005 - Adaptation

Factual Question

How have plants and animals managed to adapt to living in the harsh conditions of a hot desert?

Key Terminology

  • Adaptation
Define the word above using one of the dictionaries in the classroom.

Activity One - Watch

  • As you watch the clip below make notes on how the Saguaro cactus has adapted to surviving in the desert.

Desert Cacti

Activity Two - Draw and Annotate

  1. In your book draw a diagram of the Saguaro cacti. The diagram should be about one third of a page and have room around it to add information about the cacti.
  2. At the base of the cacti draw a series of roots in the soil.
  3. There are a series of descriptions in the table below which state how the Saguaro has adapted to living in the desert, but they do not make complete sense as some of the words are scrambled. Unscramble the words and annotate the diagram with them.
Saguaro Cactus

 Tough NIKS protects the cactus from DANS storms. Arms usually WGOR after 75 years. Long TOORS spread deep and wide in the soil to absorb as much RETAW as possible. The MTSE is fleshy so it can store water.
 It has no VEEASL because they absorb water slowly and evapotranspiration can occur UCIQYLK. After heavy rainfall or a HALSF flood the Saguaro can absorb one thousand TIERLS of water. It can store up to 300 litres. It takes 130 years for the cacti to EURMTA to a height of 15 metres. It can EILV for 200 years! Thick waxy skin FEECTRLS the sun's heat and CUDERES water loss.

Activity Three - Watch

  • While listening to the song try and answer the following questions:
  1. Why does a camel have a hump?
  2. How is a camel equipped for sandstorms?
  3. Why does a camel have long fur?
  4. Why does a camel have big, broad feet?
  5. Why does the camel's body temperature vary?


Activity Four - Draw and Label

  1. Draw a diagram of a camel in your book. The diagram should be about a third of a page.
  2. Using the words in the help box below, label the camel to show how it survives in the desert.

 Word Box

Long Eyelashes        Large flat feet        Thick Fur        Hump        Ear flaps        Muscular and hairy nostrils

Varying Body Temperature