Task 3: How and why do animals adapt?

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5. How and why do animals adapt.jpg

All organisms have adaptations that help them survive and thrive. Adaptations are the result of evolution. Evolution is a change in a species over long periods of time to help them better compete for food and mates. This is also called ‘natural selection’ or ‘survival of the fittest’.

There are three main types of adaptation:

  • Structural adaptation. A feature of an organism’s body that helps it to survive or reproduce
  • Behavioural adaptation. The behaviours of an organism which helps it to survive or reproduce
  • Physiological adaptation. A change to the way an animal functions in response to its environment


  • What structural adaptations do humans have to help us survive?
  • Can you think of any behavioural adaptations you need to make in different circumstances? Do you behave differently at home and at school? What about around different people?

Adaptations task

There are some examples of adaptations in the videos below. Watch them and then answer the questions in your workbooks to explain how some of the animals you have seen adapt and why they do this.

Structural adaptation

Behavioural adaptation

Physiological adaptation

2. Examples of animal adaptations, Page 1.pdf
2. Examples of animal adaptations, Page 2.pdf