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Lifestyles in animals

Updated on April 4, 2015

Animal lifestyles

Animal lifestyles
Animal lifestyles | Source


We see different types of animals around us. Some animals live on land, some in water, some fly in air, and some live underground. The place where an animal lives is called its habitat. Water is the habitat of fish, jungle is the habitat of lion, and desert is the habitat of camel. The habitat provides an animal with air, water, food and shelter.

All animals are adapted to live in a particular environment. They have special body parts for breathing, feeding and movement to suit their lifestyles.

Breathing in animals

All living beings need oxygen to live. Oxygen burns the food we get and gives energy to do various activities. Land animals take in oxygen from the air whereas animals living in water absorb oxygen dissolved in water.

Most of the land animals breathe through lungs. They take in oxygen from the air. This air reaches lungs. Oxygen from the air is absorbed by blood and carbon dioxide from blood is given out into the air which goes out when air is breathed out. Whales and dolphins are mammals. They also breathe through lungs.

Dolphins breathe through lungs

Dolphins breathe through lungs
Dolphins breathe through lungs | Source

A frog is an amphibian. It lives on land and in water. On land, a frog breathes through its skin. A fish breathes through gills. Aquatic animals like prawns, crabs, oysters and tadpoles also breathe through gills.


Amphibians | Source

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Gills are special organs which are richly supplied with blood vessels. When water flows over gills, the blood absorbs oxygen from water, releases carbon dioxide in water which goes out of the body.

Micro-organisms like amoeba, hydra and paramoecium breathe through their body surface./ Earthworms also breathe through their body surface.

Insects breathe through air holes present on their bodies. These holes are called spiracles.

Respiratory system in insects

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The spiracles lead to air tubes which form a network. Air enters the body of the insect through these tubes; oxygen is absorbed and carbon dioxide is given out.

Feeding in animals

All animals need food to grow, to get energy and to remain healthy. Different animals eat different kinds of food. They have different mouth parts to suit their feeding habits.

Herbivores or plant-eating animals have sharp front teeth for cutting and biting. They have strong broad teeth for chewing the food. Cows, horses, goats and camels have such teeth. They eat grass or leaves of trees.

Carnivores like lions, dogs, tigers, wolves, etc. feed on the flesh of other animals. They have sharp pointed teeth for tearing the flesh and strong grinding teeth to chew meat and bones.


Herbivores | Source

Rodents like rats and squirrels eat seeds and fruits. They have small and sharp front teeth, in each jaw.

Birds of prey like eagles, hawks and kites have sharp beaks and strong claws to catch the prey and tear their flesh.

Butterflies have a tube-like structure to suck nectar from flowers. A mosquito has a long tube - like structure on its head. It uses this tube to suck blood.

Birds of prey

Eagle | Source

Movements in animals

We all know that animals move from one place to another in search of food, water, shelter and to protect themselves from their enemies.

Different animals have different organs for movement:

  1. Mammals have four limbs. The two in front are called forelimbs and two at the back are called hindlimbs. Cows, horses, camels and goats are all mammals. they walk on their four legs. They have hard padded feet so that they can silently attack their prey.
  2. Water animals have special features which help them to swim in water. Fish have fins and a powerful tail. Fins help in movement and balancing. The tail helps in changing the direction. Frogs have webbed toes to swim in water. When on land, they jump with the help of their hindlimbs.

Turtles and tortoises have paddle-shaped feet to push water. Penguins can walk on the snow with their webbed feet. They use their front limbs as flippers to swim.


Penguins | Source

Camel has long legs and padded feet so that it can walk and run on sand. It has a hump on its back which stores fat in it. It stores water in its stomach and so a camel can live without food and water for many days.

Birds have wings which hep them to fly. These wings are modified forelimbs. The wings are attached to breastbones with strong muscles. These muscles help the bird to flap its wings during flying. A bird uses its hindlimbs for walking, running,hopping and perching. All birds have wings but birds like penguin, emu, ostrich, kiwi cannot fly. They are known as flightless birds.


Reptiles | Source

Lizards, crocodiles and turtles are reptiles. They use their four short limbs to crawl.

Animals like earthworms and snakes do not have legs. Snakes have plates or scales on the underside of their bodies. These plates hep them to move.

The body of an earthworm is made of segments which contract and expand.

All insects have six legs to walk and climb. Many insects have wings which help them to fly. Human beings have highly developed limbs. They use legs to stand, walk and run.


Some animals move from one region to another region due to climatic changes. This seasonal movement is called migration. Many birds in cold region fail to find food. They leave the cold regions and fly to warmer places and when the climate changes after 4-6 months, they come back.

The arctic tern makes a migration of over 35,000 km. Birds fly across the deserts of oceans. They eat well before they start their journey.

Caribou in North America travels southwards to escape from extreme winters. During spring season, they start their journey northwards.

Whales also migrate. Humpback whales migrate from icy waters of Antarctica to warm places.

Migration of whales

Migration of whales
Migration of whales | Source

Endangered animals

There are many animals whose population has got considerably reduced. They are in danger of being extinct. Such animals are called endangered animals. For example, giant panda, African elephant, blue whale and polar bear. We must try to save these animals.

Endangered animals

Panda | Source

In a nutshell

  1. The place where an animal lives is called its habitat.
  2. Animals have different breathing organs like lungs, gills and spiracles.
  3. Mouth parts of different animals like teeth, beak, etc. are different depending on the food habits of animals.
  4. Different animals move with the help of legs, limbs, fins, paddles, wings or flippers.
  5. The seasonal movement in some animals is called migration.
  6. The population of some animals has got considerably reduced. These are called endangered animals.


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