Structural adaptations are the physical features of an organism that help it to survive and succeed in its environment. Structural adaptations can affect the way the creature moves, eats, reproduces or protects itself.Know More
Structural adaptations are the result of the evolutionary process, which stems from the mutation of genes over time. Some mutations are of benefit to the organism while others are not. Creatures with beneficial adaptations, such as sharper teeth for a carnivore, for example, or a longer bill in a bird, are more likely to survive longer and breed successfully. The beneficial adaptations eventually spread throughout the gene pool of the species across thousands of years.
The specific characteristics of each species are the result of structural adaptation. Some examples include:
The theory of structural adaptation comes from Darwin's observation of finches on the Galapagos Islands. The finches had all come from the mainland and were all the same physically at one time. Yet, he saw that in each area of the islands, there were subspecies of finches that had different beaks and adapted to the unique food sources of their specific environment.Learn more about Biology
A biologic stimulus is any external change in the environment that can be detected by an organism. The ability to respond to a stimulus is called irritability and is a necessary condition for life.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 >
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.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >