Adaptation in a population of living things happens as a result of an adaptive trait. This is any inheritable trait that increases it’s survival rate so that it can live longer, reproduce longer, and have more offspring (that also have that trait). Adaptive traits can improve an animal's ability to find food, make a safer home, escape predators, survive cold or heat or lack of water.
The snowshoe hare are well adapted for their life in the north. They have large, furry feet that act as snowshoes for traveling on top of the snow. Their fur is thick to protect them from freezing temperatures. It also turns white in winter so that they are almost invisible in a snowy background. This helps them hide from predators. These physical adaptations make it possible to survive in their harsh, northern climate.
For Discussion and Critical Thinking:
The snowshoe hare has adaptive traits that help it survive in deep now and freezing temperatures.
1. Name two of the snowshoe hare’s adaptive traits and how they help them survive:
2. If the Arctic warms with climate change and the brown tundra is exposed, how will this affect the snowshoe hare?
3. Name two other animals that live on the tundra and describe an adaptive traits that helps them survive.
4. Do you have any physical traits that help you survive? Discuss one.
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Amsel, Sheri. "Adaptations of the Snowshoe Hare" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2021. January 17, 2021
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