From camouflage to food storage, the adaptations different animals have evolved are fascinating.

Animals are living things that go about eating plants or other animals for food. Their bodies have senses (hearing, seeing, smell) that allow them to react to changes in the things around them. Sense can help them find food, find a warm place to sleep, or just get away from danger. There are thought to be just under nine million different animal species out in the world. There are animals that live in the woods, underwater, in a tree, in a cave, and even in your own home. That is right you are an animal, we all are. Animals do all kinds of crazy things that we do not even realize. Snails can sometimes sleep for up to three years. They do this to conserve moisture during very dry periods. Elephants are the only known land animal that cannot jump. This is because elephant leg bones are positioned downwards and have zero spring to push off the ground.

Your students will read short passages about interesting ways that different animals have evolved in order to survive, whether that is through blending in to their environments, storing food over long periods, the ability to regrow lost limbs or extra teeth, the differences between warm-blooded and cold-blooded species, and more. Two different answer sheets-one multiple choice and one short answer-are provided for each passage. Answer keys are provided for each sheet. Fun Fact: some scientists believe that certain animals' ability to regenerate holds the key to reversing the aging process in humans.

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Why Do Camels Have Humps?

A camel is the only animal that has a hump. Some people believe this hump holds water but actually the hump is a storage site for fat.

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Multiple Choice Questions

The hump is necessary to the camel's survival in the desert. As the camel travels through the desert where food and water are scarce, it draws energy from the fat stored in the hump.

Short Answer Questions

The idea that a camel can store large amounts of water is not completely untrue.

Why Do Animals Shiver? - Reading Passage

In cold weather there are a few ways a mammal can regulate their body temperature.

Multiple Choice Questions

When we think of shivering we usually think it is just something that happens when an animal is cold. While this is true, shivering also has an important function.

Short Answer Questions

Muscles around the organs of the animal begin to shake in small movements. This shaking or shivering uses energy and creates warmth in the animal.

Which Animal Can Live the Longest? - Reading Passage

Recently, researchers at Bangor University in Wales journeyed to the Northern coast of Iceland. Their mission was to get information about changes in the marine environment.

Multiple Choice Questions

Instead they encountered a clam that took the title for the longest living animal.

Short Answer Questions

After scientists cut through the clams' shell to count the growth rings, it was determined that this particular clam was between 405 and 410 years old.

Can Animals Regrow Body Parts? - Reading Passage

Some animals have the ability to grow a lost or damaged body part back to its original form.

Multiple Choice Questions

Salamanders can also regenerate limbs. Often if you try to grab a salamander by the tail you will find that the tail stays in your hand and the salamander takes off.

Short Answer Questions

Not all living things can regenerate parts. In humans the stump of an amputated part would just heal over.

Do Animals Take Baths? - Reading Passage

Regular cleaning keeps their fur, feathers, or scales clean and in good condition. Removal of insects, dead skin cells, oil and dirt are common reasons for an animal bath.

Multiple Choice Questions

Birds commonly take water baths and use the water and their beak to smooth or clean their feathers.

Short Answer Questions

Many animals also participate in social cleaning or grooming for the same purpose of removing dirt, oil and foreign objects Primates are the perfect example of this type of cleaning and grooming.

Cold- vs. Warm- Blooded

What is the difference between warm blooded and cold blooded animals?

Multiple Choice Questions

Warm blooded animals need to keep the inside of their bodies at a constant temperature.

Short Answer Questions

In cold environments the cold blooded animal is sluggish and slow moving because of their low body temperature.

Why Do Sharks Keep Swimming? - Reading Passage

Sharks are recorded to date back more than 420 years ago, even before the time of the dinosaurs.

Multiple Choice Questions

Most fish have muscles and other equipment to pump water through their mouth and over their gills without moving.

Short Answer Questions

Unlike most fish, sharks have no air bladder. Fish are able to use their air bladders to float easily in the water.

How Do Fish Float? Reading Passage

What makes a fish float in water? The simplest answer to this is air.

Multiple Choice Questions

Fish use their air bladders to rise or sink in the water. If a fish wants to travel or rest near the bottom of a body of water it simply lets air out of it air bladder.

Short Answer Questions

Why would a fish want to be able to rise and sink in the water?

Why Do Animals Look Like Where They Live? - Reading Passage

Animals need every advantage they can get in order to survive and reproduce. This fact has caused many animals to evolve special adaptations to suit their individual needs and help them to find food or hide from predators.

Multiple Choice Questions

Many animals such as deer and squirrels have a brownish color that matches the brown of the trees and soil.

Short Answer Questions

The walking stick is a perfect example of this. A walking stick is an insect that looks like a small twig or stick.

Why Do Elephants Have Big Ears and Giraffes have Long Necks? Passage

Over the years animals have evolved and developed adaptations that are unique to the animal’s environment and situation.

Multiple Choice Questions

The elephant has some of the largest ears of any animal. Is this simply to help them hear well?

Short Answer Questions

The giraffe also has a unique adaptation. Its long neck gives it the title of the tallest animal.