Survival of Animal Species

  • Animals need to protect themselves to maintain the survival of their species. This is important to prevent the extinction of animals and for the balance of the ecosystem. An ecosystem is a community or group of living organisms that live in and interact with each other in a specific environment. The balance of the ecosystem will be affected if there is a significant population change in a habitat.
3.1  Survival of Animal Species
  • The survival of an animal species is the ability for animals to maintain their species to avoid extinction.
  • Animals have special characteristics and special behaviors to protect themselves from enemies.
Protection from enemies
  • Special characteristics of the body of animals can protect them from enemies
  1. Tortoises, turtles, snails have hard shells to protect their soft bodies
  2. Bees, centipedes and wasps have stings that can release venom to hurt or kill the enemies
  3. Horses, rabbits and frogs have strong leg muscles to move fast to escape themselves from the enemies
  4. Bugs, beetles and cockroaches emit a foul odor causing the enemy not to approach it
  5. The butterfly has a pattern that resembles fake eyes on its wings to deceive the enemy
  6. The sharp horns found on deer, buffalo and gaur are used for self-defense
  7. The hard scales found on crocodiles and Arapaima fish protect themselves from injury
  • Some animals have special behaviors to protect themselves from enemies
  1. Porcupines will run into their burrows when they are attacked. If it fails to escape, the porcupines will raise the sharp thorns on their bodies to scare the enemy. The enemies who try to touch the porcupines's body will be pierced by the sharp thorns.
  2. When feel threatened, the puffer fish will inflate their bodies that have sharp spines three times of their size to scare the enemy. Puffer fish are also poisonous
  3. Lizards and octopuses will detach certain parts of their bodies when attacked. This method will distract the enemy while the lizards and octopuses escape
  4. Squid and octopus will spurt out black ink towards the enemy when attacked. Then, these animals will run away quickly to save themselves
  5. The tortoises will withdraw parts of their bodies into the shells when they feel threatened
  6. Pangolins, millipedes will curl themselves when they feel threatened
  7. Elephants, ants live in groups to protect themselves and reduce the risk of being attacked by enemies
Protection from extreme weather
  • Some animals live in very hot and cold places
  • This extreme weather requires animals to have special characteristics and behaviors to protect themselves.
Characteristic  Description
Thick fur 
  • Trap air to reduce heat loss so that the body stays warm
  • Examples:
    • Polar bear
    • Polar wolf
  • Prolonged inactivity/sleep to reduce movement & prevent from losing a lot of energy
  • Examples:
    • Polar bear
    • Artic fox
Thick layer of fat
  • Maintains body heat in very cold weather
  • Example:
    • Sea lion
    • Walrus
Short & dense feathers
  • The short & dense feathers make them waterproof, also serves as a thermal insulator and regulates body temperature
  • Example: 
    • Penguin
  • Move seasonally to other places to breed and get food
  • Examples: 
    • Whale 
    • Stork
Wallow in water, mud
  • Cool the body during hot weather, avoiding insect or parasite bites 
  • Examples 
    • Buffalo
    • Hippopotamus
  • Reduces heat loss from the body due to very cold weather
  • Examples:
    • Sea lion
    • Walrus
Big earlobes
  • More heat can be released from the body due to hot weather
  • Example: 
    • Desert fox
    • Desert rats 
Animals protect their eggs
  • Animals lay eggs and protect them to ensure the survival of their species from enemies & extinction
  • There are several ways animals lay eggs and protects them from enemies
Ways animal protects their eggs
Hiding the eggs 
  • Make a bushy nest, hide in a hidden place or in the soil
  • Examples:
    • Crocodile
    • Lizard
    • Grasshopper
Lay many eggs
  • Ensuring more of their youngs can live
  • Examples: 
    • Mosquitoes
    • Flies
    • Turtles
Eggs covered in mucus, smelly
  • Causes eggs to stick to each other & form large & slippery clumps, making it difficult for other animals to eat them
  • Examples: 
    • Frogs
    • Fishes
Incubate eggs
  • Incubate the eggs until they hatch
  • Examples: 
    • Hens
    • Birds
Take care of the eggs
  • Circle the eggs & will attack the approaching animals
  • Examples: 
    • Snakes
    • Hens
    • Crocodiles
    • Birds
Animals ensure the survival of their young
  • Animals breed and lay eggs to reproduce and keep their species alive
  • Animals protect their eggs and young in various ways

  • Mammals such as cats, rabbits and goats care and suckle their young until they are able to find their own food.

  • The joeys suckle and grow fully in the parent pouch to ensure their safety

  • Crocodiles and talapia fish carry their young in their mouths while moving and looking for food

  • Chickens and monkeys will attack when their young are in danger

  • Animals such as birds will also feed their young after going out looking for food