Five Examples of Extraordinary Evolutionary Adaptations

Here are five examples of some of the most extraordinary adaptations in the natural world. These are amazing examples of how evolution and competition drives animals and plants to become even more obscure and specialised in the quest to survive.

1.       1. Giraffe

The giraffe is one of the most iconic animals in the world, known for its enormous neck and the distinctive pattern of its coat. It is one of the most frequently used examples of an animal that has evolved an adaptation to better suit its environment.

Over the course of thousands of years the giraffe was competing within its own species and with other animals for food. This competition lead giraffes with longer necks to have an advantage as they can reach food that is higher up bushes and trees than its rivals.

2.       2. Aye-Aye

The aye-aye is a type of lemur and part of the Order of primates. It has evolved one of the most extraordinary adaptations in the natural world!

This unique primate has evolved a huge finger to help it pick out grubs from holes it gnaws in the back of trees! It’s long finger has evolved over time to allow it to become very efficient at finding food that would otherwise be inaccessible. In this respect it is much alike the woodpecker which is our next our next example of an extraordinary adaptation.

3.       3. Woodpecker

The woodpecker is an iconic animal, partly thanks to the loveable cartoon character “Woody Woodpecker” and partly thanks to it the loud racket it makes when it tries to find its food!

The woodpecker uses its sharp beak to drill holes in trees in order to find food. Because of this obscure way that it finds it food the woodpecker has had to develop a very thick skull to protect its brain from the repetitive hammering of its head against the solid wood!

4.       4. Cactus

It is important to note that it is not just animals that evolve adaptations, but plants have to try just as hard to survive against competition too! These spiky, vicious cactuses have some of the most efficient adaptations of any plant, helping them survive in one of the most hostile and barren environments around; the desert.

Cactuses are exceptionally good conserving and protecting water, a resource that is very hard to come by in the desert. Their spikes prevent them from being eaten by the scavengers of the desert, whilst their thick oily surface prevents any valuable water from escaping.

5.      5. Camel

Finally, the camel has another extraordinary adaptation. Like the cactus it has had to adapt to living in a dry, arid desert and therefore its main priority is the conservation of water.

The camel uses its humps (made of fat) to store as much water as it can possibly manage. Furthermore, the camel has other adaptations to help it survive in the desert; these include its large padded feet to walk on the sand and its tough mouth and tongue to help it eat the harsh desert vegetation.

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