Adaptation is morphological, physiological and behavioral attribute of the organism that enables the organism to survive and reproduce in its habitat.
Adaptation of animal in desert
- In the absence of an external source of water, the kangaroo rat in North American deserts is capable of meeting all its water requirements through its internal fat oxidation.
- Kangaroo rat has the ability to concentrate its urine so that minimal volume of water is used to remove excretory products.
Fig. kangaroo rat
Adaptation of plants in desert
- Thick cuticle on the leaf surfaces of the desert plants reduces transpiration.
- Stomata is sunken to reduce transpiration.
- Desert plants follow a special photosynthetic pathway called Crassulean acid metabolism (CAM), in which stomata remains closed during day time and open during night time.
- In some plants like Opuntia , leaves are modifies into spines to reduce transpiration and photosynthesis takes place in flat green stem called as phylloclade
Adaptation of animal in cold climate
- Mammals from colder climates generally have shorter ears and limbs to minimize heat loss, called as Allen’s Rule.
- Aquatic mammals like seals have a thick layer of fat (blubber) below their skin that acts as an insulator and reduces loss of body heat.
Fig. a seal
Adaptation in high altitude
- When a person moves to high altitude place, develops altitude sickness because in the low atmospheric pressure of high altitudes, the body does not get enough oxygen.
- Symptoms include nausea, fatigue and heart palpitations.
- The body compensates low oxygen availability by increasing red blood cell production, decreasing the binding capacity of hemoglobin and by increasing breathing rate.
Fig. red blood cells carrying hemoglobin
- Desert lizards deal with the high temperatures of their habitat, by managing to keep their body temperature fairly constant by behavioural adaptation.
- Desert lizards bask in the sun and absorb heat when their body temperature drops below the comfort zone and move into shade when the ambient temperature starts increasing.
- Some species are capable of burrowing into the soil to hide and escape from the above-ground heat.
Fig. desert lizard