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Adaptation in Animals in Cold Climate

Survival of an animal is to fit in with the environmental conditions of its habitat. This is known as adaptation. All living organisms can adapt to and cope to their particular habitat's environmental conditions like air, water, soil, light and temperature. Depending on the habitat the animals lives in; it may have to adjust itself to changes in its environment.

The most notable changes in the environment are the increase and decrease in temperature. Winter is the stressful time of the year. The main hardships during winter are the lack of food and the food availability factor. The lack of food occurs for two reasons; one with the reduction of plant life activity. Plants are the primary food source in almost all food chains. The second reason is the availability factor. The food sources may be buried under the snow or ice.

The main factor to adaptation in winter is managing the energy reserves is the key to survival. There are many ways to manage energy reserves through combinations of morphology, habitat and behavior and physiologically by body chemistry and control of metabolic rates.

There are three main ways animals adapt to cold climate. These are migration, dormancy and adapting active lifestyle. Adaptations in animals in cold climate can be in the following way.

Migration: Most of the animals chose to migrate between seasons. Birds like the arctic tern travel about 10,000 miles between winter and summer habitats. A migration always does not need to be long distance movement. Some animals like the white-tailed deer move to areas that are warmer or survivable. Some species of reptiles and amphibians move to place underground or under water to avoid freezing temperature. Fishes migrate to different waters.

Dormancy - Dormancy is the period of biological rest or inactivity. This period is characterized by reduction in growth or development and suspending many metabolic processes. There are several forms of dormancy in different taxonomic groups.

Torpidity - It is the reduction of body metabolism, by controlled low oxygen consumption rates and lower body temperatures. It is accurately the control of metabolism which is restricted to warm-blooded animals. There is a different physiology in cold-blooded animals in response to adverse conditions. In some animals the state of torpidity is the response to lack of food and environmental conditions. Some species show seasonal torpidity. In the Northern states hibernation is the form. Aestivation is the kind of torpidity seen in very hot and dry conditions.

Animals in the cold climate undergo metabolic changes that allow them to sleep. Hibernation is the controlled, reduction in the rate of metabolism in the winter. The body temperatures of these animals are maintained a few degrees higher than the temperature of the environment. Most of the hibernating animals are small animals that have usually a high rate of metabolism. Animals wake up from hibernation during the late winters or early spring as they maintain only sufficient amount of reserved fat to carry them through the winter season.

In case of the bears they do not hibernate actually. Their body temperature drops for only a few degrees and the rate of metabolism is reduced only to moderate rates. Bears give birth in the winters; bears can be easily aroused in winter and then drop back into the state of dormancy.

In cold blooded animals dormancy is the reduced state of metabolic activity which is controlled by environmental conditions. Cold-blooded animals become dormant during winter and they lack to control the internal environment of their body. Many animals move to sheltered places and they also undergo chemical changes to prevent their tissues from freezing. Some animals’ can tolerate certain levels of ice between their cells with common chemical changes.

Insects undergoing dormancy in winter show specialized chemical adaptations to survive. Some insects have the ability to resist freezing and some can tolerate freezing to certain temperature.

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From Yahoo Answers

Question:What Adaptations do Arctic Animals have survive in cold climates?

Answers:do your own homework

Question:If an animal was a meat eater that lived in a place that was cold with few animals living there, what adaptions might it make? Can you pick an animal and tell me what adaptations it would make? I forgot my text book at school and am searching online for answers. Thank you

Answers:Look at animals that live in cold climates. Polar bears, for example, are exceptionally well-adapted to their arctic environment. The primary adaptation that they have made is the development of white-looking fur (it appears white, but the individual strands are transparent). This allows them to hunt more effectively, as prey animals are less able to see them. The thickness of the coat and layer of fat are also very useful. Hibernation is also a good adaptation in areas that aren't quite as cold as the arctic. It allows an animal to sleep while vegitation (and prey animals) are scarce. Heavy fur is a good adaptation. A heavy fur coat allows an animal to more easily maintain its body temperature, and therefore use fewer calories (and therefore require less food). A carnivore might become a scavenger, learning to eat corpses that it finds as well as live prey, or might adapt to become an omnivore, adapting to eat whatever it can find. In areas that are frequently covered in snow, an increase in paw size would be advantageous, because it would prevent sinking into the snow. Improved hearing is also good, because it will allow an animal find prey under snow or underground. (Think of wolves hunting lemmings under the snow, they listen for the lemmings and then pounce through the snow). Travel is also a useful adaptation. Because a predator will exhaust scarce prey in an area, a predator will be assisted if it can cover a wider hunting ground, possibly migrating along the same route as prey. Also, over time, the preditors are likely to become smaller as it grows colder. This is because a large animal will require more food, so there is an advantage to being small when there is limited food. Good luck!

Question:

Answers:Really, the thing that you could ask as well is, how are needle-like leaves adapted to low water conditions!? When it is really cold, especially frozen or under now like where a lot of pine trees live, they have a hard time getting water, and so need to save it as much as possible. A big, flat leaf means that the plant will lose a lot of water! There is a lot of surface area to lose water, and they will lose it as they'll be trying to intake CO2, and will consequently release H2O. Needles have a smaller surface area (round versus flat) and for that reason, lose a lot less water. Needles (at least as far as pine trees go) have suken stomata (where CO2, H2O exchange occurs) and so lose less water because it doesn't evaporate as easily. The sunken stomata are protected inside the needle, and so when cold, dry wind blows over them, they don't lose water to evaporation as much! Anywho, the needles minimize the loss of water which is good in cold weather without a lot of moisture. Cold air doesn't hold as much moisture, and snow doesn't release a lot of water into the ground until it melts.

Question:So why are needle like leaves good for plants that live in the cold?? Please and thank you

Answers:Their thick, waxy cuticle helps to prevent the loss of water in dry climates (snow or frozen ground means the plant isn't getting as much water intake) or when there's a high wind. The low surface area of each needle is better able to shed rain (which could become ice if the temperature drops suddenly) or snow, which could break the tree limbs from the added weight. In cold climates (further away from the equator) the days are shorter as winter approaches. The needles stay on the tree all year, so they can use what light is available more days of the year than trees that drop their leaves.

From Youtube

Adaptation and Mitigation | Climate Wisconsin :This animated video produced by the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board distinguishes the roles of mitigation and adaptation in responding to climate change. The video offers examples of actions that humans can take as individuals and a society to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change on natural and built environments. More info and educational resources available at climatewisconsin.org Production Credits: Finn Ryan -- producer, script Threehouse Media -- illustration, animation Ted Leonard -- voice Special Thanks: Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts 2010 Wisconsin Educational Communications Board

Cordaid and adaptation to climate change :Frequent droughts Apart from causing frequent droughts, global warming has resulted in unpredictable rainfall patterns, seasonal floods, food insecurity, diseases and conflicts around scarce resources. Recurring droughts in arid and semi arid areas in the Horn of Africa have led to loss of livelihoods, lives and assets. Historically, relief food has been given as an emergency measure to keep people alive during drought. This is not sustainable; therefore Cordaid has developed the Drought Cycle Management (DCM) approach so as to enhance local people's coping mechanisms and capacities. For more information, go to: www.cordaidpartners.com Drought Cycle Management provides direction on how communities can adapt to their circumstances in the mitigation, preparedness, emergency aid and rehabilitation phase. It encourages the provision of water resources through innovative rainwater harvesting technologies, introduction of drought resistant animals, income and livelihood diversification, introducing new foods and cereal banks, amongst other options. Extensive capacity building in disaster risk reduction enables the communities to deal with the hazards, thus reducing their vulnerabilities. Undoubtedly, early preparation reduces vulnerability and loss of livelihoods. In Kenya, these innovative programs have been piloted by ten organizations, in the last three years. In these video's, organizations tell the stories of the communities they serve and factors that have helped them ...