A functional adaptation is a structure or behavior that has arisen sometime in the evolutionary history of a species to aid in that species', or its predecessors', survival. A waterproof eggshell, for example, is a functional adaptation that arose among reptiles in response to the need to lay eggs in dry, dessicating environments where permeable eggshells would have dried out.Know More
Functional adaptations are at the heart of evolution. Structures that increase the likelihood of survival for an organism are strongly favored by natural selection, so they appear in ever-greater numbers from one generation to the next until the trait becomes fixed and every member of the population has them. Sometimes functional adaptations make the transition from one function to another. An example of this is feathers. Feathers arose during the Mesozoic as a form of insulation for some dinosaur species. They were functional as insulation in these species. In time, the shape of some feathers changed to allow flight among the ancestors of modern birds. Feathers thus took on a new function during the course of bird evolution.
Once-functional adaptations can lose their function. These vestigial adaptations are not always useless. The human coccyx, or tailbone, is an example of a vestigial adaptation. It still serves as an attachment point for muscles but is regarded as having greatly diminished functions from ancestral forms.Learn more about Biology
Structural-functional theory, or structural functionalism, views society as a system of functional and interconnected units that work together as a whole to produce a state of stability and order. Because of their interconnectedness, the individual units of society can affect each other. If one of the functional units is weakened, the structural-functional view anticipates a possible effect upon the entire society.Full Answer >
The three stages of general adaptation syndrome, commonly known as GAS, include alarm reaction, resistance and exhaustion. GAS refers to the physiological changes that occur in the body in response to stress.Full Answer >
To survive, an organism needs a habitat that features somewhere to attract mates and find resources, has food, and protects it from the weather and extreme temperatures. The specifics of what an organism needs to survive varies between species, and many must adapt to environments to thrive.Full Answer >
According to Kenyon College, the structure of the single-celled eukaryotic Euglena includes a spiral exoskeleton outside of a long, thin cell with a flagellum for motion and, in most cases, several internal chloroplasts. They are capable of both photosynthesis and consuming other organisms in their environment.Full Answer >