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‘Move, Adapt or Die’


A reading that discusses different aspects of evolutionary adaptations to climate change in animals. This reading by Renee Cho, Earth Institute, Columbia University, uses various examples to showcase how animals adapt to climate change and how a warming climate forces animals to ‘move, adapt or die’.

Students will learn about some of the morphological, biological, and physiological adaptations that occur in response to climate change. They will further be introduced to the concept of epigenetics, its role in phenotypic plasticity and how this differs from environmental adaptation.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. What is evolutionary adaptation? How does it differ from phenotypic plasticity? Give an example.
  2. How is climate change influencing evolutionary adaptations in living organisms?
  3. What is epigenetics? Discuss its role in phenotypic plasticity?
  4. Discuss why it is important to maintain large species populations and biodiversity in the context of adaptations.
About Tool
Tool Name What Helps Animals Adapt (or Not) to Climate Change?
Discipline Biological Sciences, Environmental Sciences
Topic(s) in Discipline Adaptation, Gentics, Evolution, Evolutionary Adaptations, Natural Selection, Phenotypic Variations, Genetic Variations, Gene Frequency, Phenotypic Plasticity, Morphological or Physiological Traits, Epigenetic Factors
Climate Topic Climate and the Biosphere
Type of tool Reading
Grade Level High School, Undergraduate
Location Global
Language English
Translation      –
Developed by Renee Cho
Hosted at Earth Institute, Columbia University
Access Online
Computer Skills Basic

Mapped Sustainable Development Goal(s), apart from 4 and 13


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