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 in Biology
A niche is the role an organism fills within its environment. What and where an animal eats are considered part of its niche. For instance, some birds, such as woodpeckers, eat insects in trees. This limits the bug population and keeps bugs from overtaking the environment.Full Answer >
Feedback loops help maintain homeostasis by allowing the organism to respond to changes in its environment. Feedback loops are important because organisms are always dealing with changes in environment or internal condition, so the feedback loop prevents those changes from going too far and becoming dangerous.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 >
Adaptation is a genetically encoded product of natural selection that enables a species to develop a functional feature that helps to ensure its survival. As a species' environment changes in time, natural selection works with a population's genetic variability to produce offspring with differing characteristics. Those offspring possessing the characteristics best suited for survival are the ones that will go on to produce similar offspring, while those less-suited to survival eventually die off.Full Answer >