrows shield the eyes from the desert sun. Why does a camel have nostrils which can close? A camel’s nostrils can close so it doesn't get sand up its nose. Other Adaptations: 1. A camel can go a week or more without water, and they can last for several months without food. They can drink up to 32 gallons (46 liters) of water at one drinking session! 2. Camels store fat in the hump, not water. The fat can be metabolized for energy. 3. Unlike most mammals, a healthy camel's body temperature fluctuates (changes) throughout the day from 34°C to 41.7°C (93°F-107°F.) This allows the camel to conserve water by not sweating as the environmental temperature rises. 4. Camel’s feet are wide so they can walk on sand more easily. Their huge feet help them to walk on sand without sinking into it. 5. Camels have thick lips so they can eat the prickly desert plants without feeling pain. 6. The color of their bodies helps them to blend into their environment. 7. Camel's ears are covered with hair, even on the inside. The hair helps keep out sand or dust that might blow into the animal's ears.
  4. 4. Fennec Fox 1. Their large ears, which are usually 4 to 6 inches long, help dissipate excess body heat on hot days in the desert. 2. The fennec fox seems to be the only carnivore living in the Sahara Desert able to survive without free water. Their kidneys are adapted to restrict water loss, their extensive burrowing may cause the formation of dew, which can then be consumed, and they will receive moisture from the food that they eat. 3. Their burrowing and nocturnal lifestyle helps restrict water loss. 4. Their thick fur helps insulate them from the cold desert nights. 5. Their sandy fur helps to reflect heat, and also provides excellent camouflage. 6. Fennec foxes also have thick fur on the soles of their feet, which insulate against the hot sand of the desert. This extra fur on the soles of their feet also affords them excellent traction in the loose sand. Saguaro Cactus 1. Its expanding trunk allows it to take in and store a great deal of water when water is available. 2. It does not need a lot of water to survive. 3. The flower only opens on cooler nights and is closed during the heat of midday.
  5. 5. Tropical Grassland (Savannas) Conditions Predators need to be quick, powerful, smart, and sneaky to bring down fast and alert animals, like gazelles. Cheetahs are built to move fast. These animals can reach speeds of up to 80 miles an hour (129 kilometers per hour). Lions, sneak up on their prey. Sometimes they will hunt with their pride and ambush unsuspecting prey. Hyenas hunt in groups. They also scavenge kills from other animals. Giraffe 1.Why are giraffes able to go for long periods of time without water? A giraffe can consume up to 12 gallons of water at one time when drinking from a water hole. They also obtain water from the dew on the leaves they eat and the water contained in their food. 2.How are their long necks adapted to their lifestyle? 3.Their long necks allow them to feed among treetops and spot predators. 3.What is special about a giraffe's heart? Giraffes have an extra-large heart to pump blood up their long necks to the brain. A giraffe's heart is 2-3 times stronger than a human heart. 4.Why do giraffes have tough tongues? Long, tough tongues enable the giraffe to pull leaves from branches without being hurt by the thorns during feeding. They have prehensile tongues which allow them to hold branches by wrapping their tongues around the branches) Their tongues are up to 18 inches long 5.Why do giraffes have a spots on their fur? Spotted coat camouflages giraffes among the trees.
  6. 6. Lions Why do lions have loose belly skin? It's not because they are out of shape! It's an adaptation for their protection. Loose belly skin allows animal to be kicked by prey with little chance of injury. What is the purpose of the mane on a male lion? Thick mane helps male look bigger and protects the throat. Why are the eyes of a lion set in the front of its head rather than on the sides? Eyes in front allow for depth perception and ability to judge distances when stalking or ambushing prey. A lion has heavily muscled forelimbs and shoulders. Why? Heavily muscled forelimbs and shoulders add strength for capturing large prey. Why do they have forepaws equipped with long, retractile claws? Forepaws equipped with long, retractile claws which help to grab and hold prey. Why do they have a rough tongue? Rough tongue designed to peel skin of prey animal away from flesh, and flesh from bone. Why are lions a sandy color? Sandy coat color camouflages animal and young among scrub vegetation.
  7. 7. Rock deserts and sparse grasslands. Lizards Leopard Gecko 1. Like many lizards, the leopard gecko has a tail, which breaks off readily when grabbed by a predator. This permits the gecko to get away if attacked. Unfortunately, it leaves a valuable food resource behind; the tail is used as a fat storage for lean periods in the desert. 2. They are strictly nocturnal, keeping out of the heat of the day, emerging at night from holes and crevices to hunt for food. 3. Many geckos lack eyelids, but the leopard gecko's are not only translucent, but they are movable, which allows them to blink and close their eyes while sleeping. Additionally, this helps protect their eyes against the blowing sand of the desert. 4. Extra-thick skin helps to prevent drying out in the desert. Additionally, it protects from the wear and tear of moving through dry scrub or around sharp rocks.
  8. 8. Arctic Conditions How are animals living in the polar region adapted to the conditions in which they live in? Animals of the Arctic have many adaptations to help them survive in often inhospitable climate. Polar Bears A polar bear lives in the cold, snowy Arctic lands. They are the largest land carnivores. How has a polar bear adapted to its Arctic environment? Why are polar bears white? Their white fur helps them blend in with the snow and ice. How does a polar bear keep warm? A polar bear has a layer of fat under its skin which helps it stay warm. It also has a thick layer of fur. Why does a polar bear have very wide, large paws? The wide, large paws help a polar bear to walk in the snow. Why does a polar bear have nostrils which it can close? When a polar bear swims under water it closes it nostrils so no water can get in. Why will we not find a polar bear living in a desert? Polar bears are adapted to suit a cold environment. If a polar bear was adapted to live in a desert: •What color would the polar bear be so it was camouflaged? •Would it still have thick fir? •What would it eat?
  9. 9. Arctic Conditions Animals of the Arctic have many adaptations to help them survive in often inhospitable climate. Penguins Some Penguins live in the Antarctic, where it is extremely cold, and the water temperatures never rise above freezing. Others live further North, but all penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere. Penguins are flightless birds, but are excellent swimmers. They live on packed ice and in the oceans around Antarctica. They breed on the land or ice surfaces along the coast and on islands. How are penguins adapted so they can swim fast? Penguins have webbed feet for powerful swimming. Their bodies are streamlined to reduce drag in water. Their wings, shaped like flippers, also help them "fly" underwater at speeds up to 15 mph. How do penguins keep warm? Penguins have to keep high body temperatures to remain active. They have thick skin and lots of fat (blubber) under their skin to keep warm in cold weather. They also huddle together with their friends to keep warm. Emperor penguins have developed a social behavior that when it gets cold, they huddle together in groups that may comprise several thousand penguins. The dark colored feathers of a penguin's back surface absorb heat from the sun, so helping them to warm up too. What is the job of penguins’ feathers? Penguins tightly packed feathers overlap to provide waterproofing and warmth. They coat their feathers with oil from a gland near the tail to increase impermeability. Waterproofing is critical to penguins' survival in water, Antarctic seas may be as cold as -2.2°C (28°F) and rarely get above +2°C (35.6°F). How do penguins stay under water? Penguins don't have all the extra airspaces in their bones that normal birds have. Their heavy, solid bones act like a diver's weight belt, allowing them to stay underwater.
  10. 10. Dolphins •Streamlined to move fast, to catch food and to escape from predators •Excellent hearing to protect itself from predators •Very intelligent mammal •Swims with other dolphins for company and protection Snakes How are large snakes such as pythons able to swallow prey that is bigger than their own heads? It's because their jaws are adapted to do so. The bones of their mouth are loosely joined to their skulls. A stretchy strip of tissue called a ligament holds together the two halves of the lower jaw. When the snakes swallow their prey, their mouths can stretch wide open. The lower jawbones spread apart and each bone moves separately to pull the prey into the mouth. Snakes usually swallow their prey headfirst which causes the prey's legs to fold back, making it more streamlined and easier to swallow. The teeth of most snakes also curve backward which prevents the prey wiggling out. As snakes work their food down their throats, their windpipes displace themselves which means that the snakes can keep breathing while they are swallowing.
  11. 11. Frogs What does a frog eat? Frogs are carnivores. They eat insects, spiders, worms, snails, fish, and even small rodents like mice. How does a frog eat? When a frog spots a tasty meal, it flicks out its long, sticky tongue. The tongue lassos the meal/creature and pulls it back into the frog's mouth. Do frogs have teeth? Yes, frogs do have teeth, however, they are small and so not really good for chewing. Frogs mostly use their teeth just to hold their prey in their mouths, and then they swallow their prey whole. What is so special about a frog’s head? A frog's head has adaptations that help it to swallow prey. Unlike a human's eyes which are fixed in our heads in bony circles called orbits, the orbits surrounding a frog's eyes do not have bottoms. This means that when a frog swallows large prey, it can close its eyelids and drop its eyeballs down into its mouth. Yuck! Then the eyeballs help push the prey down the throat of the frog. (Incredible as it may sound, this is true!) Not all frogs look or act the same. Frogs have adapted to the environment around them. A Dyeing Poison Tree Frog is brightly colored to warn enemies of lethal nerve toxins. Its finger and toe tips have glandular adhesive pads that enable the animal to climb.
  12. 12. Questions for Research on Adaptations 1. In your own words, explain adaptation. _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ 2. Name three adaptations that help animals survive. (1)_______________________________________________ (2)_______________________________________________ (3)_______________________________________________ 3. What are the two main adaptations desert animals must make? _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ 4. Give two examples of desert animals and their adaptations. _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ 5. Tell about two adaptations camels have to help them live successfully in the desert. __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ 6. List two adaptations giraffes have to help them live in the grasslands. __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ Name-__________________________Date-____________
  13. 13. 7. The lion and gecko also live in the grasslands. Write about at least 3 ways these animals are able to adapt to life in the grasslands. _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ 8. Polar bears and penguins live in the arctic regions. They have many adaptations to help them survive. Give two examples of adaptations for each animal. Polar Bear (1) ______________________________________________ _________________________________________________ (1) ______________________________________________ _________________________________________________ Penguin (1) ______________________________________________ _________________________________________________ (2) ______________________________________________ _________________________________________________ 9. List two adaptations of dolphins, snakes, or frogs. _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________