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Note on Aquatic Adaptation

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The entire space occupied by living organisms is termed as a biosphere. All organisms are adapted to their environment. A habitat is a place where organisms live.

Adaptation is defined as the process of adjustment of an organism to its environment. Organisms show the adaptation in the following ways:

  1. By losing and gaining of organs.
  2. By changing the color of body according to the habitat
  3. By the modification of organs

Aquatic adaptation

Aquatic plants (Hydrophytes) and their adaptational characteristics

The plants which grow, derive food, multiply and adjust themselves inside water are called aquatic plants. On the basis of mode of life, hydrophytes are of following types:

  1. Free floating plants. (E.g. hyacinth, water lettuce, Wolffia etc.)
  2. Submerged plants. (E.g. hydrilla, Sagittaria etc.)
  3. Rooted submerged plants. (E.g. lotus, water lily, etc.)
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The following are the adaptational characteristics of hydrophytes:

  1. The root system of aquatic plants is properly developed.
  2. Hydrophytes have a waterproof and protective waxy coat on its surface which prevents them from decaying.
  3. Hydrophytes have air cavities in their tissues which help them to float.
  4. Conducting tissues (xylem and phloem) are less developed in them.
  5. The stem of the aquatic plant is long, slender, spongy and flexible.
  6. Conducting tissues (xylem and phloem) are less developed in them.
  7. They have a waterproof and protective waxy coat on its surface which prevents them from rotting and decaying.
  8. Hydrophytes have air storage tissues called aerenchyma which help them to float

Aquatic animals and their adaptational characteristics

  1. The animals which grow, multiply and adjust themselves inside water are called aquatic animals. The following are the adaptational characteristics of aquatic animals:
  2. The body of aquatic animals is streamlined i.e. trapped at both ends. Head is blunt and tail is long.
  3. The body is provided with air sacs or air bladder so that they do not sink when they stop swimming.
  4. They have paired and unpaired fins, flippers and paddles and webbed legs for swimming.
  5. They have gills as a respiratory organ.
  6. The body is provided with a lateral line as a sense organ.
  7. They can change their body temperature with respect to the temperature of surrounding.
  8. Aquatic birds have flat beaks for catching their prey and webbed legs for an easy swim.

Examples: fish, frog, duck etc.

  • The entire space occupied by living organisms is termed as biosphere.
  • Adaptation is defined as the process of adjustment of an organism with its environment.
  • The plants which grow, derive food, multiply and adjust themselves inside water are called aquatic plants.
  • The animals which grow, multiply and adjust themselves inside water are called aquatic animals.
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Very Short Questions

The development of certain features in response to the particular environment which may improve the chances of survival is called adaption.

Aquatic plants are called hydrophytes. They are of mainly three types:
a) Free floating plants
b) Submerged plants
c) Water fixed plants

Organisms show adaption in the following ways:
a) By changing the color of the body according to the habitat.
b) By the modification of organs.
c) By losing and gaining of organs.

Any three adaptive features of aquatic animals are as follows:
a) They have a streamlined body which is spindle shaped.
b) The entire body is covered with water proof scales.
c) Gills are present on the lateral sides.

Three Adaptive features of aquatic plants (hydrophytes) are as follows:
a) Underdeveloped conducting tissues (xylem and phloem) are present.
b) The plants body covered with waxy substance.
c) The stems are long, soft and spongy.

The stem and leaves of hydrophytes are covered with waxy substances to present them from rotting and decaying.

One adaptational character of water hyacinth is its steam and leaves are coated with waxy substances.

Any two adaptational characteristics of a fish to live in water are as follows:
a) The body is covered with water proof scales.
b) Gills are present on the lateral sides.

Aquatic animals possess air sacs in their body because it helps in respiration, sound production and they do not sink when they stop swimming.

Aquatic plants have large air sacs in them because the air sacs make the plants lighter to float.

Two adaptational features of animals found on high altitudes or alpine region are as follows:
a) Their skin is thick and covered with long hair.
b) They have strong and short legs.

A cow is well adapted to dry and hot habitat. It has lighter colour so it feels less heat.

Any two characteristics of terrestrial animals are:
i) The legs and phalanges of terrestrial animals are modified according to their prey habit, habitat and climate.
ii) The animals of cold climate possess thick skin and long hairs and furs but of hot climate they have skin and short hairs.

Organism survives in low freezing temperature by the following ways:
i) The organism seen at low temperature are white coloured which helps them in thermal regulation and in camouflage.
ii) These animals eat a lot during summer and autumn to store energy in the form of fat so they simply get for winter sleep during winter.
iii) The plants on cold region are short in height and bear narrow leaves.

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  • In which way organisms show the adaptation?

    All of these
    By changing the color of body according to the habitat
    By the modification of organs
    By losing and gaining of organs
  • The plants which grow, derive food, multiply and adjust themselves inside water are called ______.

    Hydrophytes


    Both of these


    None of these


    Aquatic plants


  • Which is the free floating plants?

    sagittaria
    All of these
    hyacinth
    hydrilla
  • Lotus and water lily are the ______

    Free floating plants
    Hydrophytes
    Rooted submerged plants
    Submerged plants
  • The animals which grow, multiply and adjust themselves inside water are called ______

    cursorial animals
    arboreal Animals
    aquatic animals
    water animals
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Sudhanshu Jha

Write any five differences between aquatic and terrestrial plants.


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