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Animal Adaptations to Habitats

In this worksheet, students will consider the ways animals have adapted to survive in different habitats, for example, fish have gills to breathe in water.

'Animal Adaptations to Habitats' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Evolution and Inheritance

Curriculum subtopic:   Adaptation

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Animals come in a huge variety of colours, shapes and sizes!

 

Hummingbird Giant panda Sea lion
HUMMINGBIRD PANDA SEA LION

 

These differences are for very special reasons. Animals have evolved to ADAPT to their habitat.  Think of an animal - any animal! Every organism is adapted to live in its habitat - it's designed for where it lives. This means that it will be able to grow and reproduce.

 

Some animals are adapted to live in water, like the sea lion.

Some animals have adaptations which allow them to eat food which others cannot reach, like the humming bird, which drinks nectar from the middle of flowers.

Some animals have evolved colours and patterns which allow them to blend into their habitat, like the giant panda which blends into shaded bamboo forests.

 

Right, let's have a look at how organisms are adapted to their habitats.

Animals which swim in water – like frogs, swans, otters – often have... 

light bones

webbed feet

no fur

Diving beetle Pond skater

 

Some animals are adapted to watery habitats in other ways.

 

 Which adaptation do you think this diving beetle and pond skater have?

strong, muscular legs

wings

tough outer skin

Sea lion

 

Sea lions have adapted to living in the sea where they catch their food. They too have webbed flippers.

 

Which TWO of these adaptations do they also have?

streamlined body

warm blood

gills

thick layer of fat under the skin

Polar bear

 

Polar bears live on the ice and snow in the Arctic. Their favourite food is seal.

 

Match up the polar bear's adaptation with its function (=purpose)

Column A

Column B

large paws
camouflage
layer of fat under the skin
keeps in body heat
white coat
grabbing and tearing meat
huge, sharp canine teeth
spreads weight on soft snow

Shark

 

If you live in the water, you need to be able to breathe!  Animals have adapted different ways of doing this.

 

Which part of the shark allows it to breathe in the water?  Type your answer in the box below.

Shark teeth are adapted to eating... 

lobsters

seaweed

other animals

Badgers live in woodland habitats. They dig setts (the name for their home) deep underground and one of their favourite foods is earthworms.

 

What do badgers have which makes them excellent diggers?

keen sense of smell

long, strong claws

sharp teeth

Some animals have adapted to being active at night time when it is dark.

 

What word do scientists use to describe these animals? 

nocturnal

diurnal

normal

Which THREE of these adaptations do we find in a range of animals that are active at night? 

sensitive hearing

wings

echo-location

eyes that can see in the dark

feathers

Which ONE of these animals that are active at night uses echo-location? 

owls

cats

bats

  • Question 1

Animals which swim in water – like frogs, swans, otters – often have... 

CORRECT ANSWER
webbed feet
EDDIE SAYS
Many swimming animals including amphibians, birds and mammals have webbed feet - their toes are joined together by skin which pushes a lot of water with each stroke. There are many other adaptations too, like streamlined bodies, gills to breathe with and so on, but not all AQUATIC (=water-living) animals have the same adaptations. Dolphins are aquatic mammals that have lost their fur, but otters and sea lions still have fur.
  • Question 2

Diving beetle Pond skater

 

Some animals are adapted to watery habitats in other ways.

 

 Which adaptation do you think this diving beetle and pond skater have?

CORRECT ANSWER
strong, muscular legs
EDDIE SAYS
Yes, insects have muscles too! These pond insects push against the water with their big, strong legs. They may both have wings and a tough outer skin, but that's because they are insects, not because those are adaptations designed to help them survive in an aquatic habitat. Important to sort these things out!
  • Question 3

Sea lion

 

Sea lions have adapted to living in the sea where they catch their food. They too have webbed flippers.

 

Which TWO of these adaptations do they also have?

CORRECT ANSWER
streamlined body
thick layer of fat under the skin
EDDIE SAYS
Seals are mammals, just like us, and so they are warm blooded too, but they live in a cold environment. Seals have adapted to the cold by having a fat layer under the skin to keep them warm, and it also helps to give their body the smooth streamlined shape needed for super swimming and diving skills. They don't have gills, like fish, but breathe using lungs, just like all mammals.
  • Question 4

Polar bear

 

Polar bears live on the ice and snow in the Arctic. Their favourite food is seal.

 

Match up the polar bear's adaptation with its function (=purpose)

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

large paws
spreads weight on soft snow
layer of fat under the skin
keeps in body heat
white coat
camouflage
huge, sharp canine teeth
grabbing and tearing meat
EDDIE SAYS
Did you know that polar bears have white fur, but black skin? Black skin helps them keep warm, and white fur allows them to hunt without being seen. They are brilliantly adapted to life in the Arctic, having large paws which might seem heavy, but spread their weight out better so the ice can support them.
  • Question 5

Shark

 

If you live in the water, you need to be able to breathe!  Animals have adapted different ways of doing this.

 

Which part of the shark allows it to breathe in the water?  Type your answer in the box below.

CORRECT ANSWER
gills
EDDIE SAYS
Fish gills absorb oxygen from the water in exchange for carbon dioxide produced by its working muscles.
  • Question 6

Shark teeth are adapted to eating... 

CORRECT ANSWER
other animals
EDDIE SAYS
Scientists can tell a lot about an animal's diet from its teeth. Sharp pointed teeth are used for grabbing prey and tearing flesh! A shark's teeth are amazing - several rows of them and they are continually being replaced throughout the shark's life. They will eat an enormous variety of other animal life living in the oceans.
  • Question 7

Badgers live in woodland habitats. They dig setts (the name for their home) deep underground and one of their favourite foods is earthworms.

 

What do badgers have which makes them excellent diggers?

CORRECT ANSWER
long, strong claws
EDDIE SAYS
Of course, it is their strong paws that do the digging and their claws are used to dig out the earth, their muscular paws pushing it behind them.
  • Question 8

Some animals have adapted to being active at night time when it is dark.

 

What word do scientists use to describe these animals? 

CORRECT ANSWER
nocturnal
EDDIE SAYS
Diurnal animals are active during daylight hours. Nocturnal animals also live in a variety of habitats. Some animals are nocturnal to avoid becoming prey to predators, and some are nocturnal hunters...
  • Question 9

Which THREE of these adaptations do we find in a range of animals that are active at night? 

CORRECT ANSWER
sensitive hearing
echo-location
eyes that can see in the dark
EDDIE SAYS
Nocturnal animals need to collect information using very well-developed senses. These might be sight, sound, feel, taste or echo-location.
  • Question 10

Which ONE of these animals that are active at night uses echo-location? 

CORRECT ANSWER
bats
EDDIE SAYS
Bats make a high-pitched squeak. The sound bounces back off solid objects. The bats' sensitive ears hear this 'echo' and can locate their food and fly safely in the dark. That's just like radar - in fact it was the bat's method of using echo-location that inspired the invention of radar. That is often the case - a brilliant adaptation in nature which we use to invent something new.
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