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Explore adaptations in animals and plants.

This lesson includes:

  • three videos
  • three activities


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

This short films looks at how different animals adapt.

It looks at the Texas blind salamander and how it is adapted to living in the dark, how three different foxes adapt to different habitats and how a seahorse and cuttle fish use camouflage.

How animals have adapted


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

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