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Adaptation

An adaptation can be defined as a change in an animal or plant’s behavior or body that allows it to survive and breed in new conditions. Species of plants and animals are said to be adapted to their environments and their ecological niche “or way of life.” A good example to follow how one structure can be adapted to many different functions is to look at the beaks of Lebanon’s birds:

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Male & female Shoveler Ducks
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Syrian Serin
Serinus syriacus
The Syrian Serin has the typical beak of a finch, like tiny “nut crackers” they are adapted to eating seeds.
 
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Black Kite
Milvus migrans
The beak of the Black Kite shows it to be a predator – designed for killing and tearing meat.
 
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White Pelican
Pelecanus onocrotalus
From the beak of the White Pelican you can see it is a fisherman – not only is it wide to scoop up fish, it has a bag to collect them in before swallowing them.
 
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Hoopoe
Upupa epops
The Hoopoe is equipped with a long thin curved beak, ideal for probing into leaf litter for worms and other delicacies
 
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Squacco Heron
Ardeola ralloides
The Squacco Heron like all of its family has a harpoon for a beak – ideal for spearing fish and frogs
 
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Snipe
Gallinago gallinago
The Snipe’s long thin beak is a tool for reaching invertebrates deep in the mud of its wet feeding grounds.
 
 
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