Duration: 2:45


Children look similar to parents because physical traits are inherited. Other traits like behaviors can be passed from parent to offspring. Cats instinctively know how to hunt thanks to their parents. In fact all organisms pass traits and behaviors onto their offspring.
A trait or behavior that helps an organism survive in its environment is called an adaptation. A chameleon has several inherited traits or adaptations that help it to survive. Chameleons are capable of changing color. The color changes help the animal to camouflage itself when predators are near. Another adaptation on the chameleon is their eyes. The eyes of a chameleon work independently and can see 360 degrees around. The eyes help the animal to see in all directions without moving its head to reveal its location. The tongue of a chameleon also has some physical adaptations. The tongue of a chameleon can extend one and a half times the length of their bodies. And the tip of the tongue has the ability to grab insects. Combined these two traits make the tongue of the chameleon a highly effective adaptation. 

Plants have physical adaptations as well. A cactus can survive in areas with little water because they have specialized roots. The root systems of cacti spread out over large areas and do not grow very deep into the soil. So on the rare occasion that it does rain the root are ready to take in water. The thorns help protect the plant from animals that may want to eat it. Lastly the flowers are brightly colored and attract pollinators.

Some animals have inherited behaviors that help in survival. Cheetahs have learned to hunt prey in groups. One cheetah alone cannot take down a much larger ostrich. However when the animals work together taking down much larger prey is easier. Cheetahs pass the behavior onto their offspring. 

Adaptations help organisms to survive and when organisms survive they pass the helpful traits on to their offspring.

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