What Are the Different Connections between Animals and Their Habitat?

Jacob Queen

There are many connections between animals and their habitat, and some of these are crucial to an animal's survival. Some examples include the available food selection in particular places, physical adaptations to particular environments, and instincts for surviving in certain conditions. To some extent, many environments are also dependent on the presence of certain animals, because living creatures can have huge impacts on ecosystems, and everything can be disrupted if the balance changes.

Young giant panda in a tree.
Young giant panda in a tree.

One of the most well-understood connections between animals and their habitat is the question of food. Some animals are very dependent on particular food sources, and this totally ties them to a certain environment. For example, panda bears primarily eat bamboo, so bamboo forests are very important for their survival. Some animals are able to find alternate foods if they are transferred to another area, and some are less versatile.

A forest habitat.
A forest habitat.

Another common connection between animals and their habitat is physical adaptation. Some animals have adaptations that make it very easy for them to live in certain environments. For example, an animal might be colored in a way that allows it to camouflage in a particular environment. Another example would be animals that have adaptations which allow them to survive in particularly harsh conditions, such as long fur in arctic zones.

Pandas eat mostly bamboo, so having a habitat with bamboo is important for their survival.
Pandas eat mostly bamboo, so having a habitat with bamboo is important for their survival.

Sometimes behavior is the main connection between animals and their habitat. For example, many creatures have innate behaviors that drive them to target certain foods or avoid certain poisonous items. If those animals are placed in another part of the world, they might fail to find anything to eat, or poison themselves. Also, any advantages they have because of their behavior would probably fail to help them in the new environment, so they might simply be shoved out by other creatures with more fitting instincts.

The peppered mouth is able to camouflage itself very well in its regular environment.
The peppered mouth is able to camouflage itself very well in its regular environment.

Another thing that makes a big difference when it comes to animals and their habitat is the issue of balance. In its own natural habitat, an animal will generally fit into the overall scheme of things. There will normally be enough food for it to eat, and its presence won't generally throw the ecosystem into chaos. If the animal is required to live in another environment, it might disrupt the entire balance of life, possibly causing serious problems in the ecosystem, and might even cause extinctions. Another possibility is that the animal might not be able to find enough room for itself in the ecosystem and can, therefore, fail to survive.

Tigers have become endangered mostly due to habitat loss.
Tigers have become endangered mostly due to habitat loss.

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Discussion Comments


I think its amazing that animals can continue to adapt and remain in balance with their habitats. Looks like humans are the only ones who are still having trouble getting that down...


So how exactly is a habitat determined? I mean, isn't a habitat just wherever an animal lives, or does it have to be something very specific? I guess the reason I ask is that it seems like so many animals are moving into different areas, so I would assume that they're adapting to different habitats too. Does anybody know?


I think that we humans are what gets between animals and their habitat. Everyday, I read about things like rainforests being cut down and glaciers melting. Panda bears are endangered because of us and many more species are close to extinction because we are destroying their habitat.

It makes me very sad to know this because I can't imagine a world without animals. I think along with their habitat, we are slowly destroying ours as well.

What do you think? How can we improve our relationship with natural habitats and animals and reestablish these connections?


I think that anyone who has a cat will get to witness firsthand the food chain and how animals know to survive and protect themselves in their environment.

I have a cat pet for the first time in my life and I find my cat's behavior so interesting sometimes. When we adopted her, she was six months old and had never been outside. When she was with us, she saw things for the first time- grass, trees, flowers and insects. The interesting part is that she knew exactly how to act and she enjoyed it tremendously.

The joy she is feeling when she is outside is so apparent. I feel that she is in her habitat then. She is also an expert hunter, which is kind of scary for me. But no insect (or even lizard) can get out of our house alive!

I think that, even beyond eating and survival, animals also have a deep emotional attachment to their habitat. Keeping them away from their habitat wouldn't just harm them physically but emotionally as well. I know that my cat is miserable if she doesn't get to go outside.


Hunting has taught me a lot about animals and their habitat. My dad taught me to haunt and I always went with him to hunting trips. I learned from a young age that nature has a balance and even though we are allow to hunt, we cannot hunt everything and we definitely can't hunt in a way that harms animals and species for the long term.

For example, every state and region has its own hunting seasons and rules. The authorities know when it is okay to hunt. If hunting happened randomly at any time of the year, animals would quickly become endangered, especially if it is breeding time. It is also not right to hunt babies or females, and that again has to do with protecting these species for the long term.

I'm not a die hard hunter and I also know that some people are against it. But hunting has been one of the most important experiences that introduced me to animals and their habitats. I have actually grown to love, respect and protect them.

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