Adaptation and acclimatization


  • Adaptations refer to the changes in an organism over a long period of time.
  • There are certain changes that can occur in an organism over a short period of time, which help it to adjust to the changes in its surroundings.
  • This is called acclimatization.
  • For example, very thick wool grows on the sheep in cold climates.

Thick wool grows on sheep

  • Another common example of acclimatization is altitude sickness.
  • Many people (who live in the plains) suffer from altitude sickness when they go to high mountains, where the oxygen content is less.
  • They feel breathless and nauseous.
  • However, their body adjusts to the changes in a few days.
  • They acclimatize to the changes in the surroundings.
  • For this reason, high altitude climbers often stay a few days at a base camp and then climb up slowly to a higher camp. Thus, adaptation is different from acclimatization.