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Term Ecological niche
Definition

The role played by a species in a biological community or ecosystem. It refers to the particular and unique way of life that each species develops in its habitat in response to the distribution of resources and competition, that is, how it feeds, how it reproduces, where it lives, its habits, natural enemies and survival strategies. Ecological niches are, for example, an owl’s night flight or the condor’s scavenging.

An interesting example is the manatee, a marine mammal that plays the role of herbivore in the marine environment. This strategy has rarely been adopted by other mammals in general, however evolution shows that the manatee took advantage of a niche that was relatively open in coastal areas, evolving from a terrestrial herbivore to a marine one. Fossils found in Jamaica show that its ancestor, the Pezosiren Portelli of the Sirenia order, was a land animal that became increasingly aquatic.

 

Additional Information
PhotoEcological niche
Topic  BiodiversityEnvironmental education