What is Adaptation? Types of Adaptations

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  • Change in an organisms physical structure or behaviour that improves its ability to survive in their habitat
  • Anything that helps an organism survives in its environment is an adaptation
  • Adaptation also refers to organisms’ ability to adjust to various conditions within its environment
  • Examples: change in size of birds beak, development of sharp teeth and claws, etc.

Types of Adaptation:

  • Structural adaptation-
    • -involves physical features of an organism that helps it to strive and survive in its environment
  • -ex: teeth, locomotion and body covering
  • The shape of an animal’s teeth is related to its diet.
  • Herbivores, such as deer, have many molars for chewing tough grass and plants.
  • Carnivores, such as lions, have sharp canines to kill and tear meat.

Examples of Structural adaptations:

  • Protective coloration (Camouflage)
    • Allows an animal to blend in its environmentadaptations What is Adaptation? Types of Adaptations
    • Makes it more difficult to be seen by enemies (greater chance of survival)
  • Example: Snakes


  • Is a method used by animals to physically appear and behave like another animal to fool predators into thinking it is poisonous or dangerous.
  • Coloration- color of fur, skin, feathers, etc.
    • Ex: coloration on an animal’s fur coat can be the same color as trees, plants, and/or landscape during winter months
    • Behavioural Adaptation:
    • Actions and behaviours of an animal that are instinctive or can be learned
    • Ex: rabbit freezes if it thinks that it has been seen by a predator
  • Migration- involves group of animals moving to a new geographical area to another and then back

Reasons for migration:

  • Better climate
  • Greater chances of finding food
  • Safety (safe place to raise young)
  • Return to place of birth


  • A state of ‘deep sleep’
  • Organisms body temperature drops to be able to conserve energy
  • Ex: Bears and bats


St. Rosemary Educational Institution. "What is Adaptation? Types of Adaptations." http://schoolworkhelper.net/. St. Rosemary Educational Institution, Last Update: 2014. Web. Retrieved on: Sunday 20th April 2014. http://schoolworkhelper.net/what-is-adaptation-types-of-adaptations/.

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