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Types of Adaptations

Biology (Year 12) - Homeostasis

Ben Whitten

What is an adaptation? Adaptations are the features and strategies which assist organisms in surviving in a particular environment, including by maintaining their internal environment within tolerance limits. The three main adaptations include;

  • Physiological processes

  • Structural features

  • Behavioural adaptations

What are physiological adaptations?

  • Physiological Adaptations: Adaptations related to how an organism, system, organ, tissue or cell functions; internal body processes that take place to regulate and maintain homeostasis for an organism to survive in its environment

Physiological processes maintain a balanced, internal environment through monitoring and adjusting to changing conditions, involving three components of a negative feedback system; a receptor, control centre and effector. What are structural adaptations?

  • Structural Adaptations: Adaptations related to an organism's shape, specialised features and size, enhance an organism's chances for survival in particular environments; these features have a function, including cell structure and the size and shape of an organism

What are behavioural adaptations?

  • Behavioural Adaptations: Adaptations related to how an organism acts in order to increase its chances for survival in environments; examples of behavioural adaptations include migrating to a different area, huddling together with other members of the population for warmth etc.

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