Organisms are found all over the world in many different environments. They are able to live in these environments because they have adapted to them.
The common adaptations of animals living in hot climates are:
- They usually have concentrated urine. Therefore they lose less water.
- They produce less sweat. Therefore they lose even less water.
- Have a large surface area compared to its volume. As an organism grows larger its volume increases more than its surface area, which makes it harder to transfer heat to its surroundings. Therefore, animals living in a hot climate tend to be smaller to lose heat more quickly.
- They have a less body fat, to make it easier to lose heat to its surroundings.
The common adaptations of plants living in hot climates are:
- Plants lose water through their leaves when they transpire. To reduce this, cacti have spines instead of leaves to reduce their surface area.
- Many plants living in hot climates have water-storing tissues to more effectively store water.
- They have large roots to absorb water in a large area or very deep underground.
The common adaptations of animals living in cold conditions are:
- They have a small surface area compared to their volume. Animals that live in cold climates tend to be larger to lose less heat.
- They also have a lot of fat or blubber. This keeps they well insulated. Therefore these animals lose less heat to their surroundings.
Organisms need to be well adapted to their environments because there are a limited amount of resources. As a result not only do organisms need to be adapted enough to effectively collect these resources, but also need to be more adapted than their competitors.
Plants usually compete for light, space, water, and nutrients in the soil. While animals usually compete for territory, food, water, and mates.
Organisms not only compete with individuals in other species but also with individuals within their species.
The common adaptations organisms have to deter predators or catch prey are:
- The use of poisons and venom to debilitate predators or prey without expending a lot of energy.
- Using camouflage to sneak up on prey or to sneak away from predators.
- The use of armour, like thorns or shells, to protect themselves from predators.