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Movement and Feeding
Two of the characteristics of living things are that they feed and move. Most animals need to move in order to feed and some animals need to move fast to avoid being eaten. Different animals feed in different ways and eat different things.
Herbivores, carnivores and omnivores have to move to find their food. Antelope herds keep moving to new areas to find fresh vegetation.
These herds also need to be able to run fast in order to avoid predators, such as the lion.
Different ways in which animals can move
Animals must push against a resistant support on order to move. This can be land, in the air or in the water. All three provide a resistant support. A lion's feet push against the ground, birds' wings push against the air and fishes' bodies push against water. The land is rigid (hard). Air and water are called fluids. Both are resistant but not hard.
There are different types of movement. Animals which live on dry land can walk, run, leap, hop, slither or burrow. Some animals can use two of these types of movement. animals which live in water usually swim. The crab, however, which lives in shallow sea water, walks on the sea bed. Other animals can fly in the air as well as move on land or swim.
A few animals slither along the ground. The snake, which is a reptile moves in this way. It can remain hidden in the grass as it quietly approaches its prey. Snails and slugs are both molluscs which slither towards their food. You can often see silvery trails in a garden where a snail or slug has recently slithered past.
Some mammals use their back (hind) legs to leap or hop in order to escape their predators. Leaping allows the deer to move faster forward than running. It also lets them jump over branches which might be in their way.
Rabbits hop fast when they are in danger. They have powerful muscles in their hind legs. Hopping, for an animal such as the rabbit, uses less energy than running. The cat is a mammal which normally walks but it can run and leap very well when it is trying to catch a mouse or a bird.
A few animals burrow through the earth in search of food. Burrowing animals have either no limbs at all, such as the earthworm, or limbs which are reduced in size. The bodies of burrowing animals are usually long, thin, smooth and flexible.