Saturday, March 29, 2014

Evoblog 12 Weblab Dating

Scientists often use carbon dating to find the age of a certain object that cannot be determined through normal means. Carbon dating is the discovery of an age of an organic object from carbon isotopes that are relatively proportioned into carbon-12 and carbon-14. The ratio between the two carbon isotopes changes as the radioactive carbon-14 gains a neutron from nitrogen-14 but decays in dating and is not replaced by exchange with the atmosphere. The carbon-14 decays back to nitrogen to be used again as it is put bakc into the atmosphere. Carbon dating is only applicable to matter that was once living to be in equilibrium with the atmosphere by taking in carbon dioxide. Since all organic matter contain decaying carbon-14 in them when they die because carbon does not regenerate. The decaying carbon-14 allows scientists to be able to tell when the animal died thus enabling them to decipher their age.

Evoblog 11 Weblab Phylogeny

There are three groups in phylogenetics-- Eukaryota, Archae, and Bacteria. The Eukaryota consist of humans and animals, organisms that contain a nucleus, the Archae are single-celled organisms, and the Bacteria group consist of single-celled organisms that are everywhere and has lived for very long. All life is related and can be traced back through lineages to a common ancestor. Family resemblances or features are passed on from generation to generation.A genealogy shows how the lineage of parentage and a common ancestor among them all.From this lab I learned that parrots and caimans are very similar because they are all vertebrates. A common ancestor refers to the most recent common ancestor of any two (or more) organisms.Also cladograms represent the common ancestors where their relationships are based on shared features that have been inherited from a common ancestor. From this whole lab interactive i learned that life is very diverse and yet all living things are related. Also that branching diagrams like claodgrams show how how living things are related to one another and is able to find even older species along the diagram. I would give this tutorial a rate of 9 out of 10 because of the well information but lack of clear examples and ideas to visualize.

Evoblog 10 Weblab Bio in Motion

During this lab I examined how natural selection works to bring about the evolution of adaptations. I worked with organisms and increased their cycles to see how the process of natural selection works. I learned that essential elements make up natural selection which are the struggle for existence, individual variation in phenotype, some phenotypes are better adapted, adaptions evolve and inheritance. I also discovered that evolution is gradual due to the fact that mutations only caused small changes. Also intermediate stages must be favored over earlier stages. For example, a bird cannot fly with just half a wing which means that there must have been an natural advantage for the half wing to grow. An adaptation that originally evolved for one function and later became used for a different function is called an exaptation. From this activity I learned many factors are essential to natural selection such as intermediate stages, frequency of mutations and the strength of selective pressure. I would give this interactive lab a 10 out of 10 because it explains the concept of evolution really well with animation to help one visualize.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Evoblog 13 Weblab Guppy

In this lab I learned that the guppy needs to be camouflaged well in order to survive. John Endler discovered that there is a wide variation of guppies from different streams and even those in different parts of the stream seemed different. In this lab I was to choose the guppy color types with the number of predators to test out whether predators cause variation in color. From my choice of even mix and 30 different types of predators, the process shows that despite starting with equal percentage of male guppies after weeks, with the predators in the population,the bright colored males were in less than the drab colored ones. This resulted because the brightly colored guppies are more likely to be seen by predators so usually parents pushed for drab colored guppies. However the more flashier male receives the most females to reproduce since it shows that they are strong and healthy. I learned that male guppies live in the crossfire between their enemies and would-be mates, with the predators and sexual selection ever there in their world. I give this lab a 10 out of 10 since it provided well information and explained idea of sex and the single guppy well.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Evoblog 14 weblab fossils

How Did They Move?
  Lucy-- She walked upright on two legs and her pelvis was similar to modern woman's. She had a pelvic
              basin which allowed support for her internal organs and entire upper body as she moved.
  Hadar Skull-- The Skull moved along with the body since it was attached to the body through bones and  
                        most likely the spine
  Laetoli Footprints--Moved forward with two feet with a smooth and stable gait. Weight and the small distance between the two feet represent a human-like step. Walking was like humans, weight on the heel first. then on the outside of the foot and then finally on the ball and big toe of the foot.
  First Family-- Walked upright with the fact that their heels were filled with spongy and shock absorbent bone rather than a solid bone found in apes.
What Did They Look Like?
  Lucy-- She reached adulthood before her death because she teeth showed a little wear and she had an erupted third molar. Lucy was about three and a half feet tall considering the length of her fossil vertebrae. She was a female because of her wide pelvic opening that women have to give birth.
  Hadar Skull--This creature looked more apelike than human due to the heavy brow ridge and forward-jutting face. It had one chimp-sized brain and was a male due to the deep muscle scars and large canine teeth. The male was likely to be an older person due to the heavy wear on the front teeth.
   Laetoli Footprints-- Similar to one a barefoot human would leave in wet sand. The foot had a big toe in line with the other toe, rather than apart. It had an arch between the ball an heel that acted as a shock absorbed while walking or running.
   First Family-- The jaws found represent a mix of human and chimp-like traits. They had canines and large front teeth. Their back molars were large too and their jaws were more curved than straight. Bones show that males were much bigger than female, like male gorillas today who tower over females.
Are They All The Same People?
     Lucy-- She had a much smaller and V-shaped jaw than the owner of the Hadar Skull. She also may have been a foot shorter than some members of the First Family.
     Hadar Skull-- Many features of the skull can be seen in the First Family and Lucy. They had similar shaped teeth and braincase.
     Laetoli Footprints-- These creatures that made these prints had knee and hip joints like Lucy and the members of the First Family. Using foot fossils from the Hadar also made prints like these.
     First Family-- These fossils led to the idea that Lucy, the Hadar skull, and other finds could be from the same species. The fossils of the First Family showed few signs of weathering or attack by predators.
When Did They Live?
Lucy-- 3.2 million years ago
Hadar Skull--3.0 million years ago
Laetoli Footprints--3.6 million years ago
First Family-- 3.2 million years ago

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Evoblog 5 Weblab Explore Evo

In this interactive weblab I explored the lines of evidence that scientists use to reconstruct the evolutionary histories of organisms. I worked with whales who are mammals like horses and humans, but they live in the ocean. In this lab I has to go through DNA, anatomy and fossil evidence to track down the history of the whale. I learned that whales evolve from a group of artiodactyls or even-toed land mammals since the anatomy evidence show that whales are closely related to animals that had rear legs and concluded that they lived on land. The DNA evidence also show that they are also closely related and the fossil evidence concluded that whales carried artiodactyl-style ankle bones.. From this lab I learned that in order to find lines of evolution scientists must be observant to specific details that are on fossils and must compare bones of the likely ancestors well enough to track down the right ancestor. Scientists must go through a lot evidence in order to find the ancestor of any animal since a mistake could lead to wrong assumptions on the evolution of all animals.
I rate this tutorial a 8 out of 10.

Evoblog 4 Weblab Natural Selection

In this interactive lab I learned how natural selection works and what effects it. I first explored Flutter Bug island which consisted of make butterflies and birds that eat them. Some male Flutter bugs are more brightly colored despite the fact that being more camouflaged gives them a longer chance to live. I learned that brightly colored butterflies have more reproductive advantages over drab colored butterflies representing that they are more likely to pass their genes to their offspring even though they are more likely to be eaten. A drab butterfly may avoid being eaten however their offspring may not inherited the camouflaged color due to the fact that drab butterflies have less chances to pass down their genes. Finches too have differences in their beak size and in the food they eat. The beak size become appropriate according to the amount of precipitation and resulting seed size since it is their food. So their is a need for finches to have larger beaks than others because they need one other if the seed size changes in order to survive. Also finches that are more adapted to survive the environmental conditions are more likely to pass their genes to their offspring resulting in larger population. In next experiment dealing with mice I changes the environment of the mice and in the end I learned that mice that blended into their background the best were more likely to survive since they would be able to go undetected by cats and therefore to survive to pass on genes onto their offspring. The environment and natural adaptation changes the environment over time.
I rate this tutorial a 9 out of 10.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Evoblog 6 Conversation (Write a conversation between Mendel, Darwin and Lamarck each should have 3-5 separate lines)

Lamarck-- Have you heard of my new theory of evolution? It is perfect and it states that acquired characteristics can be passed down from generation to generation.

Mendel-- You are wrong Lamarck because genes are passed down from generation to generation and not the phenotypes of organisms.

Lamarck-- No! My studies about traits show that if the parent gains something new like for example longer legs then that characteristic will be inherited by the offspring.

Mendel-- However, through my crosses of peas I found theories that proves yours to be wrong. When I crossed a yellow pea and green pea, the yellow pea appeared dominant in the next generation. However when I crossed the pea with their new acquired appearance according to your theory the trait should have passed down to every offspring however both green and yellow peas appeared representing that acquired traits do not pass down.

Lamarck-- Well, from your experiment I believe that you are right. I am probably wrong since in the first place I never studied how traits got inherited. However from your explanation I understand the principle of independent assortment and segregation.

Darwin- Mendel and Lamarck, I have to amaze you like your conversation has! Did you know that individual organisms differ and that some of these variations are heritable.

Mendel-- That is very interesting. Give me more of your principles to help me enhance my knowledge on organisms.

Darwin-- Alright! The process of natural selection allows species to change and evolve with the fact that more offspring can be produced than can survive to ensure life.

Lamarck-- These principles will probably help me in finding more about inherited traits from one organism to another.

Darwin--Well, out of all this is important. Species that are alive today are descended from ancestral species and this unites all organism on Earth into a single tree of life. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Evolution Blog 7---Write a diamante poem about an extinct species

The Dodo
Large, Plump
Eating, Wading, Caring
Feathers, Beak, Nest, Eggs
Reproducing, Escaping, Diminishing 
Slow, Clumsy
Extinct Bird

Evolution Blog 6--Ch 17 Writing in science Predict how current environmental conditions will influence the evolution of two species. (Future is Wild)

The current environmental conditions are unstable weather such as overheating or becoming too cold. This will effect the evolution of insects such as coacroches since they will be able to survive these conditions in the future and can reproduce with the availability of oil and water still available. They will become enlarged due to their ability to survive for years after they have been killed. They will become oversized and will walk over the Earth as a huge force. The environmental condition of water pollution will affect the fishes in the sea such as sharks. Sharks would need to get out of the water safely in order to survive in the world so they would gain the ability to fly with wings evolved from their fins. Sharks would be able to live on land without needing the water to live with their evolution with gaining wings. Due to the environmental conditions we have today, it will affect the evolution of many species making some to gain another species trait and making them either smaller or larger.

Evolution Blog 5-- Ch 16 Write a summary of how natural selection works on polygenic traits Use 16-6 thru 16-8 to help you

Natural selection can affect the distribution of phenotypes in three ways which are directional selection,stabilizing selection or disruptive selection. Directional selection occurs when individuals at one end of the curve have a higher fitness than individuals in the middle or at the other end and it allows the range of phenotypes to shifts to fail and succeed. Creating new traits and needs as a result. Stabilizing selection allows situations to become stable as individuals have a higher fitness then others. This results in the idea of balance in traits that are spread out with polygenic traits. Disruptive selection takes place when individuals at the higher and lower end have higher fitness than the ones in the middle allowing population splits to create polygenic traits.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Evolution Blog 3--If extinction is a natural event should we try to save endangered species?

Yes, if extinction were a natural event we should at least try to save endangered species since if they were to become extinct then we would never be able to have a variety of animals to observe and make more clearer connections to other animals. Endangered species like pandas are also symbols and important parts of society like if pandas became extinct then China would have one less symbol or part of their society. Endangered species need to have the chance to live and make the world even more diverse so we should try to save them from extinction.