Within species, individuals are born with certain mutations. These
mutations act like feelers for adaptation. If that mutated
characteristic suits the animal's food and environment better, It
will become more frequent over time, until it becomes the dominant
characteristic. The animal changes to meet its needs simply by living
in its natural environment and giving in to the forces of nature.
Those forces involve the food chain, natural selection, and survival
between predator and prey. In that sense, you are what you need.
The food chain is the continues transfer of energy between animals by
feeding. A food chain could go something like this; Plants are eaten
by the herbivores, which are eaten by carnivores, which are eaten by
bigger carnivores. When the bigger carnivore dies, decomposers
release it's energy and minerals into the ground, where plants eat
them and the cycle starts again. It's one big cycle that changes
little. However, since some amount of energy is lost at each
transfer, a root that was consumed three years previous would most
likely not be part of the current energy flow. Decomposers like
bacteria and fungi rot dead bodies and plants, breaking them into
simple raw materials and other substances that are released into the
soil. These are then absorbed by plants as food. It is within the
Food Chain Environment that the basis of what all species are and
need to be is decided.
The theory of Natural Selection was put forth by Charles Darwin.
Natural Selection is the idea that since parents pass on their
characteristics to their children, the individuals better suited to
their eco-system would become more dominant in that area, for they
would have a better chance to survive and pass on those helpful
characteristics. An Example of this would be white and brown mice in
a dark, grassy environment. Obviously, a hunting owl would have an
easier time getting the white mice, so the population would drop
because the white mice don't fare well in that environment. Now, lets
have the same example, but this time a snowy winter landscape. Now,
the white mice have camouflage, and the brown mice will have a much
less likely chance to survive to pass down their characteristics.
This means that the brown mouse population would fall, and because of
less breeding, not rise again.
Directional Selection is the adapting of one environment after it has
changed. Often, this change is caused by humans. When colors and
patterns of a beings environment change, that type of being will also
begin to change over time to adapt because certain beings within that
type will suit the new environment better, thus increasing their
chance of passing on those characteristics. An example of this is
when pollution from coal in old english towns would turn the trees
black. Eventually, the moths that lived on those trees became darker,
adapting to their new environment.
Changes in food sources will also trigger adaptations. Since the food
source will determine a bird's beak shape and size, it will change if
the food source does. If the original bird was a bug-eater with a
long pointy beak, and it ran out of bugs to eat, it would be forced
to eat seeds or fruits. At first, the species would have a hard time
because their beak wasn't the right shape, but over generations, the
majority of that type of bird would have a beak better suited for the
job. The original beak of that species of bird will have changed over
time to adapt to its environment. The changes will be accepted
because of their better ability to consume the new food source.
Eventually, the new beak will become the dominate beak of the species
because the bird will have an easier time getting food, increasing
it's chance for survival, and with some species increasing the amount
of offspring being born. The original beak will eventually fade away
from existence, dying from starvation.
Physical Differences Between Herbivore and Carnivore
Since Herbivores and Carnivores have different eating habits, it
would be assumed that there would be differences in certain parts of
the body. The teeth and the jaw of both types are different.
Herbivores have flat, rigid teeth because plants contain a lot
fibrous material that need to be chewed a lot before swallowing.
Carnivores have large, pointy canines in front to seize and kill
their prey, and carnassials in back to tear and shred. Humans are
omnivores and have both sets of teeth, but differences are not as
pronounced. Jaw movements also differ between herbivore and
carnivore. Herbivore jaws move in circles to grind the food, while
carnivore jaws go up and down to slice the food.
Physical Differences Between Predator and Prey
(Ex. Cat and mouse)
The cat (Predator) has forward pointing eyes to help judge distances,
while the mouse has eyes at the side of it's head to let it see all
around itself. The cat also has soft padded feet so that he can move
quietly and claws so that it can capture its prey. The mouse has
large eyes that let it see in dark places and sensitive ears to help
it detect approaching animals. Both have forms of coloring, the
predator so to not be noticed by the prey while it prepares to
strike, and the prey, to hide from the predator.
Special tools for special needs
Some animals need special tools or parts to live in their
environment. An example would be the anteater, which uses its long
snout and tongue to slurp up ants in their mounds. Some members of
the genus Homo can use tools. An example of that would be a stick
used to scoop up termites. While the anteater had a natural ability,
a stick was used when what the animal was born with just couldn't cut it.
Through "mutation feelers", the best adaptations can be
made into the norm for our separate species. It is through Natural
Selection, Physical Differences, and the Environmental Food Chain
that all species develop their particular characteristics. In
relating to our environment and fellow species on earth, we develop
the characteristics needed for our survival. So, just remember, you
are what you need.
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