Adaptation Definition, Objectives and Types of Adaptation along with Complete Examples.

Adaptation Definition, Objectives, and Types of Adaptation along with Complete Examples.

What is Adaptation Definition:

Adaptation is the ability of living things to adapt to their environment, with a goal of survival. In addition, adaptation is also a way in which organisms (living things) can cope with the pressures of their environment with the aim of maintaining life.

Plants will change or adjust the state of their organs to carry out metabolic processes. For example, climbing plants will change or adjust the shape and condition of their organs such as stems, roots and leaves to get more solar radiation. As a result, these plants can seek open or higher places by climbing or coiling around anything that allows them to climb or circle them.

Understanding Adaptation According to Experts

1. Soemarwoto (1983)

explained that living things within certain limits have flexibility. This flexibility allows living things to adapt to their environment. This adjustment is generally called adaptation. Adaptability has value for survival. The greater the adaptability, the greater the probability (probability) of the survival of a type of living thing. With great adaptability, a type of living thing can occupy a diverse habitat.

2. Wallace and Srb (1963) and Ismail (1984)

An organism will react to changes in the natural environment it receives. Efforts to adapt to environmental changes are called adaptation. Thus, adaptation can be interpreted as a change in the population due to the activities of each individual who composes it, to adapt to any additions and changes in the given environment. In order to adapt, there is usually a change in physiological activities and can also be seen in the adjustment of the organs.

3. Daubenmire (1959) and Wilsie (1962)

Also states that the privilege of an organism or its organs in adapting to its habitat is called adaptation. Furthermore, Wilsie (1962) suggested that adaptation is a trait possessed by every organism that is useful for the continuation of its life in environmental conditions in its habitat.

Adaptation Goals

In addition, adaptation also has the following objectives:

1. To protect themselves from enemies and other predators.
2. To be able to get food.
3. To be able to survive.

Types of Adaptation Through Physiological Processes

Physiological adaptation is the adjustment of living things through the work functions of the body’s organs in order to survive. This adaptation takes place in the body so it is difficult to observe. Examples of physiological adaptations include:

A. On Humans

1. For example, people who live in areas polluted with natural domestic waste, their bodies develop immunity to vomiting and defecation infections. They bathe and rinse their mouths with polluted water and even drink the polluted water. But they don’t get sick.

2. Another example, someone who lives in the lowlands, if he moves to the highlands, there will be a change in the formation of more blood grains. This is because in the highlands there is a lack of oxygen, while red blood cells are useful for binding oxygen, so the formation of red blood cells must be more so that the oxygen needed is fulfilled.

B. On Animals

1. Herbivores have a special enzyme, namely cellulose, which is useful for digesting food in the form of plants

2. Teredo navalis, which is the compatriot of drilling oysters, produces certain enzymes that cause wood to rot (damage) and live in seawater.

3. Fish that live in water with high salt content excrete urine that is more concentrated than fish that live in freshwater

Types of Adaptation Through Morphological Processes

What is meant by morphological adaptation? Morphological adaptation is the adjustment of living things through changes in the shape of body organs that lasts a very long time for their survival. This adaptation is very easy to recognize and easy to observe because it looks from the outside. For example :

A. On Humans

For example, Eskimos who live in the cold North Pole (Arctic) have short and stocky bodies. This form has a small ratio of body surface area to body volume. With a small ratio value, body heat lost from the body can be reduced. On the other hand, the Masai people in the hot areas of Africa are tall and slender, so that body heat can be easily released from the body.

B. On Animals


Morphological adaptations in the beak and feet of birds Various kinds of beak shapes in birds according to the type of food:

1) Duck’s beak, The shape of the duck’s beak is adapted to other types of food. Shape like a comb that is useful for filtering food from the water and mud. Example: fish and frogs

2) Pelican beak, the base of the beak is shaped like a comb, its function is to filter food in the form of algae and shrimp or small fish.

3) Hummingbird’s beak, The beak is small, pointed, long adapted for sucking honey

4) Parrot’s beak, Parrot’s beak shape is short and strong, in accordance with its food in the form of grains.

C. On Plants

1. Land Plants

Xerophytes are plants that live in dry areas or environments (lack of water) for example: cacti. The morphological adaptations are as follows:

1) Long roots to absorb water
2) The leaves are hairy, small shape sometimes turns into thorns and scales
3) The outer skin of the leaves is thick, has a thick waxy layer, has few stomata to reduce evaporation
4) The stem stores water reserves

2. Water and Moist Plants

Hydrophytes are plants that live in water, for example, algae and lotuses. Hydrophytes are plants that live in humid environments, for example, ferns.

3. Hydrophytic and hygrophytic plants

Hydrophytic and hygrophytic plants have the following morphological adaptations:

1) Have wide and thin leaves
2) Have a thin waxy layer
3) Have many stomata
4) Often do guttation

Behavioral/Behavioral Adaptation

Behavioral adaptation is an adjustment to the environment by changing behavior in order to maintain its survival. Examples of behavioral adaptations are:

A. On Humans

People learn about dangers and by their behavior, they try to avoid them. Marine adaptation occurs everywhere, in cities, in villages, and in primitive people in the forest. For example, to avoid the danger of starvation, people adapt themselves to the food supply. During the rice harvest season, they eat rice. Gradually the supply of rice dwindles in the famine season, they will eat cassava.
Another example, fishing communities living on the coast, will build their houses in a form that is resistant to wind and/or high waves.

B. On Animals

Chameleons easily change their skin color to trick the enemy
Whales periodically come to the surface of the water to take oxygen in the process of breathing
Seahorses protect their eggs in a special pouch for males
Snake pretends to be dead to prevent the enemy

C. On Plants

Plants that live in dry areas adapt by dropping their leaves in the dry season.


The environment is always changing. Sometimes change happens quickly, sometimes it’s slow. Big changes that occur quickly are easily visible and people are always trying to adapt themselves to these changes. But sometimes these efforts are not always successful. Changes that occur little by little are slowly difficult to see. And consequently, adaptation does not occur.


People can also be reluctant to adapt. An adaptation that is not successful, produces traits that are incompatible with the environment. Similarly, the absence of adaptation leaves a trait that is no longer suitable. This unsuitable trait is called maladaptation. Maladaptation reduces the knack for survival. This happens a lot to humans in relation to neighbors and society.

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