Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Activity 5 - Evolution for climate change

Imagine this...
The Grey Headed Flying Fox is forced to evolve due to climate change so that it can survive in conditions similar to central Australia. What would it do? How would its body change for it to survive in the new conditions? Here are five examples of what might this Flying Fox do...

1. Less fur Currently, the Grey Headed Flying Fox is unlike any other flying fox because it has fur all over its body. If its habitat changed dramatically into a hotter, drier area (as it is in the scenario) then this could not remain the case. This flying fox must change this physical feature so its fur is thinner and covers less of the creatures’ body, so the animal does not overheat or dehydrate too quickly.

2.Area for fluid retention Being in a drier climate, there would be less access to water for the Grey Headed Flying Fox than there is now, so the animal would have to go for longer periods of time without hydration. A solution to this would be for the flying fox to develop an area in its tissues (possibly in the stomach) where fluid could be stored and used in times of drought.

3.Area for fat storage Similar to the issue above, living in a more barren environment, these creatures may not have access to food or nourishment for extended periods of time. A resolution to this problem could be for an area on the creatures’ body (e.g. the legs, stomach or buttocks) to store excess fat. This would provide the animal with nourishment in times of food shortage.

4.More camouflaged fur Because a more barren environment, the food chain will most likely become more competitive if this scenario becomes a reality. This means that the Grey Headed Flying Fox will become more in danger from its predators than it was previously. Therefore, it must develop stronger defences against these predators by (for example) developing more camouflaged fur. It may do this by becoming a more consistent colour and losing the distinctive red collar around its neck which makes it so identifiable.

5.Omnivorous Because of the hotter, drier climate, there will be less vegetation, meaning a less sufficient amount of food for the Grey Headed Flying Fox. To prevent malnourishment, this creature may have to become omnivorous (or even carnivorous) to survive and to not starve.

1 comment:

  1. The drawing is amazing! I think I'm gonna use it as my wallpaper.