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Source 1: Animal Groups

Many animal species live in groups, either with their families or in larger groups forming a
community. Some types of animal groups include herds, colonies, flocks, and prides.
These animal groups can have complex systems where leaders gain control and act as a
chief of the group. The leader will make decisions for the group. Lions are an example of
animals that have a leader. Other times, the animals dont have a clear leader. They live in
communities formed by family units. An example of animals that live in larger communal
groups is penguins. By living in a group, animals can share food, offer protection from
predators, and care for their young.

Some animals hunt in groups. By hunting in groups, the animals can gather more food
that can be shared among the individuals in the group. That can mean simply gathering
more of a small item, but sometimes it means hunting large prey. For instance, a pride of
lions could work together to hunt a giraffe. The giraffe will feed numerous lions, but a
single lion probably wouldnt be able to hunt a large animal like a giraffe by itself.

Protection against predators is another


reason animals live in groups. More
individuals in the group means there are
more eyes to keep watch. If a predator
approaches, the animals can work
together to defend each other or confuse
their attacker. For example, zebras live in
groups. When an enemy advances, the
zebras scatter. All the movement,
combined with the stripes, confuses the
predator, leaving the zebras safe from
harm.

Caring for babies also makes group living a smart option for many animals. For animal
mothers, it can be difficult to care for newborns, gather food, and keep watch for predators.
The other members of the group can help care for the babies while the mother gathers food
or keeps watch. Elephant mothers take turns watching the babies while the other mothers
rest and eat. Without the extra rest and nutrition, the mothers may not have enough milk
for their babies to drink, which would put their babies in danger of malnutrition.

Living in groups is an adaptation that helps animals survive. By hunting, protecting and
caring for newborns as a group, animals can get the food, rest, and safety they need.
Source 2: How Dinosaurs Survived
Dinosaurs lived millions of years ago, during the Jurassic period. Some
dinosaurs were carnivores, or meat-eaters, and others were herbivores, or
plant-eaters. Structural adaptations are physical features animals have that
help them survive. Each type of dinosaur had different structural adaptations
that made it easier for them to get their food.

Carnivorous dinosaurs had adaptations to


help them catch and consume their prey.
One of those adaptations was large,
sharp teeth and claws. Their teeth helped
them kill their prey and easily bite into the
meat. The sharp claws allowed the
dinosaurs to catch and kill prey as well.
Meat-eating dinosaurs also had strong jaw
muscles and thick jawbones. That made using their pointed teeth more
efficient. Another adaptation these dinosaurs had was speed. Most carnivorous
dinosaurs were relatively fast, and being able to move around quickly made it
easier for them to catch their prey.

Herbivorous dinosaurs, on the other hand, had adaptations that made eating
plants easier. The stegosaurus is an example of an herbivorous dinosaur. The
stegosaurus walked on all four feet, and its back legs were longer than its front
legs. That meant its head drooped low to the ground. Stegosauruses ate the
ferns and other plants that grew low to the ground. Plant-eating dinosaurs had
flat teeth, instead of sharp teeth like the meat-
eaters. Flat teeth were needed to grind the plants
up. Plant-eaters didnt need to kill and bite prey
with sharp teeth. Instead, they needed to grind and
mash up their leaves. To protect it from the meat-
eaters, herbivores usually had plates on their backs.
The plates acted like armor that protected the
herbivores from the sharp teeth of the meat-eaters.
Those are some adaptations herbivorous dinosaurs
used to survive.

Even though they lived so long ago, dinosaurs adapted to their


environment. Their teeth, claws, coverings, and limbs helped them survive.
Source 3: Survival in Extreme Temperatures
On Planet Earth, there are habitats where the temperature can reach above 100 Fahrenheit, and
other habitats that stay frozen for more than half the year. How can animals survive in such
different environments? Behavioral adaptations help animals survive.

Migration is a type of behavioral adaptation. Some birds and insects


fly hundreds of miles south to avoid cold weather. That is called
migration. Not all migration involves flying, though. Earthworms
migrate downward. Instead of flying hundreds of miles to a warmer
climate, earthworms stay warm in the winter by moving further
underground. Migration, or moving temporarily from one place to
another, is a behavior that helps animals survive.

If animals cant or wont migrate, they can hibernate instead.


Hibernation is a deep sleep in which animals use very little
energy. Their heart rates slow down, and their body
temperatures drop, and their breathing becomes slow and deep.
To stay asleep for an extended time, animals must eat extra food
and store it as fat in their bodies. Alternatively, some animals
store the extra food in their shelters to eat after they awaken.
Bears, chipmunks and some bats hibernate to avoid to the cold
temperatures of winter.

In extremely hot climates, animals survive the heat by avoiding it. Crepuscular and nocturnal
animals rest during the day and become more active as the temperature cools. Crepuscular animals
are the most active during twilight, when the sun is setting, while nocturnal animals are most active
at night. Bobcats and coyotes are animals that avoid the heat of the day and become more active in
cooler temperatures.

Some smaller animals avoid heat by burrowing underground.


Temperatures under the surface are much cooler than the ground
where the sun beats all day. Animals can stay cool by remaining
underground, out of the sun. Kangaroo rats and other rodents are
animals that burrow to avoid the heat.

Despite the variety of climates on Earth, animals in each habitat have unique adaptations to help
them survive. Behaviors like migration, hibernation, being crepuscular or nocturnal, and burrowing
help animals survive in extreme temperatures.