Adaptations are structural, physiological, or behavioral characteristics of living organisms that help them assimilate better in their environment and consequently improve their chances of survival. Adaptation occur in response to changes in the environment, lifestyle, or relationship to other organisms. Organisms that are adapted to their habitats are able to:
- secure food and water
- obtain spaces
- cope with physical conditions such as temperature, light, and heat
- defend themselves from their natural enemies
- reproduce successfully
- respond to changes around them
There are different types of adaptations:
- Structural Adaptations – These are special body parts of an organism that helps organisms to survive in its natural habitat. Example: skin colour, shape, etc.
- Physiological Adaptations – These are mechanisms present in an organism that allow it to perform certain biochemical reactions to survive in its natural habitat. Example: ability to produce venom, ability to maintain a constant body temperature, etc.
- Behavioral Adaptations – These are ways a particular organism behaves to survive in its natural habitat. Example: being active at night
Organisms live in different terrestrial habitats. They develop adaptations accordingly. Animals living in deserts have different adaptations from that of grasslands.
Adaptations in Grasslands
Grasslands are inhabited by both the prey and the predator. Grassland animals have the ability to run fast, which helps them escape predators. The grassland animals, especially the predators, also have the skin colour, which can help them being camouflaged in the natural surroundings of the grasslands. This adaptation helps them hide from their prey while hunting. Many of the animals in grasslands are herbivores due to the abundance of grasses. Grazing animals in grasslands have their digestive systems adapted to the habitat that enable them to survive on grasses. Many of the grassland animals are also nocturnal. These animals remain active only at night.
For example, a deer lives in grasslands. It possesses strong teeth for chewing hard plant stems. A deer has long ears to hear movements of predators. This keeps it alert to escape from any upcoming danger.
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