Animals & Their Adaptations in the Coniferous Forest

Written by steve johnson
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Animals & Their Adaptations in the Coniferous Forest
Coniferous forests around the world serve as homes to many animals. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Sophistication isn't found only on the screen of a computer or on the architecture of the Internet; evolution allows adaptations on a micro and macroscopic level to be far more complicated than any technologies humans can create. Each biome -- such as Coniferous Forests -- offers a unique opportunity for evolution to mould animals to their environment.

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One of nature's most common mysteries is hibernation. This adaptation occurs in coniferous forests and surrounding regions. Many types of animals hibernate; however, the kind most people are familiar with is bear hibernation. Hibernation is an adaptation born out of low food supply. This evolutionary trait allows these animals to go into a deep slumber, resting their body, lowering their body temperature, and subsequently their metabolic rate. This lets them "sit out" much of the winter until food becomes readily available again.


Shortages of food are inevitable in the cold regions making up the coniferous forests. If animals don't hibernate, then they implement other options. Migration is a technique that some mammals and most birds utilise. Birds have the benefit of being able to get from one place to another without interference of land objects. Although not completely understood, scientists believe bird migration is accurate due to some species' ability to use the Earth's magnetic fields as an internal compass.


Smaller animals that need less food often make it through harsh winter months by storing food. Small mammals, such as squirrels, collect nuts prior to the arrival of winter months. The act is an inherent behaviour hard-wired into the brains of these animals, making it an adaptive trait of evolution.

Body Adaptations

Moose are common among the coniferous forests of North America. The most notable characteristic of a moose is its enormous antlers. As in other deer relatives, the antlers serve several purposes. They play a significant role in mating, serving to attract mates and fight other males for the attention of a female or to establish territory; they also serve as protection.

Colour Adaptations

Snakes and amphibians such as frogs often display bright colours as warning signs to potential predators. Some nonvenomous snakes, such as the Eastern Milk Snake, mimic these patterns, displaying bright colours and striped patterns.

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