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Life Science #5


Lauri Marek

on 20 March 2011

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Transcript of Life Science #5

Life Science Adaptations 5.10 A
Compare the structures and functions of different species that help them live and survive. All organisms have characteristics that help them survive in their ecosystem. These characteristics are called adaptations. Adaptive characteristics help an organism meet its needs. There are many ways in which an organism can adapt. Adaptive characteristics include how an organism gathers food, moves around, finds mates, protects itself from predators, and cares for offspring. Let's look at various organisms and compare the structures and functions that help them live and survive. The deep sea angler is predatory, luring its prey with a bioluminescent lure at the end of a long rod. The anteater walks on their knuckles so they don't ruin their claws. They use their claws for protection from predators and to dig through ant nests. The arctic fox has the warmest fur of any mammal. It is white during the winter and brownish gray during the summer. Bighorn sheep have padded hooves to help them climb steep, rocky mountains. They use their horns to break open cactus and for fighting. The enlarged stem of the cactus conducts photosynthesis and stores water. They have shallow root systems that are spread out over a large area to absorb the little rain that falls in the desert. Chameleons can shoot out their tongue nearly a foot and catch an insect with incredible accuracy. They can focus their eyes independently and view two images at the same time. Camels are adapted to live in the hot, dry desert. Their long eyelashes keep out the sand. They can completely close their nostrils to keep out sand. THey can go a week or more without water. The hump stores fat for energy. The shape of a duck's bill determines what type of food it eats. Some are shaped like shovels and they sift through mud for insects. Some beaks are broad and short. They feed on the surface and eat grasses and fish. Eagles are predators. They have excellent eyesight to spot their prey, a hooked beak to tear apart prey, and sharp talons to capture prey. Flounder use color adaptation to match the bay or ocean floor. They may partially bury themselves for additional camouflage so they can ambush their prey. In addition to running at high speeds, the gazelle also uses a bounding leap to avoid predators. Kangaroos are marsupials which means they carry their young around in a pouch. Kangaroos have very powerful hind legs for hopping and fighting and a strong tail for balance and steering. The katydid is a species of grasshopper. They are tree-living insects and most look like leaves. Their wings mimic the movement of leaves and serve as camouflage against predators. The shortfin mako shark is very sleek and hydrodynamic. This helps it move easily and extremely fast in the ocean. Mountain lions have sharp teeth to help them capture and consume their prey. They eat mainly deer, but will also eat porcupine, racoons, birds, and small mammals. The owl's eyes are one of its most amazing adaptations. Their eyes are very large and cannot move in their socket. Owls are nocturnal and their eyes help them navigate through their habitat at night and capture prey. Pelicans use their famous throat pouch to catch fish. Pelicans do not store fish in their pouch, but simply use it to scoop them up. Tiny poison dart frogs may only be one inch long, but they pack a powerful punch - of poison. These frogs are one of Earth's most toxic species. Their colorful designs warn predators, "Don't eat me. I'm toxic!" Poison ivy produces a poison that keeps organisms from eating its leaves. How can you avoid it? Remember: "Leaves of three, Let it be." Seals are insulated from the cold by a thick layer of blubber. They also have sensitive whiskers that help them detect prey in murky water. The spider monkey's long lanky arms and prehensile (gripping) tail allows it to move among the trees with ease. This Bengal tiger's stripes help camouflage them in the tall grasses while it hunts for prey. Yaks live in extreme cold temperatures at high altitude with low oxygen content of the air. The terrain that they walk on is very trecherous!

Yaks conserve heat with a thick fleece of coarse outer hair and an undercoat of fine down. Yaks have a large chest, large lungs, and a large heart. Yaks have specialized hooves to help them navigate the terrain and flat teeth for grazing. Zebras travel in large herds and stay close to each other. The pattern of each zebra's stripes blend in with the zebra's stripes around them. This confuses the lion who seas a large, moving striped mass instead of individual zebras. Ducks have webbed feet designed for swimming. The webbed feet act like paddes. No matter how cold the water, the duck's feet never get cold because there are no nerves or blood vessels in their feet!
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