Animal adaptations

Animal adaptations

I know how animals adapt to their habitats.

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Animal adaptations

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Based on the habitat and climate an animal lives in, different qualities or adaptations help them survive in their unique environment. Examples of this would be the thick fur that polar bears have, or the way that fish can breathe underwater with the help of gills. This lesson goes through different common habitats and discusses the types of qualities that helps animals thrive in them.

Learning objective

Students will be able to understand how animals adapt to their habitats.


Have your students think about whether a polar bear would be able to live in the desert, or whether a camel would be able to live in the ocean. Why would these animals not do well in those types of habitats?


The environment an animal lives in is called it's habitat. An animal is able to survive in this habitat based on adaptations that help them find and gather food, avoid predators, breathe, mate, and do other things that animals require. Many animals move back and forth between different habitats or spend time in habitats that are a combination of factors. To survive, animals need to be able to adapt to their environment or change it entirely. For example, the giraffe's tall neck allows it to eat from tall trees, while birds who prefer warmer weather will migrate during the winter.


The questions revolve around what it means for an animal to adapt to its' habitat, and what some of those adaptations might look like, and what function they serve.


Students are asked to consider - what is an adaptation? What are some specific adaptations you learned about? To think more about these questions, a closing activity has students spin a wheel to randomly pick a habitat, and then discuss what types of adaptations might help an animal survive in that kind of environment. The last activity features a customizable fish tank that students can decorate with everything they think they would need to keep an aquatic pet alive.

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