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Adaptation Definition

An adaptation is a characteristic of a living thing that helps it survive in its environment. For example, a hummingbird's long beak allows it to get nectar.

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Adaptations and the Environment

Fun Facts

  • Giraffes' long necks allow them to reach high food sources.
  • Armadillos can roll into a ball to protect themselves.
  • Echidnas' noses sense electrical movements to locate food.

Why Do We Need To Know About Adaptation

Learning about adaptations helps us see how animals survive in their environment, and can also help save lives. For example, a dog’s amazing sense of smell is a special change that helps them find people in search and rescue missions. This shows how knowing about adaptations is used in jobs like police work and helping in emergencies.

This idea doesn’t just apply to animals. Humans have adaptations like thumbs that can move in ways that are useful.  This is is important in jobs like physical therapy or designing artificial limbs. Understanding human adaptations can help experts make tools and treatments that improve our lives. Learning about adaptation is important for understanding both animals and humans.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is a giraffe’s long tongue an adaptation?
Giraffe’s long tongues help them obtain food in the wild, which are leaves from very tall and thorny plants. Their long tongues help them bend back the thorns to pull the leaves off without getting pricked by the thorns.
What evidence supports the argument that giraffe’s tongues are protected from sunburn?
The tip of giraffe’s long tongue is exposed to the sun for many hours a day as they feed. Having a dark colored tongue is thought to be an adaptation to keep the tip of the giraffe’s tongue from getting sunburned.
What is an adaptation besides its tongue that helps a giraffe obtain food?
A giraffe’s long neck is an adaptation that helps the giraffe reach foods that other animals can’t eat, such as leaves that are very high up in trees.
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