Mammoth Memory

Specialists – narrow range  (a specialist can only survive in a narrow range of environmental conditions)

Organisms with highly adapted features to survive in a specific habitat.

Specialists are organisms that have highly adapted features to survive in specific places

At the restaurant the chef brought out a specials list (specialist). On that list was only one thing.


Giant pandas eat bamboo only

Giant pandas live off a specialist diet of bamboo.

Orchid mantis plant has grown limbs and can be found amongst orchid flowers waiting to pounce on insects to trap

The orchid mantis has evolved specialist limbs that are shaped and coloured like orchid petals. It uses these to stay camouflaged in amongst orchid flowers where it waits to pounce on passing insects.

Koalas have evolved to eat eucalyptus most other animals find it toxic

The Koala has evolved to live off a specialist diet of eucalyptus which most other animals find toxic.

Hawk moths have tongues that are over a foot long the orchid is the only plant that can accommodate this length to pollinate

The Darwin hawk moth has a tongue over a foot long. It was discovered in 1882 but Charles Darwin predicted its existence 20 years earlier having seen the Orchid with a nectar tube longer than any known animal could reach with nectar only being pooled at the bottom of the tube. Darwin predicted the orchid must have a specialist co-evolutionary partner that fed on the nectar and pollinated the flower. Two decades later scientists discovered the moth.

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