Adaptations of Animals To Climate Change

Habitat is the natural place where animals live. Different organisms prefer a different type of conditions and habitat. It may be as big as an ocean or as small as a lake. Some are aquatic while some are terrestrial animals or both.  Different types of habitats found on earth are Water, Desert, Forest, Grassland, Tundra, etc. Every animal is native to some region; some migrate from one region to another with changing the climate. All depends on the adaptations of animals to their surroundings and the prevailing conditions in different habitats. Let’s learn more about the adaptations of animals in Polar Regions, Tropical Rainforests, and Deserts.

ADAPTATIONS OF ANIMALS

When life forms native to a region begin to face some changes in their environment or any threats, either they will die or will adapt for survival. Adaptation is the evolution or approaches exhibited by organisms to ensure their continuance. It supports life even in bleak conditions. Adaptation in animals differs from region to region and according to the climate.Every living being is adapted to its habitat. A variety of adaptations can be observed in animals which include behavioral, physiological, anatomical or morphological changes.Adaptations are unique to a particular area and these adaptations will not be effective in another terrain. This explains why some parts of animals are unique to a region and why they cannot survive in other habitats.

Adaptations of organisms in different habitats are as follows:

Tropical Forest: Tropical Forests are forest habitats near to the tropical region of the equator which is blessed with plenty of rainfall. They are packed with big and small organisms. Due to its pleasant climate, they are home to an enormous variety of organisms like apes, elephants, birds, insects, etc.  Due to its vast area, chances of competition within it is also high.  Hence, each animal has to adopt certain characteristics to survive. Few examples are as follows:

  • Tree climbers: Sticky padded feet (e.g. Frogs), long tails and hands and feet that can hold branches of trees (e.g. Monkeys) help these animals depend on trees for food and other requirements.
  • Flying animals: Birds, they can reach high branches easily using their flying ability.
  • Ground animals: These animals have strong features like a thick skin, claws, highly sensitive organs (e.g. Lions, Tigers, Cheetah) while some are strong like elephants with big trunk and ears.
  • Insects: They have adaptations like camouflage, mimicry, sharp eyesight, etc. to escape from predators.
Adaptations

Adaptations of Tropical Forest Animals

These types of adaptations help them to live in the same habitat without much competition, either for food or for shelter.

 Deserts: Deserts are the dry and hot place, it’s hard to imagine life in deserts. Despite the arid conditions, few plants and animals managed to survive in deserts. They have following adaptations:

  • They can save water in the form of body fat in structures like hump (e.g. camels).
  • They live without water for a long period of time (really long period!!!) (e.g. rats).
  • They have body structure like short-ear and tails to maintain the body temperature and to reduce water loss (e.g. Fox).
  • Succulents are plants which can store water in their modified stems and leaves.
  • They have long deep roots which can absorb water from underground.
  • Some grow short to save energy wasted on growth.

Tundra: Tundra represents the coldest habitats on earth like Antarctica, Arctic and Alpine regions. Sedges, dwarf shrubs, grasses and certain mosses and lichens are some plant species found in these terrains. This is the habitat where snow covers everything under it and temperature can be as low as – 37◦C. Polar bears, penguins, Arctic fox, etc. are few animals that live in these conditions. They have adaptations like:

  • White fur: White fur in snowy white camouflage them and protect from predators
  • Thick fur & skin: Thick fur and layer of fat skin help in insulation and keep warm.
  • Strong sense of smell: Sense of smell is very strong that assists them in catching preys.
  • Shaped and sharp claws: They have well curved and sharp claws that support them in walking on ice.
Adaptations

Polar bear in Polar region

Migration: Some birds are not well adapted to these extreme conditions. Hence, such birds migrate to a comfortable zone where they can easily find their food, shelter and reproduce.

For more detailed information about the adaptation of animals to climate change, visit BYJU’S.


Practise This Question

Which of the following features make penguins good swimmers?