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Animals - class 8 science revision notes

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Adaptations of Animals to their Environment

Feeding Habitats in Mammals.


These are mammals that feed on plants eg cow, buffalo, antelopes, elephants etc

They are classified into two, namely;

  • Grazers- They feed on grass eg cattle, buffalo, hippopotamus
  • Browers- They feed on twigs and leaves eg antelopes, girraffes, goats
 Part   Adaptation   Function 
  Horny pad  Hard, horny pad on the upper jaw. Holding food tightly against incisor when cutting.
 Diastema Toothless gap between  For turning vegetable
  Incisors and premolar materials for proper chewing.
 Incisors They have incisors on the lowerjaw which are sharp, flat and  chisel-shaped Biting, holding, nibbling and cutting food.
Molars and premolars. Present in both jaws.
Same size and shape.
Large, flat and ridged.
For grinding, crushing and chewing food
Continous replacement of
molars and premolars
Molars and premolars replace continous throughout their life. To replace the worn out ones due to constant grinding of food materials.
Cow's tongue  Long and rough. Long to reach out and grip grass.
Rough to avoid injury by hard vegetation.
Horse and rabbit's
Large, has certain bacteria. Used for digesting tough plants materials called cellulose.
Camel's hump Fats stored in hump. Releases metabolic water when oxidised and
burned in the body.


These are mammals that feeds on flesh only. They include; lions, dogs, cats, leopard, etc

Adaptations of carnivores.

  1. They have sharp and pointed incisiors for catching and holding their prey.
  2. They have long pointed and strong canines for tearing off pieces of flesh from bone, they also penetrate flesh, holding and killing the prey.
  3. They have ridged, flattened premolars and molars which fit well into each, saw like on both jaws for crushing bones and flesh into small portions.
  4. They have strong scissor like carnassial teeth on both jaws for slicing into flesh and cracking bones.
  5. They have well spaced teeth to prevent flesh from getting stuck between teeth.

Feeding Adaptations in Birds.

Grain eaters.

These are birds which feeds on grains or seeds.
They include; chicken, doves, Turkey, pigeons,Weaver bird and quelea birds. They have a strong, short, straight, thick, blunt and cone shaped beaks for picking grains.
Their claws are adapted to scratching.

Flesh eaters.

They are know us birds of prey.
They include Hawks, eagles, kites and falcons
They have short, thick, sharp and hooked(curved) beaks for cutting and tearing flesh.
They have a sharp eyesight for spotting their prey from far.
They have strong,sharp and curved claws called talons for holding and tearing their prey.

Nectar feeders.

They feed on nectars.
Examples include; sunbird and humming bird.
They have a long slender and slight curved beak for sucking nectarsfrom a flower.

Filter feeders.

These birds filters their foods from mud.
They include; ducks, sea gulls, swans, geese, pelican and flamingo.
They have a flat, broad, strong and serrated (v-shaped) beaksfor sieving or filtering their foods
Their feet are webbed.

Adaptations of Animals to Movement.

Reasons for movement.

  1. To search for food (prey).
  2. To search for shelter.
  3. To escape from predators.
  4. To search for favouble climatic condition.
  5. To seek mates for reproduction.

Adaptations to Flying.

  1. They have wings which has feathers to increase surface area for flapping against air.
  2. They have hollow bones to make themlight so that they can float on air
  3. They have a streamlined bodiesto enable them move quickly, smoothly and easily through air.

Adaptations to Swimming

  1. They have fins(pelvic, pectoral, caudal, dorsal and anal fins) which help them to move in water.
  2. They have swim bladder (air bladder) which help them to control their depth during swimming.
  3. They have webbed feet which act as oarsfor propelling themin water.
  4. They have streamlined body which help them to move smoothely in water.
  5. They have scales pointing backwards and covered with slimy substance to minimise waterresistance

Adaptations to Hopping and Leaping.

They have a powerful hind legs to enable them move forward. Some have a
short fore legs and strong hind eg kangaroo. Some also have tails for balancing.
They include; amphibians, grasshopper, locust and kangaroos.

Signs of Ill Health in Livestock.

  • Stunted or retarded growth.
  • Loss of weight.
  • Reduced yields.
  • Rough coat.
  • Coughing.
  • Blood or worms in stool.
  • Inactive.

Effects of Livestock Diseases.

  • Lowers yields.
  • Lowers quality of the product.
  • Diseases can be passed to human being.
  • Can cause death to animals
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