Why do some birds migrate long distances and others stay in the mountains during the winter?
Why are there so many different colors of flowers?
There are so many questions you can ask about why the natural world is the way it is. All of these questions could be answered by doing lots of research or by careful observation over time. Ultimately, many of the questions that seem so complex and have a complicated answer come down to one simple thing.
All living beings, whether or not they are plants or animals, strive to survive. Survival does not just mean escaping the lion today to live tomorrow. That is one important part of survival, but it means more than just that.
Survival also means successfully reproducing and making babies. If an animal, including a human, is able to have a baby then even if the adult dies, it will still survive by passing on its genes. Each and every person inherits our traits, such as our eye color and hair color, from our parents. That is how the survive in us. For other animals it is the same thing.
- Birds migrate in order to give them the best chance at finding the food that they need. Maybe they move where they know the trees will be budding or to where the insects they eat will be. That food helps them survive and allows them to feed their young.
- Flowers bloom at different times of year in order to give them the best chance of getting pollinated and making new plants.
The answer to questions about nature often comes down to survival
The next time you are out in nature and see something that perplexes you remember that most everything that life does comes down to a simple quest for survival.
Oftentimes questions about why plants or animals in nature behave the way they do can be answered by remembering that life does whatever gives it the greatest chance to survive today and for tomorrow.