Diet Adaptation

Formidable Foraminifera, Facing Unfavorable Conditions: A Chemical Analysis

Abstract Armed with their network of pseudopodia and armoured by their distinctive shells, foraminifera are single-celled protists known for being ecologically successful marine microorganisms. Rare are the eukaryotes capable of surviving in oxygen-depleted environments, and rarer still are those that have evolved to prefer anoxic or hypoxic conditions, and yet

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Underwater Chemists; Discussion of Design Solutions in Tintinnid Ciliates

In this essay we explore tintinnids’ intricate design solutions through the lens of chemical processes and pathways, emphasizing the vital role chemistry plays in their survival. These ciliates employ complex chemical processes that regulate digestion, reproduction, self-protection, and swimming mechanisms. We explore the cell and life cycle of tintinnids, their…

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Taste in Birds

For a long time, it was agreed that birds did not have a sense of taste, or that if they did, it was minimal (Rowland et al., 2015). In fact, research into whether they even had taste buds only began 50 years after taste organs were described for fish, amphibia,…

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Molecular Phenomena in Flipper Formation and Limits of Miniaturization

The goal of the following report is to explore the intricacies of marine animals’ flippers at a molecular level. Three main topics will be addressed throughout the analysis: the phenomena underlying the formation of flippers from embryos, the molecular processes involved in the fin-to-limb transition from fish to tetrapods, and the…

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Physics of Avian Beak Design

Many are familiar with the idea that birds originally evolved from dinosaurs, given their common feature of plumage. For these prehistoric beasts to emerge as the animals that swim, waddle and fly today, there was a great deal of evolution that had to take place. One of the most notable…

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The Heart: A Mechanical Perspective

The heart, present in almost all fauna, sometimes more than once in an organism (e.g., octopi possess three hearts) is connected to the rest of the body through a complex circulatory system which allows it to pump blood across the whole body in a coordinated, primarily automated manner, by contracting…

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Mechanical and Material Design Principles of the Avian Egg Shell

The design of the avian egg presents intricacies ranging from its mechanically durable architecture to its composition of bacterial protective materials. Characteristics such as the function, architecture, operation, and eggshell vulnerabilities are presented to outline the success of embryo survival and chick pipping. Protection against various external conditions and the…

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Exploring the Structure and Functionality of Flippers

Among all living organisms, locomotion is extremely important. For large, multicellular organisms, it might be useful to find more suitable climates, or to escape from predators. For all living things, it is necessary to find nutrition, add diversity to the gene pool and limit inbreeding (Safran and Nosil, 2012). Methods…

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Rodent Adaptations to Ever-growing Teeth

Rodents have ever-growing incisors as a result of their chew-intensive diets. The potential consequences of this growth are numerous and can cause serious diseases for these animals. To avoid these outcomes, the structures and mechanisms involved in the function of nutrition must adapt to this trait. Therefore, the incisors are…

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Functions of the Gut through the Perspective of Biological Mechanics

The main functions of the gut are to digest food, absorb nutrients, and to eliminate waste. These functions vary between species, causing different guts to have different structures. Natural selection has determined the structure of different guts by what the animal consumes, where they live, and how other parts of…

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The Nose: An Examination and Comparison of the Turbinate Structures of Aquatic Animals, Terrestrial Caniformia, and Humans

In recent years, researchers have studied biological systems with an engineering perspective, and have found that structures in nature are designed to respond to a specific function. The nose is one example of how evolution has formed a diversity of shapes for the same structure to accommodate the species’ needs…

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