Terrestrial plants and their adaptational characteristics
The plant which lives on land are called terrestrial plants. On the basis of physical conditions, the terrestrial plants are divided into two types. They are: mesophytes and xerophytes.
Mesophytes and their adaptational characteristics:
Mesophytes are those plants which grow on average and moisture temperature. Examples of these plants are mustard, wheat, mango etc.
Adaptational characteristic of mesophytes are as follows:
- They have well developed root and shoot system.
- Vascular system is well developed.
- They have no any water conservation mechanisms.
- They can remove excess of water from their body during transpiration.
Xerophytes and their adaptational characteristics:
Xerophytes are those plants which are grown in dry and hot habitat. They are also called desert plants e.g. Opuntia, cactus, Aloe etc.
Adaptational characters of xerophytes are as follows:
- The root of xerophytes system fixes the plant very deeply in the soil.
- These plants are bushy, very much branched and are covered with thick bark.
- They have small leaves to reduce transpiration. In some cases leaves are modified into thorns and spines.
- The stem is flattened, fleshly, thick and green. It helps to store water.
- They have deep seated stomata; it also avoids the loss of water.
Terrestrial Animals and their Adaptational Characteristics
The animals, which live on land and do their biological activities on land, are called terrestrial animals.
On the basis of their mode of life, terrestrial animals are divided into following types:
- Cursorial animals
- Fossorial animals
- Arboreal animals
- Aerial animals
- Desert animals
Adaptation characters of terrestrial animals are as follows:
Cursorial animals are those animals which live in open places and are adapted to run on hard ground e.g. lion, deer, horse etc. Adaptational characters of them are as follows:
- The body is streamlined which helps them for swift movement.
- The limbs are long and strong.
- Locomotion is digitigrade.
Fossorial animals are those animals which are adapted for burrowing mode of life e.g. rabbit, rat, etc. The adaptational characters of them are as follows:
- The head is small and tapers anteriorly to form snout for digging.
- The forelimbs are short with powerful claws.
- The eyes and the ears are small.
They are those animals which are adapted for climbing e.g. squirrel, chameleon, etc.
The adaptational characters of these animals are as follows:
- The body is stout. Ribs are very much curved, thus thorax becomes semi-circular.
- Locomotion is plantigrade.
- The legs of lizard are provided with adhesive pads that help to hold the wall or other surfaces.
- The muscles of chest are very strong.
The animals that are adapted for aerial mode of life are called aerial animals. The adaptational characters of aerial animals are as follows:
- Body is streamlined, which reduces the air resistance during flying.
- Forelimbs are modified into wings.
- The bones are hollow and spongy.
- The eyes are very sharp and well developed.
Desert animals are adapted for dry land and hot habitat e.g. camel, lizard, rodents etc. The adaptational characteristics of desert animals are as follows:
- They are provided with keen senses of sight, smell and hearing.
- They conserve water in water pouches.
- They have thick skin to avoid loss of water.
- Most of them have dull color which blends them with the surrounding environment.