Question

Name two examples how organisms have adapted to their environment.

1 year ago

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Marcelo Klocko


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Christina Anthony

Adaptation, in biology, the process by which a species becomes fitted to its environment; it is the result of natural selection’s acting upon heritable variation over several generations. Organisms are adapted to their environments in a great variety of ways: in their structure, physiology, and genetics, in their locomotion or dispersal, in their means of defense and attack, in their reproduction and development, and in other respects.


light gray peppered moth (Biston betularia)

light gray peppered moth (Biston betularia)

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Related Topics: climatic adaptation paedomorphosis industrial melanism specialization heat adaptation

dark coloured peppered moth (Biston betularia)

dark coloured peppered moth (Biston betularia)

The word adaptation does not stem from its current usage in evolutionary biology but rather dates back to the early 17th century, when it indicated a relation between design and function or how something fits into something else. In biology this general idea has been coopted so that adaptation has three meanings. First, in a physiological sense, an animal or plant can adapt by adjusting to its immediate environment—for instance, by changing its temperature or metabolism with an increase in altitude. Second, and more commonly, the word adaptation refers either to the process of becoming adapted or to the features of organisms that promote reproductive success relative to other possible features. Here the process of adaptation is driven by genetic variations among individuals that become adapted to—that is, have greater success in—a specific environmental context. A classic example is shown by the melanistic (dark) phenotype of the peppered moth (Biston betularia), which increased in numbers in Britain following the Industrial Revolution as dark-coloured moths appeared cryptic against soot-darkened trees and escaped predation by birds. The process of adaptation occurs through an eventual change in the gene frequency relative to advantages conferred by a particular characteristic, as with the coloration of wings in the moths.


The routine monitoring of blood pressure levels is an important part of assessing an individual's health. Blood pressure provides information about the amount of blood in circulation and about heart function and thus is an important indicator of disease.

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The third and more popular view of adaptation is in regard to the form of a feature that has evolved by natural selection for a specific function. Examples include the long necks of giraffes for feeding in the tops of trees, the streamlined bodies of aquatic fish and mammals, the light bones of flying birds and mammals, and the long daggerlike canine teeth of carnivores.

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