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ANIMALS

Adaptations in animals
Adaptations are body features and habits that enable a living thing to live comfortably in its natural surroundings. Let us understand this with the example of a fish. The shape of the body and fins help a fish to swim. It obtains oxygen dissolved in the water with the help of gills.

Adaptations in desert animals
The camel found in India is a good example to learn how certain animals are adapted to live in a desert. Here are the body features that help camel live in a desert.
  1. Long eyelashes protect eyes from strong, sandy wind.
  2. Nostrils can be closed and opened at will. During a sandstorm, the camel closes its nostrils.
  3. Padded feet help it to walk comfortably on the soft sand.
  4. Long legs keep its body much above the hot sand.
  5. Toes are joined together to prevent sinking into the sand.
  6. Hump stores excess amount of food as fat. Due to scarcity of water only few plants grow in a desert. When food is available, a camel eats plenty of it. Excess amount of food is converted into fat and is stored in the hump. It is used when food is scarce, that is why it is able to live without eating food for several days. It drinks plenty of water to recover water lost from body, when water is available. A camel can live without water for many days.
Adaptations in animals living in open grasslands
Animals like the deer, wild dogs, foxes, lions and cheetahs live in grasslands.These animals are adapted to live in open spaces.
  1. Strong legs help them to cover long distances in search of food.
  2. The body color merges with the color of the dry grass(camouflage). This helps animals like the deer to escape from their enemies and animals like the lion to remain unnoticed till the prey is close enough to hunt.
  3. They also have a keen sense of smell and sharp eyesight.
Adaptations in animals living in cold regions
The polar regions of the Earth are extremely cold and remain ice-covered throughout the year. Polar bears, Arctic foxes and penguins live in such regions comfortably. The polar bear which lives in the north polar region is a good example to understand how animals are adapted to live in cold regions.
  1. The body is covered with a thick layer of hollow hair that traps air and keeps the bear warm. There is also a thick layer of fat below its skin. These features keep the bear comfortably warm even when the temperature goes below -30 degree celsius in winter.
  2. The polar bear is a good swimmer. This adaptation helps it to catch seal for food when ice melts in warmer months.
  3. The polar bear also has a peculiar habit. In winter, when the weather turns extremely cold and food is difficult to find, it goes to sleep(hybernation) and wakes up only after a few months when the weather warms up. This is how the largest meat-eating land animal on Earth survives in cold conditions without food for many months.
Adaptations in animals living on mountains
Animals living on high mountains are adapted to living in cold conditions with less oxygen in the air. The wild yak is adapted to live in high mountainous regions of the Himalyan ranges.
  1. The body is covered with a thick growth of hair that touches the ground and this keeps the animal warm.
  2. Yaks have more red blood cells than any other animals. This helps them to obtain enough oxygen from the air.
  3. At some places deep holes are covered with just a thin layer of ice. Herds of yak travel on snow in a single file, carefully stepping on the footprints left by the lead yak.

Related Links
Animals for first and second graders
Animals for third and fourth graders