The climate around us keeps on changing. In order to survive the changing climate, animals are equipt with special features which help them in their adaptation. This is especially important in case of the animals living in extreme climatic conditions who have to protect themselves against the extreme heat or cold. These features that help them in adaptation are a result of the process of evolution. Let us know more about how climate and habitat affect animals as well as Adaptation in Animals in order to survive.
Animals Living in Polar Regions
Climatic conditions in the polar region are always on the extreme side. There is extreme cold and most of the areas are covered with snow. The sunrise and sunset persist for 6 months. The winters are so cold that the temperature falls to -37 0c. The animals living in these conditions include the polar bear as well as penguin. So how do they adapt to these conditions?
Adaptations of Polar Bear
- Their white fur gets camouflaged against the white background of snow protecting it from predators and also helps them catch their prey.
- Two thick layers of fur act as an insulator protecting them from the surrounding harsh climate.
- The polar bear carries out physical activities like swimming in order to keep warm
- In order to avoid getting overheated they move slowly and rest often.
- A strong sense of smell helps them in catching a prey
- Can remain submerged underwater closing its nostrils
Adaptations of Penguins
- Its white colour helps it blend in with the white background
- Thick skin and a lot of fat protect it from cold
- They huddle together in groups to keep themselves warm
- They have webbed feet and they streamline their body while swimming which makes them good swimmers
Other Animals Living in Polar Regions
The other animals living in polar regions include a variety of fishes, reindeers, seals, whales, foxes and birds. While fish are able to remain underwater for long periods of time and survive the cold weather, the birds cannot do that. They migrate to warmer regions till the winter gets over. India is amongst the favourite destination amongst these birds. An example of this is the Siberian crane that migrates to the regions of Bharatpur in Rajasthan as well as Sultanpur in Haryana. The wetlands of North East and some other parts of India also serve as their destination to escape from the extreme climates.
Adaptation in Animals Living in Tropical Rainforests
The tropical regions are characterized by extreme hot climates with the temperature rising to a whopping 40 0c during the summers. Even the winters are not that cold and the temperature rarely drops below 15 0c. These regions receive plenty of rainfall and hence an important feature of these regions are the Tropical Rainforests. Thee are found in the Western Ghats and Assam in India. They have spread in the South Eastern regions of Asia as well as the Central regions of Africa and America.
These rainforests support a wide variety of plants as well as animals. The major types of animals living in the rainforests are monkeys, apes, gorillas, tigers, snakes as well as a variety of different birds and insects. In order to survive the hot climates of the tropical rainforests, the animals living here have developed certain distinct features that help them adapt better.
Distinct Features Adopted by Tropical Animals
- Many animals are adapted to living on the trees. For example, the red-eyed frog has sticky pads attached to its feet that help it in climbing trees.
- Another example of adaptation in animals is the monkey. It has a long tail that helps it grasp branches as well as specially adapted hands and feet that help it grasp the branches better.
- In the cases where food is not easily accessible, as, in case of the bird Toucan, they possess a long, large beak which helps it reach the fruits on branches.
- Some of the animals have sensitive hearing, a sharp eyesight, a thick skin as well as a skin colour that helps it camouflage with the surroundings. These features protect them from predators. Example: Lions and tigers have thick skins and sensitive hearing.
- The lion-tailed macaque living in the rainforests of Western Ghats is another example of adaptation in animals. It has an outstanding feature in the form of a silver-white mane which surrounds its head from the cheek down to its chin. A good climber, its spends majority of its time on the trees and feeds on fruits, seeds, young leaves, flowers as well as buds. Having its food requirement is met entirely living on the trees, it rarely comes down.
- The elephant has adapted to the rainforests in its own unique way. It has a nose in the form of a long trunk which is equipt with a strong sense of smell. The elephant picks up its food using this. Moreover, it has modified teeth in the form of tusks that enable the elephant to tear down the barks of trees which are used as food.
- The elephant has large ears that not only help it pick up even the softest of sounds but also keep it warm in the humid and extremely hot climatic conditions that persist in the rainforests.
Learn more about Climate and Weather in detail here.
Solved Questions For You
Que: How does the polar bear keep itself warm in winter?
- It has two thick layers of fur
- Covers its body with a woollen coat
- Hides in caves
- None of the above
Ans: The correct answer is option a. The polar bear has two thick layers of fur which protect it from the cold winters.