Habitats and Adaptations

What is a habitat?

Webster’s definition of habitat is: “the place or environment where a plant or animal naturally or normally lives and grows.”

Given this definition, what is your habitat?

A habitat is a certain geographical area that is inhabited by an animal, species, or other organism.  It is the physical environment that surrounds the species, or population.  The 5 main types of habitats are; grasslands, wetlands, forests, deserts, and arctic tundra.  Each one of these habitats, or environments, have living things in them that learned to adapt in order to survive there.

What is an adaptation?

Webster’s definition of adaptation is: “modification of an organism or its parts that makes it more fit for existence under the conditions of its environment.”

Animals learn to live in their habitat by adapting to all of the things around them.  Some of these adaptations include; animals that live in very cold environments have very thick fur, some animals that live in the water have developed webbed feet over time, polar bears adapted by having white fur, whales adapted by having a thick layer of blubber, etc.  Even people adapt to the their environment.  Did you know that people in very cold climates are very white and have bushy eyebrows and people in warmer areas have darker skin and thin eyebrows?

The greatest thing to remember when talking about habitats and adaptations of its inhabitants is that change is constant.  What an environment is like today may be quite different from what it was 100 years ago, or what it will be like 100 years from now.  Living things have to adapt to continue surviving.  What adaptations could you make if you were to move to the arctic tundra, or even the wetlands?

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    jjohnson5 said,

    Found a great interactive where students can set up a habitat. Check it out.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/scienceclips/ages/8_9/habitats.shtml

  2. 2

    Cheri Chaney said,

    When we did adaptations in the classroom, I had the students create their own animal and describe the adaptations that the animal would need to survive in their environment. I made this activity a station at science station. The students loved making their own creations and sharing their animal and its adaptations with their classmates.


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