When an animal adapts, or changes, like evolution, for easier in their habitat.
June 13, iStock As the summer temperatures continue to climb, you may find yourself spending more and more time indoors enjoying the comforts of central air conditioning.
But without the benefit of modern technology, animals that make their home in the heat have had to come up with their own ways of staying cool and hydrated. We caught up with San Diego Zoo Ambassador and Zookeeper Rick Schwartz between television appearances in New York City to talk about the incredible ways that some creatures have adapted to survive in the desert.
Thinkstock In the Australian Outback, pooled water can be extremely hard to come by. Thinkstock Schwartz says it was previously believed that these animals died off during every dry season, but what was actually happening was far more interesting.
The South African lungfish benefits from a similar method of hibernation. This unusual method of locomotion is used by two species of venomous snake—the Mojave Desert sidewinder in the southwestern United States and the Namib Desert viper in Africa.
Wikimedia Commons When facing a predator, this large lizard will scurry under a rock crevice and inflate the loose folds of skin along its body, making it difficult to pull from its hiding place—a perfect escape plan in the rocky deserts of the U.
Big Ears Act Like Radiators. Thinkstock Native to the driest areas of southern Africa, this borrowing rodent can actually use its bushy tail as a sort of parasol—a function I think we all envy from time to time.
Tambako the Jaguar No discussion of desert survival is complete without a mention of the camel.
You know that the hump stores fat, which can be used as both a food and water source for the animal when the going gets tough. Camels also sport closable nostrils, a nictitating eye membrane, and wide feet that act like snowshoes in the sand.
Greg Goebel The Gila Monster—one of only two venomous lizards in the world—spends most of its life underground and can go months between meals by living off of fat stored in its tail.
This is a handy little survival trick during the dry season in their Sonoran Desert habitat. As an added bonus, using cactus as a food source is a great way to supplement water intake as the spiny succulents are absolutely loaded with the stuff. Wikimedia Commons This bird, found mainly in the deserts of Asia and North Africa, has specialized feathers on its belly that are able to soak up small quantities of water.
Males of the species will use these feathers like a sponge to carry water back to their nests, which they then share with their female counterparts and offspring. The Namib Desert in Africa has very little fresh water to speak of, but due to its proximity to the sea, it receives a daily dose of fog in the cool hours of the early morning.
Fogstand beetles have learned to stand still in order to let the fog condense on their bodies in the form of water droplets, which they then drink. Buckham Birding With subspecies in Africa, Asia, and Australia, this freaky legless lizard has developed an ingenious method of dealing with high desert surface temperatures—simply staying out of them.
Blind skinks have lost their legs and eyes through evolution and, like the sandworms from Beetlejuice, prefer to stay hidden underground where they can tunnel in search of creepy crawlies to munch on. Matt Reinbold Scorpions are able to go up to a year without eating thanks to their specialized metabolisms.
Unlike other animals that experience a seasonal hibernation, though, a scorpion is still able to react to the presence of prey with lightning quickness even while in this state of nearly suspended animation. Josh Berglund To survive the harsh Australian summers, kangaroos will cool off by licking their forelegs.
A special network of blood vessels in the legs allows the animals to reduce their body temperatures quickly through the evaporation of saliva since kangaroos lack regular sweat glands.Animals can derive a lot of benefit from spending time with other members of the same species.
They can help each other find food, defend against predators and care for young. Countless species engage in group living, either in herds, colonies, harems, complex societies or loose associations. ADVERTISEMENTS: Adaptations of Desert Animals Two characteristics of the desert i.e., high temperature and scarcity of rainfall determine the occurrence, distribution and adaptations of desert animals.
When an animal adapts, or changes, like evolution, for easier in their habitat. This mostly happens when animals are forced to move out of their old habitat. in dogs there are many adapticve features: the fact that they can coordinate themselves (hunt in packs) this is useful because there is a greateer chance of sucess when more animals are involved. When you think of a desert, do you imagine a lifeless wasteland where nothing can survive? While many people think of deserts as lifeless locations, they are actually quite diverse and rich in life.
In addition to these the highly characteristic “spaced distribution” of the desert vegetation also affects the desert fauna. The characteristic animals .
When you think of a desert, do you imagine a lifeless wasteland where nothing can survive? While many people think of deserts as lifeless locations, they are actually quite diverse and rich in life.
The process is known as adaptive radiation, and while example of it may be found in any of the larger group of animals, it is most obvious in insects, reptiles, birds and mammals. In their Mesozoic heyday, the reptiles branched out into a great variety of forms.
A few animals were evacuated at the time, including two reindeer, a baby anteater, and hard-to-catch condors. Some animals are harder to trap than others, and Chinese alligators are surprisingly. Many aspects of an animal or plant can be correctly called adaptations, though there are always some features whose function remains in doubt.
By using the term adaptation for the evolutionary process, and adaptive trait for the bodily part or function (the product), one may distinguish the two different senses of the word.