Adaptation Internal

Biology 2.3 Demonstrate understanding of adaptation of plants or animals to their way of life

Intro to Standard

Hi everyone, This standard will differ depending on how your teachers decide to assess you but the assessment will look at one of the following over 3 different multi-cellular plants or animals or 3 of these across one (if that makes sense). Ask your teacher if you are unsure. This page is still under construction and will be updated as I discover more resources.

Click on the image below to see a cool animation.

  • internal transport
  • gas exchange
  • transpiration
  • nutrition
  • excretion
  • support and movement
  • sensitivity and co-ordination
  • reproduction.

You will be looking at how the adaptations affect its way of life as well.

  • Way of life encompasses the ways in which an organism carries out all its life processes. It includes:
  • relationships with other organisms – competition, predation, parasitism, mutualism
  • reproductive strategies
  • adaptations to the physical habitat.


Usually for biology referencing is important as you are using sources such as the internet/ notes or books. For Level 2 Biology Referencing and how you do it should not influence your grade for Achieved or Merit but it may for excellence. You will need to provide a hard copy of your online resources to your teacher though if it has been a research assessment.

What do you need to reference?

You may be comparing:

  • limitations and advantages involved in each feature within each organism
  • connections between two life processes within each organism which enhance the effectiveness of both processes
  • limitations and advantages involved in each feature within each organism - linking adaptations.

Anything that you have read or heard that has influenced your writing:

• A concept or idea

• A paraphrased quote

• A direct quote

• Personal communication

• Class notes

What is the difference between a Bibliography and a List of References?

A bibliography is comprehensive, as it lists all the reading you did, including background reading.

A list of references, on the other hand, contains only the works you have cited in the text of your assignment.

Here are some examples of how you could reference within your work. (Click on image to see full size)


Adaptation involves the range of ways in which organisms have developed strategies to carry out the life processes. An adaptation refers to a feature and its function as it enables an organism to carry out a life process and thus occupy a specific ecological niche. It may include structural, behavioural, or physiological features of an organism. An adaptation provides an advantage for the organism in its specific habitat and ecological niche.

Adaptation animation

Natural Selection

Here is an example using Darwins Finches.

There is genetic variation within the species, individuals with longer beaks can gain more food and be reproductively successful. Individuals best adapted to each the seeds of the balloon vine tend to leave more offspring.

Adding comparison to adaptive advantage

Longer mouth parts as a means to access a new and increasing food source over that of the short beaked bugs. There is a change in the population with an increasing prevalence of balloon vine as an invasive weed.

Definition from an exam.

Natural selection is where the best suited individuals have a greater chance of reproductive success.The survival of the species is promoted.

individuals with more suited / better adapted phenotypes will compete more favourably than others that are less suited and are more likely to reproduce, passing on their favourable alleles.

Favourable alleles will increase in frequency within the population.

natural selection A good starter activity

The 3 modes of Natural Selection Excellent flash video to explain modes of Natural Selection

Gas Exchange

This is the delivery of oxygen from the lungs to the bloodstream, and the elimination of carbon dioxide from the bloodstream to the lungs. It occurs in the lungs between the alveoli and a network of tiny blood vessels called capillaries, which are located in the walls of the alveoli.

Factors needed

Large surface area

Moist surface to dissolve gases

Concentration Gradient


  1. The capillaries have very thin walls that allow the O2 to move from the water/air into the blood and CO2 from the blood into the water/air by diffusion.
  2. O2 moves from where there is a high concentration in the water/ait to where there is a lower concentration in the blood of the capillaries.
  3. CO2 moves from where there is a high concentration in the capillary blood to where there is a low concentration in the water/air.

Passive transport - Simple and facilitated diffusion, animated and narrated if you want.

Diffusion: is the passive movement of particles from a region of higher concentration to a region of lower concentration, as a result of the random motion of particles.

Tim and Moby diffusion Click here

A simple animation covering the 3 ideas.

Another good animation

How diffusion works - Narrated animation and a short quiz

An excellent intro video can be found below.

Resources that you may find helpful

A great PDF Comparing gas exchange

Website comparing


Countercurrent exchange is a mechanism occurring in nature and mimicked in industry and engineering, in which there is a crossover of some property, usually heat or some component, between two flowing bodies flowing in opposite directions to each other.

Fish have gills over which water continually flows.

Gills are supported by water flowing over them, so are unsuitable for life on dry land.

The water has oxygen dissolved in it.


  • Large surface area : volume allows more diffusion of gases
  • Permeable membranes allows gases to diffuse through tissues
  • Thin (flattened cells) short diffusion distance
  • Good vascular (blood) supply –maintains concentration gradients


  1. The fish opens its mouth and lowers its buccal floor, increasing the volume in the mouth and so decreasing the pressure
  2. Water rushes in
  3. The fish closes its mouth and raises its buccal floor
  4. This decreases the volume, and so increases the pressure in the mouth
  5. Water is forced over the gills and out of the operculum
  6. Gas exchange happens in the gills


From Wiki - Cellular respiration is the set of metabolic reactions and processes that take place in the cells of organisms to convertbiochemical energy from nutrients into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and then release waste products. The reactions involved in respiration are catabolic reactions, which break large molecules into smaller ones, releasing energy in the process, as weak so-called "high-energy" bonds are replaced by stronger bonds in the products. Respiration is one of the key ways a cell gains useful energy to fuel cellular activity.

A good link introducing respiration in Mammals

internal transport




support and movement

sensitivity and co-ordination