Adaptations and Behaviors

By; Zakaria Cherif

Behavioral Adaptations


Migration is a behavioral adaptation in which many organisms flock together to travel away from their homeland. Some organisms migrate because of food shortages, others because of weather or climate. This adaptation varies between different species. Some examples of organisms that migrate include;
  • Birds
  • Insects
  • Whales
  • Sharks
  • Frogs


Swarming occurs when many animals gather together and travel in large numbers to form one big group. The main reason for swarming is defensive, animals may swarm to stop predators. Animals tend to swarm when migrating in large groups, or maintain body heat. Swarming is extremely easy to carry out, and even single celled organisms are able to do it. Examples include;


Animals that burrow have many reasons to do so. Many feed off the soil, others do it to keep cool, and some do it to avoid predators. Animals that live in cold climates may want to burrow to stay warm, while animals that live in a hot climate may want to burrow so they can stay cool, The reason an animal may want to burrow depends on it's predators, climate, and resources. Some examples include;

  • British moles
  • Naked mole rats
  • Armadillos
  • Badgers

Judging on the above list you can probably tell that most animals that burrow are mole like or small.


Nocturnality is a behavioral adaptation in which animals are mostly active during the night, and tend to be less active during daytime hours. This is advantageous to animals in places like the tropics, where it is cooler at night than it is in the day time. Being nocturnal also affects the amount of competition you get, for example; bats use the night sky to avoid competition. Animals that are active under the night sky are much harder to catch than those who are active during the day time, because they are harder to see. Another example of nocturnality are desert animals that hide from the sun and are active at night.

Physiological Adaptaions


Camouflage as well as being a physical adaptation found in organisms is also a physiological adaptation. The color pigments on the organisms body must change/adapt to the background in order for the animal to blend in with it's background. Because the color pigments adapt in this case it is also a physiological adaptation.

Mucus on Clownfish

Clownfish/Anemonefish secrete a layer of mucus to protect them selves from the anemone's harmful stingers. These fish use this to their advantage by using the anemone as their save haven and home. This is physiological because the body it's self secretes the mucus to protect the own organisms self.


Phototropism is the tendency for plants to move or face towards the sunlight. Phototropism is the growth of organisms in response to light, that being said it is mostly occurring in plants but can occur in fungi too. For example a sunflower faces the sun wherever it moves.


Venom is a physiological adaptation because it is produced in order to defend the organism from its predators, or capture prey. Venom is produced by certain chemicals inside the organisms bodies and is toxic. There is not much to say about this adaptation other than the fact that it is found in venomous snakes such as the;

  • Rattle Snake
  • Death Adder
  • Viper (in general)
  • Tiger snake

Physical Adaptations


Spines are an adaptation primarily used defensively by both plants and animals. Spines are obviously used to fend of predators that would eat the spine holder. This adaptation is extremely straight forward, the reason plants would not want to get eaten is to conserve water and stay alive, same for animals (obviously excluding the conserve water part). This adaptation is found in organisms that live in areas with little water or many predators. EX: cactuses or horned lizards.


Mimicry is an adaptation used by animals to scare off prey. The way mimicry works is; the animal that mimics makes itself look like a predator so it can prevent animals from attacking or eating it. Mimicry is primarily used to scare off predators and/or in very rare cases attract mates. Mocking birds for example use mimicry to mimic noises, while some caterpillars use it to mimic big eyes, or a scary look to keep birds or other predators from eating them.


Camouflage is when an animal changes its look to that of it's surroundings to avoid being seen. Both plants and animals practice camouflage, some for different reasons than others. Some animals camouflage to hide from predators, like frogs, and other small insects/animals, on the other hand, some hide to bait in prey EX: chameleons.


Polymorphism is literally, the occurrence of something in several different forms, in particular. Polymorphism within animals allows for diversity in that specific species. With polymorphism there are able to be different classes or types of a specie. Polymorphism works it's magic on army ant colonies, different types of ants are in colonies due to polymorphism EX: worker ants have a different appearance than the other types of ants. EX: the snails in the picture look different but are of the same species.

How are frogs adapted to live in their habitat?

Well, to start off they have webbed feet to swim quickly through their habitat, they have gills to breath both on land and underwater. Their body is smooth allowing for maximum speed while swimming, alongside they have a tongue that is sticky and extremely helpful for catching prey like bugs and other insects.