Animals that live in the Australian desert must overcome the heat and find water and food to survive. Red kangaroos and emus have specific adaptations and behaviours enabling them to live in these conditions. The freshwater crocodile has barely changed for 50 million years and has the greatest capacity to conserve energy. It can survive for two years without feeding.

This clip is from:
Bitesize Secondary, Darwin
First broadcast:
11 March 2009

During the clip students should list the physiological and behavioural adaptations of the kangaroo, emu and the crocodile. Students could choose another species that lives in a hot climate and compare their adaptations to those shown in the clip. The concept of convergent evolution could be discussed in which unrelated species may develop similar features to meet similar needs. The class could discuss how climate change can alter the balance and range of species that can cope with different conditions. Research could be carried out into the impact of desertification on different species or how climatic change has had an impact on mosquitoes and the spread of some mosquito-borne infections.