Animal Adaptations: Lesson for Kids

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Farm Animals for Kids: Facts & Uses

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:00 What Is an Animal Adaptation?
  • 1:14 Examples of Animal Adaptations
  • 2:54 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up


Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sarah Caughron

Sarah has a master's degree in Applied Anthropology/Archaeology and has worked in formal and informal education since 2006.

If you've ever observed your own backyard or looked at books about animals, you've noticed there is a lot of diversity among animal species all over the world This is because of animal adaptations. Read on to explore more about the behavioral and physical traits of animals known as adaptations.

What Is an Animal Adaptation?

Some animals have scales, and some animals have spots. Some animals migrate, and some animals hibernate. You've probably observed the wide range of animal diversity by looking at books or even looking out your own window. This diversity in appearance and behavior is caused by animal adaptations.

Animal adaptions are behaviors or physical traits that improve an animal's chance of survival in his or her environment. Adaptations are influenced by environmental factors including terrain, climate, and food availability. Animals have needs such as food, water, shelter, and reproduction. To meet those needs, animals adapt to their environment.

An animal does not adapt overnight! For example, a giraffe didn't one day have a short neck and decide that in order to reach the acacia leaves at the top of the tree she needed to grow a long neck in her sleep.

In general, adaptation is a process that can take hundreds or thousands of years. Favorable traits and behaviors increase an animal's chance of surviving in his or her environment. This enables that animal to pass those traits and behaviors to their babies through the process of inheritance.

Examples of Animal Adaptations

Behavioral adaptations refer to something an animal does to survive, and physical adaptations refer to a physical trait an animal has to survive. Examples of behavioral adaptations include birds calling to mates, birds building nests, skunks spraying to warn predators, opossums playing dead, and black bears bluff charging as a warning. Migration and hibernation are also examples of behavior adaptations. These are things that animals do to survive in their environment.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account