An adaptation is a change in body or behavior that helps an organism survive.
Two Main Adaptations:
inherited and learned
- Learned adaptation: an adaptation the organism learned after it was born. This is a mental adaptation -- a change to the way the organism acts or thinks.
- Inherited adaptation: An adaptation an organism was born with -- it inherited the adaptation from its parents.
a change to an organism's body
There are 4 main types of physical adaptations.
Structural: involves a change to some part of an organism's body.
Ex: different types of bird beaks help birds eat their prey (shown below)
Protective Coloration (Camouflage): the color of the organism is similar to its environment.
Ex: the octopus in the video below can change pattern, color, brightness, and texture to blend in with its surroundings.
Another example is this super-cool chameleon:
Protective Resemblance: the structure of the organism looks similar to the environment.
Ex: the walking stick insect (1st picture) looks like a tree branch or stick; this helps it blend in so that its prey doesn't see it as easily. The leaf mimic katydid (2nd picture) looks like a leaf and blends in on trees and other leafy plants.
Mimicry: the organism looks or acts like something that is known for being dangerous or poisonous (like a copycat).
Ex: the robber fly (1st picture) looks a lot like the bumblebee (2nd picture). Bumblebees are famous for their stingers, but robber flies don't sting at all. If you were a predator, you would have a hard time telling the difference between the two insects!