BIOL1407 Final Exam Essay





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What is evolution? What proof do we have that evolution is real and takes place (provide details and examples – refer to your book as well as your lectures). Who is responsible for the development of the theory of evolution.

In addition, explain to me what is natural selection and sexual selection (provide detailed examples)?

Evolution is the changes in species over a certain period of time. It is the occurrence of sexual selection, natural selection, changes in the environment, and long periods of time that results in adaptations in species.

The new species have mutations that are passable from generation to generation producing newer species over time. Fossils are the primary example of evolution along with embryology and genetics. The number one example of fossils would be the ancestors of lizards. Many years ago, lizards used to be much bigger than they are today, and we are able to prove that through discovered fossils. Charles Darwin is the most commonly known person with theorizing evolution. There are other scientists who came up with the theory before he did like, John Baptiste Lamarck, who also stated that species evolved but, he did not have enough evidence at the time. Natural selection is species who have successfully reproduced offspring that have adaptations best suited for survival. For example, a dark colored rabbit in the desert is more likely to survive and have offspring than that of a light-colored rabbit. The light-colored rabbit does not blend in with the desert, so it will most likely be eaten. The dark colored rabbit is more likely to not be detected and will have more of a chance to reproduce, this is natural selection. Sexual selection basically means the ability to obtain a mate through variation. For example, a male peacock can attract more females to mate with through spreading its feathers. It may have more feathers than the male next to him, so the female peacocks will choose the one with most feathers to reproduce with.

Discuss climate change and global warming (your answer must contain an explanation of what the greenhouse effect is). In addition, explain how such changes in the environment will have an impact on ecosystems and organisms in this planet (please provide examples as well).

Climate change and global warming is the altered weather patterns in the worlds along with temperature rise resulting from the excess amount of carbon dioxide. Greenhouse gasses consist mainly of carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor, and nitrous oxide. These gasses trap heat. In the Green House Effect, radiation from sun is converted into thermal radiation on the Earth’s surface. Greenhouse gases reflect much of the thermal energy back into the Earth’s surface. Greenhouse gases are necessary for the Earth to be warm enough to inhabit. If we don’t change the way we are heading with global warming, there will be major changes in our environment, and some species might be in danger or at risk in going extinct. Some species, like the Polar Bear, are already adjusted the cold weather and have adapted to fit into the ecosystem. If the temperatures keep on rising, eventually the ice glaciers will melt, and the Polar Bear will most likely go extinct because they aren’t able to quickly adapt to the new changes in the environment. This will cause a domino effect, no polar bears, there will be an increase in fish. This can throw off the aquatic environment and affect the food chain.

In class, as well as in the lab, we discussed plants in great detail. Discuss plants. Begin by describing plants on detail (types, structure, physiology, etc.). Then, tell me why plants are important to our planet (provide examples with details please).

There are three separate types of plants. The first group of plants are seedless vascular plants. For example, horsetail plants do not have any seeds along with bryophytes and ferns. In addition, they are all vascular or have vein like structures in their leaves. The second group ties along with the third type of plants. This is because both categories have seeds and are non-vascular. The group consists of Gymnosperms and Angiosperms. The most remarkable difference between the two types is that gymnosperms have naked seeds and angiosperms have hidden seeds. An example of a gymnosperm would be pine trees because the pine is actually the seed and is exposed externally. An example of the angiosperm would be a Zinnia flower. Basically, angiosperms include all of which are flowers and gymnosperms excludes flowers. The structures of gymnosperms are scaly, tough and the leaves are closely packed in. The structures of angiosperms are a bit more complexed. They can be categorized into dicots and monocots. Dicots are found to have 4-5 flower petals and monocots only have up to 3 petals. An addition, dicots have branched roots while monocots only have tap roots along with other various characteristic features. Plants are one of the most vital assets to our planet and to humans without plants, we would not exist. They are a source of food, shelter, and give oxygen and maintain climate control.

Discuss differences and similarities (anatomical, reproduction, etc. Please refer to your book and lectures) between mammals, reptiles, and birds.

Mammals are different from birds and reptiles because they do not lay eggs. Mammals are also endothermic meaning they can create their own heat. One similarity between mammals and the other two species is that they have homologous structures, for example all have limbs, finger like structures, mouths and eyes. One of the main differences that separates birds from mammals and reptiles is that birds do not have a bladder. This is because it helps them fly better. Another difference is that birds are able to fly which mammals nor reptiles are able to do. A similarity between birds and the other two species is that all three can reproduce sexually. Lastly, reptiles are different from mammals because they are ectothermic meaning they cannot produce their own heat. Anothor difference is that reptiles lay eggs without amniotic fluid. A similarity between all three is that they can all be heterotrophs meaning they can eat plants.

During the semester we covered a variety of topics. This is your opportunity to discuss your favorite topic or lecture. Note that since this is “your favorite topic” you should be able to explain to me your favorite topic in detail and with great examples. You cannot discuss any of the topics that have been already covered in the previous questions.

My favorite part of the semester was parasitic organisms. Mainly the tape worms. Whenever people think of worms, they think of harmless Earth worms not the worms that may end up in their digestive track. What I really love is that under a microscope you could see that they have hooks, this is how they are able to hang on to the intestinal track. I also was very intrigued at how long they can get inside a human and they not only infect us but really any mammal. Their main part of transportation is be feces. When they can no longer live in the host, they exist and can be picked back up again through consumption or by being picked off the soil. Tape worms also are unique because they themselves don’t have a digestive tract so the only way they can survive is by living inside a host. This is interesting because it makes me speculate how it survived in the past and what the main host was several years ago. Lastly, I really like how I learned that the only way tapeworms are able to be removed is by a special procedure. If the procedure is not successfully done, the tape worm will regrow inside the host. This is just some things that mainly caught my attention. I hope to learn more about it in the future.

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