An adaptation is defined by National Geographic as a genetic change in the structure or habits of an organism to allow it to survive, protect itself and reproduce in its environment. Physical adaptations, such as plants that develop thick stems to store water in deserts, manifest in the structure of the organism, while behavioral adaptations, such as animals that migrate to raise offspring, appear as a social trait.Know More
Physical adaptations include teeth, body coverings and movement, and behavioral adaptations include social behavior, migration and protective actions. National Geographic explains how certain adaptations, called exaptations, can develop for one purpose and later be used for another, such as bird feathers created for warmth and eventually used for flight. Other adaptations, termed vestigial, become useless but remain with the organism, such as the non-functioning leg bones still found in dolphins.
Reasons for adaptations to occur include environmental, lifestyle or relationship changes, some of which are due to human intervention, according to New World Encyclopedia. In rare cases, adaptations can result in maladaptation, which decreases the survival rate. Often, adaptations develop slowly over many generations in a species. Adaptations contribute to diversity in species. However, organisms that are unable to adapt can become extinct over time.Learn more about Biology
The characteristics that all living things share are cells, growth, reproduction, adaptation, homeostasis, use of energy and response to the environment. Using these characteristics, it is easy to determine if something is living, dead or non-living.Full Answer >
Organisms often respond to their environment through adaptation. Organisms that make an adjustment to environmental conditions in their own lifetime make physiological adaptation. If the adaptation takes place over several generations, the trait is an evolutionary adaptation. According to Reference.com, the ability to make adaptations is a fundamental property of life.Full Answer >
Serial homology is the development of special features from a structure that occurs in each section of an organism's body. A common example of serial homology is the specialized limb structure of arthropods. Each section of an arthropod body has a pair of appendages. These appendages can develop in the embryo as legs, wings or feelers.Full Answer >
The niche that an organism occupies is the opening in the environment that the organism fills to make a living. A species' niche is its place in an ecosystem relative to the other organisms present.Full Answer >