What Are Examples of Behavioral Adaptations?

Any behavior that helps an organism or a species to survive can be considered as a behavioral adaptation. Animal migration is an example of behavioral adaptation; moving in a large group helps protect the members of the group from predators and enables them to survive in different areas, especially if there is a lack of food or they need to avoid a harsh weather.

Dormancy and hibernation allow animals to conserve energy in times of environmental stress, which often occurs in winter. Ground squirrels, woodchucks and chipmunks can hibernate and remain dormant for a period of seven months to a year. They generally eat a lot of food before hibernating and allow their body temperatures to drop to just below freezing. Some hibernating animals actually awaken to warm their bodies, feed a little and urinate, but they soon return to being dormant.

Behavioral adaptations, unlike physical adaptations, aren’t always inherited but are often learned; the environment serves as an external stimulus. One example is the way wild birds appear restless around people while birds that have lived in urban areas are less fearful. Domesticated cats are also docile and are more comfortable around people, while stray cats are often wary and fierce when approached by strangers.