• Question: how are you adapted to your habitats

    Asked by afec05 to Beaver, Canada Goose, Cirl Bunting, Danish Scurvygrass, Fen Raft Spider, Cyanobacterium, Pill Millipede, Small Red-eyed Damselfly, Tree Lichen on 9 Nov 2017.
    • Photo: Pill Millipede

      Pill Millipede answered on 9 Nov 2017:

      Pill millipedes are adapted to their habitat in a number of ways. Pill millipedes have mandibles which help them eat their way through rotting wood and decomposing plant matter, for example, leaves. This is what makes important within their habitat, breaking down the plants matter to release nutrients into the soil.
      The pill millipede also has adapted to the predators in their habitat with the ability to roll into a ball, it is difficult to unroll a pill millipede because their last segment divides into three pieces to make a fairly flush join.
      Their exoskeleton is a blackish colour, which camouflages them in the soil from predators.
      Another adaption to the predators they face is chemical defence, the can secrete fluid which irritates and /or repels their predators.

      Sequencing the pill millipede could help us understand more about its adaptations to their habitats, which vary from woodlands abundant with decaying vegetation to rocky mountains and cliffs with small pockets of soil and decaying matter.

    • Photo: Fen Raft Spider

      Fen Raft Spider answered on 10 Nov 2017:

      I live in the reeds at the edge of lakes and ponds. The hairs on my legs are ‘water proof’ so I can run easily across the water’s surface if I want to. These hairs also trap air bubbles if I dive under water and I can use this air to breathe for a while. The hairs on my legs are also able to detect vibrations caused by insects (or other spiders) so I know who’s around me and can find food. This makes me a fantastic hunter.

    • Photo: Canada Goose

      Canada Goose answered on 10 Nov 2017:

      We have learned not to fear humans, which means green parks are a wonderful place for us. We even get to share picnics…
      The short grass is nutritious (we don’t really like big leaves). We’ve learned where there are people there is food. Our predators tend to shy away from humans too making it safer for us near humans. We still occasionally like our distance though.

    • Photo: Cyanobacterium

      Cyanobacterium answered on 10 Nov 2017:

      My genome evolved to be able to adapt to different environmental conditions and stresses. My habitat is freshwater, soils (polar and hot desert) or endosymbiotic. It is also thought that i am good at extreme conditions. I have been do space and was able to survive it. For example i can produce UV screens under high UV irradiance. I can also produce osmolites in the presence of salt or limited water ( salt and water stress are regulated by the same cells mechanisms). I also can grow under low nitrogen conditions because i can fix nitrogen. I Iike to save energy. I therefore only do something if it is really needed. So i only use energy to fix nitrogen if i cannot absorb enough from the environment.

    • Photo: Tree Lichen

      Tree Lichen answered on 10 Nov 2017:

      Lichens symbiotic relationship is fundamental to their survival. The organisms that constitute a Lichen provide nutrients that benefit both parties (and sometimes this can be more than two organisms!).

      Different Lichens have adapted to the environment in which you find them. So Antarctic Lichens can survive in temperatures and harsh winds equivalent to -80 degrees centigrade, far colder than your average freezer. They can survive UV light and even drying out. They can switch on their photosynthetic apparatus given just a short burst of sunlight. They can remain dormant deep in ice until exposed to sunlight.
      Desert Lichens will make the most of protective crevices in rocks or other structures and can survive desiccation and extreme UV light conditions too. These survival mechanisms have evolved over millions of years; they fine-tuned by evolution over time!

    • Photo: Small Red-eyed Damselfy

      Small Red-eyed Damselfy answered on 13 Nov 2017:

      Males have claws to be able to hold the female when reproducing so increases the chances for HIS sperm to fertilized the eggs, the eggs are diapausing, it means that in case the pond the live in dries out they can survive until the water returns and they hatch and the life cycles continues.

      during the naiads stage, the larvae have long legs that help them walk around, also they need to breed underwater so they have gills that they will loose later on.

      the adult Damselflies need the sunlight to warn its wings in order to fly, it basks in the sun to absorb as many rays as possible. Then, the damselfly shiver its flight muscles rapidly to create its own body heat in addition to the sun’s heat.

      Compound eyes help damselflies to integrate sensory information from their environment to help them survive. Each eye is made of thousands of ommatidia; an ommatidia has a lens with receptor cells that captures a portion of an image. The damselfly’s brain gathers all the individual images to create one, large picture.

    • Photo: Cirl Bunting

      Cirl Bunting answered on 13 Nov 2017:

      Cirl Bunting are bright yellow, which, on the face of it, doesn’t look like a good colour to blend in with. However, many birds use yellow plumage as camouflage and this is linked to where they like to hang out. Sunlight through green foliage actually creates lots of greens and yellows and both Cirl Bunting and Yellowhammer, which both hang out in hedges, have an all over yellow plumage. Blue tits and Great tits, the kind you see on your garden feeder both have yellow bellies and this *may* be because they feed high in the trees so from below their pale undersides (known as counter shading) them some protection.

      Counter shading is really cool and obvious in lots of bird species. Recent studies are also finding lots of evidence for counter shading in early dinosaurs.

    • Photo: Danish Scurvygrass

      Danish Scurvygrass answered on 13 Nov 2017:

      Danish Scurvygrass is a halophyte, that is its salt-tolerant or salt-loving and grows on bare ground typically in coastal habitats. It has also spread inland and also spread along our major roads which are gritted with salt during the winter, creating a habitat where it can thrive away, in an environment where other plants cannot grow. Its low lying on the ground and its small, light seeds are also spread by the turbulence caused by passing traffic.
      The truth is nobody really knows how this plant combats the physiological stress of living on a salt-rich environment. That is what makes it interesting, and allows us to look at how other halophytes cope in such environments. It could be related to its Vitamin C richness, or its ability to process heavy metals, but we cannot be sure. But, it would be interesting to find out don’t you think.