Adaptation

Home learning focus

Explore adaptations in animals and plants.

This lesson includes:

  • two videos
  • four activities

Learn

Living things are adapted to their habitats.

This means they have special features that help them to survive.

Watch this film to find out more about adaptation.

Examples of animals adapted for different environments include:

  • African elephant - lives in a hot habitat and has very large ears that it flaps to keep cool.

  • Polar bear - lives in a cold habitat and has thick fur to keep warm.

It’s not just animals that are adapted to their environment, plants are too.

A cactus is well adapted for survival in the desert.

They have long roots to collect water from a large area and a stem that can store water for a long period of time.

The animals and plants in one habitat are suited to live there and may not be able to survive in other habitats.

When a habitat changes, the animals and plants that live there are affected.

Polar bears

Polar bear

The polar bear, with thick fur and layers of fat, is adapted to life in a cold climate

1 of 3
Find out about adaptations in salamanders, foxes, cuttlefish and moths.

Animals that are good at adapting will be good at surviving and reproducing.

  • The Texas blind salamander has adapted to have no eyes because it doesn't need them to survive in its habitat - a pitch black cave.
  • The arctic fox has dark fur in the summer but its fur changes to white to blend in with the snow in the winter.
  • The desert fox has very large ears. Along with its thin coat, these features help it keep cool in the heat of the desert.
  • The cuttlefish can change colour in the blink of an eye to match its environment under the water.

Practise

There are lots of fun ways to try out your science skills:

Activity 1

Fill in the gaps to work out the animals from their adaptations.

Activity 2

Take the quiz.

Activity 3

Explore adaptation with more films and quizzes at Twig Education.

Adaptation - quizzes and videos

Activity 4

Children can use this worksheet to consider how the snow leopard has adapted to its environment and think about how other animals have done the same.

Explore more resources with Teachit Primary Science..

Snow leopard worksheet

There's more to learn

Have a look at these other resources around the BBC and the web.

Bitesize Daily lessons
KS2 Science
7-11 Science
Science on CBBC
Play Bitesize games
Watch Deadly 60 on iPlayer