to a World in Which Warm Air Rises
is a physical or behavioral feature that evolved in response to an organism's
environment, due to pressures for survival. How a species looks (its anatomy),
as well as how it behaves (how it moves, obtains food, reproduces, responds
to danger, etc.) are examples of adaptations.
form when warm air is beside cooler air. Warm air rises (red) above
cool air (blue).
When we think about animals' adaptations, we sometimes
overlook the invisible forces upon them. Can you find ways monarch butterflies
and bald eagles are similarly adapted to the fact that warm air rises?
- Draw and
compare the silhouette of a monarch butterfly and a bald eagle. What
adaptations do they both have for soaring flight?
- How does
their anatomy compare to that of a hummingbird, a bird famous for its
powered flight? (One biologist speculates that powered flight uses twenty
times more energy than soaring flight, in eagles!)
riding in a thermal
Science Education Standards
An organism's behavior evolves through adaptation to its environment.
How a species moves, obtains food, reproduces, and responds to danger
are based in the species' evolutionary history. (5-8)
evolution accounts for the diversity of species through gradual processes
over many generations. Species acquire many of their unique characteristics
through biological adaptation, which involves the selection of naturally
occurring variations in populations. Biological adaptations include changes
in structures, behaviors, or physiology that enhance survival and reproductive
success in a particular environment. (5-8)
systems at all levels of organization demonstrate the complementary nature
of structure and function. (5-8)
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