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Physiological adaptation

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Definition

A metabolic or physiologic adjustment within the cell, or tissues, of an organism in response to an environmental stimulus resulting in the improved ability of that organism to cope with its changing environment


Supplement

In biology, adaptation refers to the adjustment or changes in behavior, physiology, and structure of an organism to become more suited or fit to an environment. According to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, the organisms adapt to their environment to become better fitted to survive and passing their genes on to the next generation. However, unlike evolutionary adaptation which involves transgenerational adjustment, physiological adaptation is generally narrow in scope and involves response of an individual to a particular, usually narrow, range of stimuli.

A physiological adaptation refers to the metabolic or physiologic adjustment within the cell, or tissues, of an organism in response to an environmental stimulus resulting in the improved ability of that organism to cope with its changing environment. Or, it may pertain to an organismic or systemic response of an individual to a specific external stimulus in order to maintain homeostasis.

Examples of physiological adaptation are tanning of skin when exposed to sun over long periods, the formation of callouses on hands in response to repeated contact or pressure, and the ability of certain organisms to absorb nutrients under low oxygen tensions.


See also:

  • adaptation