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Animals: Different ways of living

Updated on March 17, 2015
vertebrates | Source
Invertebrates | Source


We see a variety of plants and animals around us. If we observe carefully, we find that a particular plant and animal is found in a particular place only. The place where an animal or plant lives is called its habitat.

  1. Where do you find a lion ? Ans: Jungle
  2. Where do you see a camel ? Ans: Desert.
  3. Where does a fish live ? Ans: Water.
  4. Where does a lotus plant grow ? Ans: Water.
  5. Where does a cactus plant grow ? Ans: Desert.

On the basis of above answers, you can say that different animals have different habitats. Plants and animals live in different habitats like grassland, oceans, rivers, deserts, polar regions ,etc.

All plants and animals have a particular habitat. They live

  1. where they can find food.
  2. where they can protect themselves.
  3. where they can reproduce.
  4. where climate suits them.

To live in a particular place an animal or a plant adapts itself or brings about some changes to its surroundings. This is called adaptation.

Animals are found almost everywhere in water, on land, on hills, in sea, etc. They can be devided into different groups depending on various features.

  1. Backbone:

Depending on the presence of backbone, animals can be devided into two groups:

1.1 Vertebrates:

Animals having a backbone are called vertebrates. Examples: Cow, crocodile, human beings , etc.

1.2 Invertebrates

Animals which do not have a backbone are called invertebrates. Examples: Insects, worms, scorpions , etc.

2. Habitat:

Depending on the habitat, the animals can be devided into five groups:

  1. Terrestrial.
  2. Aquatic.
  3. Amphibian.
  4. Arboreal.
  5. Aerial.

Terrestrial animals:

Animals living on the land are called terrestrial animals. e.g; cow, goat, horse, etc.

  1. They have legs to walk.
  2. They have lungs to breathe.
  3. they have well-developed sense organs and nervous system which help them to feel the changes around them.
  4. Animals like snakes do not have legs. They have scales which help them to crawl.

A camel is adapted to live in hot and dry climate of desert.

  • Camels can live without water for three months.
  • They store fat in their lump.
  • Thay have huge padded feet which do not sink in sand.
  • Their colour matches with their surroundings.
  • They have scanty hair and thick skin to protect them from heat of the sun.
  • They have two rows of eyelashes to protect them from sand and heat of the sun.

Animals like polar bear live in very cold places covered with snow. They have a thick hairy coat on their bodies. It can keep the animal warm by trapping the body heat. It has padded feet to walk easily on snow.

Some animals like lizards, squirrels , bears, frogs, etc.,go for a long winter sleep for several months to protect themselves from cold. They become inactive and come out only when the weather changes. This long winter sleep is called hibernation.

Do you know ?

During hibernation the animal uses up the fat reserve of its body for nutrition. The animal's heart beat slows down so that it uses less energy.


Camel | Source

Aquatic animals:

Animals living in water are called aquatic animals, e.g. fish, turtle, crab, etc. They have adaptations like:

  1. Gills to breathe.
  2. Fins/ paddle-like limbs to swim.
  3. A streamlined body which helps them to swim easily in water.
  4. Waterproof bodies.

Ducks have webbed feet which act as a paddle and help them to swim in water.


Animals which live both on land and in water are called amphibians, e.g., frog, toad, etc. Frogs breathe with skin in water and with lungs when on land.

Arboreal animals

Animals that spend most of their time on trees are called arboreal animals, e.g., monkey, squirrel, orangutan, garden lizard, etc. They have strong legs and arms to move from branch to branch.

They have a tail for balancing and gripping.

A squirrel can leap up to 4-5 metres easily with its tail and powerful hind legs.

Do you know ?

Squirrels wrap their bodies in their bushy tails to keep off cold.

Aerial animals

Animals that spend most of their time in air are called aerial animals. Most birds and insects can fly. Bat is the only mammal that can fly. Aerial animals have light bodies with light bones and feathers. they have a boat-shaped body and wings to fly. They have strong muscles to flap wings.

The kiwi, ostrich and penguin are birds that cannot fly. They are known as flightless birds.

Do you know ?

A swift spends almost all its life flying. It land only to breathe.



Adaptation for food

Depending on their food habits, tha animals can be devided into the following groups:

  • Herbivores

    Animals eating plants and leaves are called herbivorous animals, e.g., cow, goat, horse, elephant, etc. They have sharp biting and strong grinding teeth. They have long and strong legs to move around in search of food.

  • Carnivores

    Flesh-eating animals are called carnivores, e.g., lion, tiger, cheetah, etc. They have sharp tearing teeth to tear the flesh of animals and broad back teeth to chew the food.

    Do you know ?

    The cheetah is the fastest land animal. It can run up to 70 km an hour.

  • Omnivores

    Animals that eat both plants and flesh of animals are called omnivores. Examples: Dog, crow, human beings, etc.

  • Parasites

    Some animals live on the bodies of other living animals and get their food, e.g., lice (Singular: louse) and mosquitoes. they suck the blood of their host.

    Roundworm and tapeworm live inside the body of the host and eat the digested food.

  • Scavengers

    Some flesh-eating animals feed on the flesh of dead animals. They are called scavengers. e.g. vulture, hawk, hyaena.

Scavengers (hyaena)

Adaptation for protection:

Animals like elephant and rhinoceros have a big size which can scare other animals.

Some animals like fish, houseflies, mosquitoes, etc. move very fast to protect themselves from their enemies and danger.

Animals like zebra, leopard and deer have white spots and patterns on their body which merge with their surroundings and make them difficult to be seen by their enemies.

Do you know ?

The giraffe has black-coloured tongue about 45 cm in length . It can clean its ears with its tongue.

Some animals like chameleon can change their body colour to match the colour of their surroundings when they are in danger. This is called camouflage. It protects them from enemies.

Do you know ?

A chameleon's body is only half the length of its tongue.

Insects are very small and they use a number of tricks to protect themselves from their enemies. Sometimes their shape and colour matches with their surroundings so much that it is very difficult to see them. e.g.

  1. Leaf insect looks like a leaf.
  2. Stick insect looks like a twig.

Greatest Carnivores.

Who do you think is the greatest carnivores ?

See results


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