Adaptations for aquatic habitat



  • Animals which live in water must have special adaptations to help them survive in an aquatic habitat.
  • The more time an animal spends in the water, the more adaptations the animal will have for an aquatic life.
  • Aquatic animals show a variety of adaptations to stay in water.
  • Ducks have webbed feet that help them in swimming.


  • They also have hollow bones that help them to stay afloat.
  • Oil produced from under their tails makes their feathers waterproof.
  • Fish have the following modifications to live underwater.
  • Gills are special organs that help fish to breathe underwater.

  • Fins help them in swimming and keeping the body balanced.
  • Their streamlined body shape allows them to swim fast by reducing resistance due to flowing water.

  • Some sea animals such as octopus and squid do not have streamlined shape.
  • However, while they move in water, they make their body streamlined.

  • Animals such as dolphins and whales do not have gills to breathe in water.
  • They have blowholes located at the upper parts of their heads.

  • They come to the water surface and breathe in air through the blowholes from time to time.
  • This allows them to stay under water for a long time.



  • Freshwater plants show the following adaptations.
  • Plants that live in moving water have long, narrow stems.
  • This prevents the plants from being carried away with water currents.
  • Stems have air chambers that allow the aquatic plants to float in water.
  • Leaves of plants like lotus and water lily have a waxy covering that prevents them from rotting.