Adaptations to the environment in animals

Not only are plants able to adapt to an ecosystem, so too can animals. Again, the adaptations can be structural, behavioural or physical to meet the aim of survival and reproduction. The competition that arises from adaptations is essential for the process of evolution.

Structural adaptations in animals

Structural adaptations of animals are the physical features which allow them to compete. Animals have a wide range of structural adaptations including sharp claws to catch prey, dig burrows or scratch trees to signal territories. The scratching of trees is a behavioural adaptation.

Predators and prey often have similar adaptations. Both are likely to have good vision and hearing. Prey often has eyes on the sides of their heads to easily spot predators. Predators often have their eyes on the front of their heads to judge distance to their prey.

Behavioural adaptations in animals

Behavioural adaptations of animals are behaviours which give them an advantage. Behavioural adaptations include mating rituals, like a male peacock bird showing his tail feathers to attract a female mate. They can also include working together in packs like wolves to hunt prey. Other animals have evolved the behavioural adaptation of using tools. For example, crocodiles use twigs to lure birds, who would pick them up to build nests.

Physiological adaptations in animals

Physiological adaptations of animals are processes which allow them to compete. The production of venom is an example of this. Many predators such as snakes and spiders produce venom both to defend themselves and kill their prey. When the cane toad was introduced into Australia, predators, such as native crocodiles and turtles, had not evolved to be resistant to its venom. Many ate cane toads and were killed.