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The Science of
Amazing Animal Adaptations
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What makes some animals survive and others thrive?

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Why are some animals more vulnerable to environmental and anthropogenic change than others?


Have you wondered what kinds of adaptations help animals survive in nearly every place on Earth? Why might some animals thrive as the planet warms while others will go extinct? What is physiological plasticity? This website is the final project of UCSC Environmental Physiology class and we answer these questions and more for a diversity of animals in habitats all over our world.


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UCSC BIOLOGY 136

Environmental Physiology

About Environmental Physiology 136

This course explores how an organism’s physiology interacts with its environment including molecular to whole organism level processes. How do animals thrive in the most diverse regions of Earth? What is the difference between physiological plasticity and adaptation and what does an animal’s capacity for adaptation mean for its ability to survive or thrive in a rapidly changing climate? Using a variety of case studies, we will explore the amazing physiological tricks and strategies that organisms have evolved to live in the diverse environments of our planet.

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