Download A Closer Look at the Animal Kingdom (Introduction to Biology by Sherman Hollar PDF

By Sherman Hollar

Age variety: eight - 12 Years

Table of Contents

Introduction 6

Chapter 1 the range of Animal existence 12

Chapter 2 class and behaviour 33

Chapter three Animals with out Backbones 50

Chapter four Animals with Backbones 61

Conclusion 75

Glossary 77

For additional information 80

Bibliography 83

Index 84

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Extra info for A Closer Look at the Animal Kingdom (Introduction to Biology - Britannica Digital Learning) (1st Edition)

Example text

Even beyond these instabilities, nature is not fully efficient. There are inevitably compromises. Human examples include our appendix, our wisdom teeth, and the blind spot where the optic nerve interrupts the retina. For fishes, there is the closing of the gill covers necessary for respiration, which causes a forward thrust. If a fish wishes to remain stationary, as a resting fish usually does, she needs to compensate for the gill thrust. This is why you will rarely see a stationary fish whose pectoral fins are not in motion.

The four-eyed fish—which inhabits fresh and brackish waters along the Atlantic coast of Central and South America—enhances its visual field in a different way. Nature’s inventors of the bifocal lens, these relatives of the guppy sport a discrete demarcation between the upper and lower portion of their retina. The fish swims so that the demarcation aligns exactly with the plane of the water surface, the airborne portion of the eyes providing ideal air vision while the submerged portion accommodates the aquatic medium.

That many aquatic predators tend to aim for the eyes is evidenced by the evolution of deceptive eyespots on many fishes. Examples of fishes who benefit from this deception include cichlids, butterflyfishes, angelfishes, pufferfishes, and bowfins. The deception may be enhanced in various ways. Like us, fishes are more likely to notice bright colors, so those deceptive eyespots tend toward conspicuous brilliance, while the real eye at the other end may be relatively obscure. The pattern of a young emperor angelfish doesn’t include an eyespot, but a bull’s-eye surrounded by concentric rings of alternating white and neon blue looks just as effective, while the real eye is obliterated by a maze of meandering lines.

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