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Adaptation in Organisms: Plants and Animals

Grade 3
May 30, 2023

Ecosystem – Adaptation in Organisms


Adaptation is all about survival, a characteristic of a living thing that helps it survive in its environment.


An environment includes everything living and non-living in the area that a plant or animal lives in. All living things have adaptations, even humans.

Let’s discuss the adaptation in plants and animals in detail.


Adaptation in Plants:

Adaptation is the process of change by which an organism or species becomes better suited to its environment.

In other words, adaptations often develop in response to a change in the organism’s habitat, and the same is the case with plants.


Sometimes, plants find it difficult to live in a climate and have to adapt or change to survive in their habitat.

Conditions of a plant due to climate change
Conditions of a plant due to climate change

Adaptations are special features that help a plant survive in its habitat.

Plants adapt to their habitat in order to:

  • Get sunlight
  • Get water
  • Get nutrients
  • Protect themselves
  • Reproduce
Plant Needs
Plant Needs

Examples of Adaptations in Plants

Adaptation in Venus flytrap

This usually grows in acidic soil that is poor in nutrients. For this reason, they have adapted a gruesome adaptation.

The plant is able to obtain all the nutrients it requires to thrive by catching and digesting unsuspecting insects that land on its trap leaves.

Venus flytrap
Venus flytrap

A Venus fly trap has several short hairs in its traps. Additionally, they convey a signal to the trap to be closed when an insect touches these delicate hairs, and the digestion starts at that point.

Adaptation in the Dodder Vine

The dodder vine is a parasitic weed that has adapted a sense of smell. It smells out of its prey by detecting the chemical aromas they give off.

Dodders are typically attracted to the scent of tomato plants, and once they find one, it’s game over.

Dodder Vine
Dodder Vine

The vine will attach itself to the host plant and suck out the nutrients within it. This in turn causes the poor host plant to wither and die.

Adaptation in cactus

Cactuses or cacti live in deserts with little water. Deserts are dry and very hot places.


Their adaptations include:

  • Long roots to find water
  • Waxy skin helps retain water
  • Small needle-like leaves to help retain water

Adaptation in Mountain Plants

Plants on mountains are tall, straight, and cone-shaped. These plants are generally flowerless, and they have needle-like leaves.

Plants on mountains and hills are adapted to grow in very cold temperatures.

Due to its cone shape, snow does not accumulate on them and slips.

Mountain Plants
Mountain Plants

Adaptation in Animals:

Adaptations are special features in animals that help them survive.

Animals adapt themselves in the following ways:

  • For habitat
  • For food habit
  • For protecting themselves
  • To survive extreme heat and cold

What is a habitat?

The place where animals usually live and grow in nature is called their habitat. Some examples are given below.

Camels live in the desert
Camels live in the desert
Monkeys live in the jungle
Monkeys live in the jungle

Examples of Adaptations in Animals

Adaptations in Camel

  • A camel has long eyelashes to keep sand out of its eyes.
  • They have nostrils that are close to keep sand out.
  • They have a hump to store water. 
  • They have a thick coat of hair for protection from the sun.

Adaptations in a Giraffe

  • Giraffes have a long neck that helps them reach their favorite food.
  • The giraffe’s patterned spots and light tan to dark brown coloring help camouflage the animal in the grassland environment.

Adaptation in Polar Bear

  • Polar bears have webbed feet for swimming and walking on snow.
  • They have a thick layer of fat for warmth.
  • Plants on mountains and hills are adapted to grow in very cold temperatures.
  • They have special transparent fur for camouflage.
Polar bears
Polar bears

Adaptations in Elephant

  • They have long ears, which help them in keeping cool in a hot and humid climate.
  • Tusks for protection and gathering food.
  • Trunk for smelling, drinking, and gathering food.
  • Large round legs and feet help to support the weight of the elephant.

Adaptations in Cats

  • A cat’s eyes are adapted for night-time hunting.
  • Cats also have retractable claws for climbing, hunting, and defending themselves.
Adaptation in Organisms


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