Insects Reptiles Fish And Birds Biology Essay

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This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

This is a good effort Stephen. Your writing style resembles more to those found in the world of literature or journalism rather than in academic environments. This is mainly because in academic scripts you need to draw your sources from credible research and back up with references all your statements/arguments. Moreover, the structure of academic documents is stricter and clearer than the one you use.

Your plagiarism levels have decreased and you seem to write about the LO's independently without copying others work. You should continue that way until the end of your submissions. When you write an essay you have to show where you have obtained the information that you included. So, in each sentence, statement or paragraph that is taken from a source, you have to acknowledge your sources by entering a parenthesis according to the Harvard system provided in your notes or available in the internet. Why don't you try that? You were prompted to do that in the past as well. It is a very easy task and it is according to academic writing style, which is a goal of yours since you are pursuing this degree. You managed to answer to all LO's but without achieving Merit or Distinction. Your text shows that with a little bit of effort and by following the tutor's advise, you will be able to achieve that as well. In LO1 1.1. You have explained basic classification systems based on honologous features.

Some of the most diverse animal groups in the world live in our own back gardens.

Birds are one of these groups, and are abundant in most places in the world. They are a magnificent lightweight species, but although small and tender are still remarkably tough for their size.

Most species of birds can fly and use this essential attribute in scavenging for food and tracking potential prey. The Ostrich is the largest of the Bird species, and although they can run up to 65mph they are flightless none the less. Nice example.

The bird is a vertebrate; just like humans as their body structure primarily function is to support the body. Their wings are the main asset as they create much of their lifting force by forward movement through the air.

The power for flapping their wings comes from their pectoralis major muscles in its chest. As these muscles tighten they pull the wing down and back. They have control of the direction they move as the tendons in the wing can flex giving greater curvature control and direction. LO1 1.1. Anatomy elements for birds.A bird's feathers provide so much more than just insulation or flight. The feathers are made up of a tough, fibrous protein called Keratin.

Their functions vary from waterproofing, camouflage and protection against predators.

Waterproofing is important for birds which spend a lot of time on the water such as seabirds, and waders. A bird cleans itself as it moves and removes dirt or parasites which cling to them. LO1 1.2. function elements for feathers

In their habitat, flightless birds can be susceptible to predator attacks. The Kiwi is a flightless bird which lives in a habitat in its native land of New Zealand. Nice example

This nocturnal animal has a rough and shaggy brown coat which they use to camouflage themselves at night from predators such as Stoats and wild Cats. Good differentiation, related to LO1 1.3.

The structure of a bird's beak also functions in numerous of ways. This is used to forage for food, attack prey and sense the opposing threats of predators. LO1 1.2. Good. The beak function.

The Red-Cockaded Woodpecker uses its beak to drill holes in the tree to protect its babies by releasing the sticky sap out of the bore holes which oozes down the tree preventing predators such as snakes to climb. Nice example

Fish are also vertebrate animals as they too have a spine. LO1 1.3. Similarities of habitats. Sharks and Rays come under one of the two groups of fish called Elasmobranches which are cartilaginous fish. The other group are known as Teleosts which are aptly named bony fish.

Both of these groups consist of fish which have hard coarse skin which is rough like sandpaper. LO1 1.1. Anatomy elements for fish

A shark's structure is made up of cartilage; and because of it being more flexible than bone it helps the shark to manoeuvre in smaller spaces in their habitat and attack prey as well as defend themselves from predators below and above the water. LO1 1.3. fish survival

They have extra mineral deposits in their jaws which helps make their jaws stronger to bite with.

A sharks gill help the animal to breathe under water and its lateral line is a jelly-filled tube just below the skin. It opens to the water outside by a series of tiny pores. LO1 1.2. Good description and essential function here for fish

The function of this is to help the Shark detect movement in the water so it can help to search for its prey. Unfortunately this function also acts as a negative point because it allows sharks to come into shorelines where people usually are found swimming and surfing and has caused fatalities as well as their own fates being sealed. Good. Any source? Any data? Numbers?

This species of fish also has a special liver which allows them to float.

A reptile's structure can differ from each animal. The skin is usually coarse and tough which helps them from being attacked by predators. LO1 1.2. Function for reptiles

Reptiles range from many animals such as Tortoises, Snakes, Lizards and Crocodiles.

In fact the latter one of these animals are one of the two surviving groups from an evolutionary line that also contained the extinct dinosaurs.

The body structure of these reptiles although are technically Amphibians, can live in and out of the water and possess long jaws for tearing meat of their prey.

Their body is long and streamlined which allows them to move quickly in the water using its tail as a rudder. They have protected armour like skin which allows them to protect themselves from other Male crocodiles which may attack for territory purposes.

Crocodiles also possess ossified scales on the back and its tail called osteoderms that form protective armour. This allows them to swim long distances in their habitat to search for food using their webbed hind feet and tail to swim such speeds up to 35km/hr. LO1 1.1. reptiles' anatomy elements

Insects are the most diverse and abundant group of animals on the planet. Good. Any source? Any data? Numbers?

These small animals are anywhere and everywhere. They range from Ants, flies, Cockroaches to both Butterflies and Dragon flies.

The structure of an Insect is supported by an exoskeleton and possesses a segmented body which consists of a head, thorax and abdomen. LO1 1.1. Anatomy elements for insects

The head of an Ant supports its antennae which is essential for the ant as its function is to seize prey and even have been used in mating rituals.

The integument part of an Insect allows flexibility of the animals and allows freedom of movement without loss of defence and protection.

The cuticle is small thin layer of non-cellular material which lines the external surface of the insect's body.

The abdomen of an Ant contains two stomachs. One of these holds food whilst the other is used to share food with other ants.

An ant is a worker, and uses its hard exterior to work within its colony of a habitat. Its main function is to clean and collect food and protect the Queen Ant.

Other ants in the colony have specific job roles, from rubbish collectors to The Army Ants which job role is in its title. Good. LO1 1.2. and 1.3. Function and survival information for insects and a good example/analysis for ants.

The survival of each of the above species is imperative to the future of their species. Insects, Fish, Reptiles and Birds all have some comparisons which are similar to one another as well as some differences in the way they choose to survive in their environment.

Camouflage is an integral asset to have in the forests of South America. With the constant threat of predator attacks the Chameleon has its own defence mechanism in order to survive.

This Reptile has the ability to change colour on cue to blend into their surroundings.

A similar technique in Insects is the small Katydid, which is a sort of like a Cricket. They can blend into the bark of a tree to avoid detection from predators. They can also imitate Lichen, Twigs and Leaves.

The Differences between some of these species in order for them to survive in their environment vary from one another.

There are other ways of survival rather than protecting themselves from predators. More often or not, these species have to fight for food when there's no other choice.

The Praying Mantis is an ambush predator. It perches motionless on a branch awaiting its prey and ambushes it when the time is right. They use their function of binocular triangulation to gauge the distance it is from the prey.

Whilst the Insect has this predation attack which is fuelled by the camouflage ability. The Shark is a natural predator and most of their prey does not notice the strike as they move so quickly.


Whilst hunting they use electroreception which is the ability to scent, hear and locate their prey miles away from themselves.

Good. Further analysis of survival elements LO1 1.3.

Chordates are animals which possess a notochord correct which is a skeleton rod which provides support during the animal's development (is it specifically related to animals' development? In some cases it is even restricted during development). Birds, Reptiles, Fish and Insects are this entire group. Relevant to LO2 2.1. But is the notochord the only distinctive characteristic of chordates?

These species have evolved over a time period of a millions of years ago. We have seen this in the fossilised rocks that have been excavated from the ground. When? How? Any source? Any specifics here? We can see who? source? Relevant research? that their ancestors were not as advanced in significant changes as the animals we can see today.

This has something to do with the abundance of predators unlike million of years ago. Climate change and the increase in human population have also impacted the evolution of these animals. Source? How do you know that?

Birds, Insects, Fish and Reptiles have had to adapt to their environment by functioning differently and also adapting their body structure as well in a way which best suits them to their environment. Correct, relevant to LO2 2.1.

Characteristics which a fish possess are pharyngeal slits, which are essential to strain out water and filter the food particles in the water from which they eat. Correct. Another characteristic of the chordates.

Fish were the first ever vertebrates and were the breakthrough for land walking vertebrates (tetrapods). This was significant change in evolutionary history. Source?

They have learned to survive in their environment by protecting themselves. This is evident in the Clownfish. This small reef fish have evolved over time to repel the sting from nematocysts of a Jelly fish and Sea Anemone.

With this adaptation the fish sits within the Sea Anemone cleaning its new Home whilst avoiding potential predators. The process is known as Symbiogenesis. This is not Symbiogenesis. This is Symbiosis and specifically mutualism.

Reptiles are also chordates and have also been able to adapt strategies to suit their environment as they too have evolved over many years.

A Lizard possesses a layer of thick skin which gives off a small amount heat that is internally fuelled, therefore they've adapted over time to use thermoregulation, which is the ability to regulate their own body heat. Good example LO2 2.1.

Birds have been have debated by scientists and researchers alike that they have been believed to of evolved from dinosaurs. Source? Around 130 million years ago lived a bird like creature called a Liaoningornis; this species didn't look like its suspect's ancestors which are these suspect ancestors? however contained characteristics of them. Which are these common characteristics? Any source here?

For millions of years Birds have learned to adapt to live within their environment. The flightless birds such as Penguins live in the frozen tundra. In order to keep warm they have evolved a thick set of overlapping feathers which keeps them warm all year round.

These small feathers which are made up of tiny filaments that trap the air in a layer around the body enable them to endure harsh winters. LO2 2.1 and 2.2 Relevant to adaptive strategies.

Evolution of these adapted strategies have been theorised and debated by many scientists, botanists and Naturalists alike. The most common approach debate is to that the theory of birds evolving from dinosaurs.

Recent findings of fossilised rock may have broke through this theory as they have found fossilised rock of ancestral birds with feathers, fuelling the debate that Birds have evolved over time from their prehistoric ancestors.

Recognised Naturalist Richard Attenborough believes that Birds must be the most successful adapted creature on earth even more so than the next chordate on my list, the Insect.

Some Insects have evolved adapted strategies to avoid predators by using the ability of Mimicry. This is where an Insect will sit on a leaf and mimic its movement in the wind wryly avoiding predators. They can also use this skill for predation attacks themselves to catch flies.

The oldest known bird fossil is the infamous Archaeopteryx which was discovered two years after the publication of Darwin's the origin of Species book. (

This was the reason why there's such debate regarding the evolutionary theory of birds. This creature had wing like appendages as well as feathers, but also possessed two long legs and three toes tipped claws.

What we can deliberate from this fossilised ancestors that the species of birds which we can see today have evolved from this species with more advanced appendages and limbs in order to take flight from predators and also posses more adapted beaks and claws to search and hunt for food.

LO2 2.3.relevant but a bit general information

The morphological processes of the following animals differ from one another although they use their body structure in the same ways for food, predation and survival tactics.

The form and structure of these animals are essential as their structure have adapted to suit their environment over time as they have gained traits from their passed ancestors.

An Insects body are segmented in parts which are supported by a hard exterior which is used to protect themselves from potential attacks.

On the top of their head lies a pair of sensory antennae which are used for guidance and sensing imminent danger. These are also used By Fire Ants to collect food and leaves and take them back to their colony.

Insects are equipped with two pairs of wings in-between their body segments. These have become very useful as they are used to fly away from predators or catch potential prey.

This group consists of one of the only invertebrate groups to have developed wings, which is a big advantage over other invertebrates.

The small insects begin life usually from an egg which is produced by the parent. As the infant increases in growth it goes through a series of stages in order to reach the adult stage.

In some Insects they go through a complete metamorphosis change of their body structure. This is evident in a Butterfly as it begins life as Larvae and then changes into a Caterpillar before it is then enclosed in a cocoon.

The next stage is where significant changes occur in the morphology of the animal.

The Structure of the species completely changes from its form and emerges from the cocoon as a Butterfly which completes the full circle of metamorphosis of an Insect.

Most of the animals we see on a regular basis are classed under the phylum Chordata which just like ourselves all possess a characteristic which helps the body stiffen and provides the muscles with support; this is known as the notochord.

This characteristic is evident in reptiles. The hard exterior of a Crocodile with its thick skin is a potent predator. The Crocodile possesses a heart which is divided into four parts.

Their webbed front and hind feet are useful to glide in the water; their body structure allows them to be buoyant in the water and can stay motionless for hours at a time, waiting for the opportune moment for their potential strike.

These Reptiles are believed to have not evolved over time, even far back to the dinosaur era. These are the closest living species today, and are theorised about being the closest relatives to the Dinosaur.

Fish posses a filter feeding system in their body which is otherwise known as a pharyngeal slit; these slits allow water to pass through the openings and into the mouth and back out through the atriopore.

The hair like particles called the cilia trap the water molecules in them and separates the food particles for the organism to eat. This allows the Fish to intake the nutrients and energy in order to survive.

Most fish have evolved over time to come accustomed to temperature control, salt tolerance and the ability to breathe air when needed. There's only a small amount of these species which can adapt to all of these things.

A Great White shark is unable to adapt to freshwater unlike the Bull Shark as they have the capacity to withstand both the fresh and salt waters.

These abilities have been adapted over time as well as their body shape. This is evident in Tuna. They have a streamlined body as they move constantly in multiple migrations.

The Flounder Fish has worked out its own way of detection. Its deflated body lies motionless on the ocean floor, which is overlooked by potential predators.

These adaptations serve as an essential ingredient to the species survival.

The structure and function of a Bird consists of a vertebral column and a skull. These animals are in constant control of their body temperatures as they aculeate to their surroundings.

Their forelimbs are modified into wings which they use in flight and in the case of a species such as the Eagle, they have large talons which are able to grab prey and hold it for long distances on their way back to their nest.

Just like when we fly on a plane, the cabin is pressurised because there is less oxygen available in the air. This would otherwise be an issue for certain animals frequent in the sky; therefore a Bird requires a higher metabolic rate for flying as they require an increase in oxygen demand.

This process catapulted the evolution of flight in birds and changed the way birds were perceived from then on.

Flightless birds such as the Emu and Ostrich may not have the flight ability of other birds, but they possess the hasty speed and bursts of pace up to speeds of around 50mph.

Evolutionary theory has been debated over many years. Within the Bird species as the world changed, so did their species. They had to adapt adaptations to survive for future years, passing on their traits to future generations.

An example of this theory is evident when New Zealand separated from Gondwana millions of years ago; it resulted in certain characteristics being attained by different animals. Due to the lack of ground-dwelling predators the native bird the Kiwi didn't evolve the use of flight. Instead they used their ability to scurry for food at night when it was dark, away from the prying eyes of flying predators.

Theories such as these have provided evidence in the evolutionary changes in animals over many years. The evidence provided gives us an inside look at what these animals were and how they adapted strategies to survive in their habitats.

Task 2:

Through knowledge and understanding of this unit, together with independent research, write about the following:

Identify key influencing factors which may affect the evolutionary processes and discuss these in context with changing habitats, climate change and human interaction/intervention. Provide clear examples of each

Relate discussions to modern evolutionary theory, and incorporate independent research to identify current stances on evolutionary theory

In order for the animals to continue to evolve, there are key factors which determine their progression. Isolation is one of these factors.

This is where animals are separated in order to prevent reproduction with each other, therefore preventing their genetic differences from accumulating.

There are different types of Isolation which are sometimes caused by manmade structures such as bridges or water dams, or it might be that they are separated by Rivers or Mountains.

Due to environmental factors such as continental drift it, separated the species so their genetic information is so different from one another that over a period of time, they have gone through that many changes they become different species altogether and therefore are unable to reproduce with one another.

This form of speciation was highlighted by Charles Darwin when he was on the Galapagos Islands in 1835 where he deducted that a species separated from their own species because of an environmental barrier can form a completely new species.


Gene flow is also a factor.

This is where an animal species such as a Butterfly migrates from one population to another. If the Insect flies from a yellow population to a purple population, it eventually mates with the opposite colour in its species and therefore introduces its yellow colouring genes to the new population.

Mutation can also be a key factor which affects the evolutionary process. This is where the genetic makeup of a species is defected and passed on to their offspring. This process can lead to an end of a species.

Climate change can also be responsible for affecting evolutionary process of many animals. This is evident as Global warming has caused extreme weathers in parts of the world.

Birds are migrating earlier each year as they move from the cold temperatures. This affects the species as some of the stronger birds moves into other species habitats and thrive of their food supply.

By the invasive species in their habitat, some Birds have to move to other habitats or face being wiped out.


Global warming also affects Bird species in other ways. This can be because of sea level rise, droughts, flooding or severe wildfires. These global events forces birds to seek refuge in other places, which in turn affects other species niches.

Direct human interaction with animals can affect their evolution progression as well as their survival.

Farmers deals with Insects on a daily basis. They use Insect repellent and or pesticides to kill of pests that feed upon the farmers crops.

Insects which survive theses attacks can cause their genetic information to be affected and mutated. When reproduction occurs this can cause defects in their offspring.

On the other side of this, by surviving pesticide attacks, it can make the Insects become tolerant of the poison and can cause their offspring too become tolerant of it too.

This creates a problem for farmers as they have now indirectly created a tolerant Insect of the pesticides.

Unfortunately, human interactions with animals have decreased the number of animals' species dramatically in recent years. The high demand for material things such as leather products, clothes and Ivory have become prominent in the modern day. This has resulted in millions of deaths via humans such as poachers.

Elephants are killed in their habitats for their Ivory tusks which can bring a lot of money in today's market.

The constant demand of Whale bones, Turtle Shells and Snake skins have reduced the numbers of these creatures and affected the evolution of their species and damaged the increase of future generations.

All these factors affecting the evolutionary process can be seen in the modern theories which are debated by scientists and biologists alike in today's environment.

It is debated that all life today has evolved and diverged from ancestors three billion years ago from the seas.

This theory is supported by an accumulation of evidence from sciences such as biology, genetics and excavated fossils. This evidence would support that all animals are related to one another from common descent.

Macroevolution is the term used as the larger changes of evolution such as how vertebrate's evolved from those with fins.

These animals evolved from aquatic environments to terrestrial environments and had to learn to adapt to the increase in oxygen requirements and the threat of potential predators.

This move was a dramatic change in the evolutionary progression of animals and help shape the animal kingdom forever.

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