By Erika San Diego
As we all know, during 2020 and this time of Covid-19, a lot of things have changed. The way we live, how we learn, when we go out, are just some of the things that have changed during quarantine. A lot of things have been changing, and not just humans. As many of us know, since we have been in quarantine, the environment and it’s animals has been improving. So, I thought I would share just some of the ways that our favourite furry animals in Australia have adapted over the years.
There are three types of adaptations that an animal can undergo. This includes structural adaption, behavioural adaption and physiological adaptions. Structural adaptions are the physical characteristics that the organism has developed. Behavioural adaptions are the way that organisms have changed the way they act. And finally, physiological adaptions, the internal responses of an organism. All three of these adaptions help the animals have a better chance or surviving in the environment/habitat that they live in.
The common wombat, or Vombatidae, inhabit the temperate forest covered areas of south-eastern Australia. This includes southern Queensland and northern New South Wales. They are often found in mountainous areas instead of rainforest locations. A structural adaption that the wombat has developed, are their large paws and 5 toes that have strong blade like claws that help them dig holes that they can hide in to avoid predators. A behavioural adaption that the common wombat has developed is that when they go in their burrow, they have their rear facing the entrance because the skin is tougher and will protect them from predators.
The Platypus, or Ornithorhynchus Anatinus, live in water bodies that have no stream or currents to have easier living conditions. They make homes in freshwater areas around the eastern coast of Australia. A structural adaption that the platypus has developed is their long tail, which helps them swim easier, and its fatty tissue allows them to reserve energy when there isn’t much food around. They also have adapted waterproof fur that helps them conserve body heat in a semi aquatic lifestyle. A behavioural adaption of a platypus is that the females lay their eggs in their burrows to protect them from predators.
The Quokka, or the Setonix Brachyurus, is one of the friendliest species on Earth. They are marsupials who live in environments like shrubland and near swamps. They particularly inhabit in Rottnest island which is near Perth, Australia. A structural adaption that the Quokka has adapted is their light brown fur which helps them camouflage with the nature around them which makes it easier to hide from predators. A physiological adaption is that they have the ability to drink saltwater and go long periods of time without water and extract water from cacti helping them survive in places like Australia.