Of all the wonderful adaptations in the animal kingdom, perhaps the most important is the habit of living together in communal or family groups. Animals can derive a lot of benefit from spending time with other members of the same species. They can help each other find food, defend against predators and care for young. Countless species engage in group living, either in herds, colonies, harems, complex societies or loose associations. But perhaps the simplest and most common form of group living in the natural world is that of nuclear families, which may consist of a male/female couple with their young, a single male and various females and young, a group of females and their young, or whatever combination works best.
Animals have evolved a number of ways of navigating the Earth, including walking, swimming, climbing and hopping. But the evolution of flight, the No. 2 adaptation in our countdown, takes maneuvering on this planet to a higher level. Flying not only delivers an animal from one place to another much faster than lumbering along with a pair of legs, it also allows creatures to escape predation, explore new territories and look for resources that might otherwise be out of reach. And although we rely on machines rather than our own anatomical abilities in the air, being able to fly has certainly transformed human society.
Coming in at No. 3 in our countdown is migration, one of the greatest adaptations in the animal kingdom and one that is used by a variety of different species. Nothing in nature is more awe-inspiring than the movement of a population of animals along the horizon as they migrate from one place to another. The reasons for migration are varied, but they usually have to do with finding food and a good place to mate. Some animals cover large parts of the globe with their migration routes. For example, the arctic tern makes an annual migration from its breeding grounds in the Arctic