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Major Topic(s) Covered: Unifying Concepts of Animal Structure and Function Read Additional Section(s):
Individual Assignment(s): In class your group will be asked to answer the following question: The regulatory mechanisms that an organism uses result from an evolutionary process. Some organisms regulate their internal body temperature, and others do not. Make two suggestions as to what the “evolutionary advantage” might be for each of these two, quite different, lifestyles.
Why this Material? Each of the living organisms on the planet Earth has evolved a distinctive body form (morphology) at a variety of levels: cellular, tissue. organ, whole animal. Yet we never should forget that it is the actual functioning of living matter at the these levels that that is at the heart of living processes. Thus, it is not possible to separate the analysis of an organism’s structure from the functions that those structures carry out. And of course, evolutionary forces work on both structure and function. In this section we will look at common themes that we find in the structure-function relationships found in animals. Given the short evolutionary times (relative to the age of life on the planet) and the fact that all living things can be traced back to common ancestors, it will not be surprising that the arrangement and functioning of living systems is very similar in most animals. This section will also give us the opportunity to understand the control mechanisms necessary to maintain life and how organisms interact with their surroundings. While we will focus on animals, you might keep in mind how these principles and ideas will relate to the other large group of multicellular organisms - the plants. We will have a chance to look at those more closely in a few weeks.
Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this learning guide, you should be able to:
Describe relationship between structure and function in an...
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