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Animal Adaptations

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How are organisms
adapted to their
Adaptations for getting
food & water
What is an adaptation?
Adapted- made fit to live under certain conditions.
How do animals survive in the wild?
They adapt by hunting and catching animals that they
• They have many things that help them adapt: body
parts, body coverings, camouflage, mimicry, and
defense mechanisms.
• To view some animal adaptations:
Body Parts
Male baboon- has sharp teeth for
cutting, eating, and fighting.
African elephant- has tusks and
trunk for breaking branches and
using in defense.
Shark- razor sharp teeth and fins to
swim fast when attacking or being
What are some other body parts
that help animals survive?
Birds: Body Parts
How are birds adapted to catch and
eat food?
Woodpecker- hammers its sharp
beak into a tree to find insects.
Cardinal- short, thick beak helps
break open seeds.
Spoonbill- wide beak to catch fish
and insects in a pond.
Body Parts: Birds
Pelican- uses its beak
to catch fish.
Hummingbird- has a
long, thin beak that
reaches deep into
flowers to get nectar.
The hawk is also adapted to catch and eat
strong wings
sharp eyesight
sharp claws
strong hooked beak
Body Coverings
Turtle: hard shell for protection,
pulls feet, head, and tail in
the hard shell.
Porcupine: sharp quills- raises
and rattles them in order to
make itself look bigger. They
also make a shrill noise that
scares off would-be
Armadillo: true bone shell- rolls
itself into a ball to protect
itself from predators.
Camouflage helps an animal
hide from danger they
blend in with their
flounder: a fish that spends
most of its time on the
ocean floor hiding from
Katydid: insect that looks like
a leaf.
Polar bear: has white fur that
allows the animal to blend
it with its surroundings.
Camouflage cont.
Snowshoe hare: a rabbit that
changes colors with the seasonsbrown during the summer and
white during the winter.
Sloth: lives in the forests hanging
from trees. Their fur is the color of
tree bark. Each hair is grooved
and algae grows in the grooves.
This helps the sloth blend in.
Mimicry is when animals imitate each
other. It is an act in order to get a
meal out of a situation to save their
Virginia opossum: this animal plays
dead and goes limp when being
attacked. The animals will lose
interest in them. This is known as
“playing possum”.
Crocodile: This animal will stay very
still- resembling a log. When its
prey gets close enough, it will
attack. The komodo dragon also
stays very still until prey gets close
Sawfly: looks like a wasp. It has a stinger like a wasp;
therefore, birds avoid it because they think it is poisonous.
Milk snake: looks like a coral snake, but isn’t venomous.
“Red against yellow- dangerous fellow”. The milk snake is
black against red.
Fighting for protection
• The leader of a herd
of zebras will attack a
hyena that is chasing
the herd.
• It will bite with its
strong teeth and kick
with its powerful
Defending themselves
• Some animals use
poisons to defend
themselves against
would-be attackers.
• Dragon fish have sharp
pointed fins coated with
• Rattlesnakes use sharp
fangs for hunting and
protection. When a snake
strikes another animal, it
sends poison into its
Adaptations in Behavior
• Behaviors that help animals survive are also
• Monarch butterflies have a behavior that
allows them to live through the winter. Millions
of monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico.
Animals that migrate
Adaptations in Behavior
• Another behavior that will help animals survive is
to hibernate.
• Hibernate- spend the winter in a state in which
the body greatly slows down.
• A toad buries itself in the mud during the rainy
season in the desert of Arizona.
• Woodchuck hibernates during the cold winter.
Past and Present Animals
How do present-day animals relate to animals of the past?
How does the wooly mammoth relate to the present-day elephant? How has
it adapted to the environment? What about the saber tooth tiger and the
present day tiger?
Past and Present Animals
• There are animals that have had little or no
change over time.
• These animals include the shark and the turtle.
• Why do you think there has not been any
change among these animals?
Extra Activities
• This website has a game for animal
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