Respiration is the process of obtaining sufficient oxygen from an organism’s environment to support its cellular metabolic requirements. Respiration is not just the mechanical process of breathing – the transport of oxygen from the outside air to the cells within tissues, and the transport of carbon dioxide in the opposite direction. It is also the metabolic process by which an organism obtains energy by reacting oxygen with glucose to give water, carbon dioxide and ATP (energy).
Some organisms tend to exhibit strategies that favour the reproductive success of their relatives, even at a cost to their own survival and/or reproduction. The classic example is a eusocial (highly social) insect colony, with sterile females acting as workers to assist their mother in the production of additional offspring. Many evolutionary biologists explain [...]
Animal fighting behaviour can be introduced using the simple models discussed here; one of these is the ‘Hawk/Dove’ model by Maynard Smith. From this model, we can construct payoff matrixes which can then be used to determine evolutionarily stable strategies (defined below).
Evolutionarily stable strategy – An evolutionary stable strategy or ESS is a [...]
Darwinian fitness – The rate of increase of a gene in the population, this is difficult to measure. It describes the capability of an individual of certain genotype to reproduce, and usually is equal to the proportion of the individual’s genes in all the genes of the next generation. If differences in individual genotypes [...]
The meninges are a group of three membrane layers which wrap around the brain and central nervous system. The meninges consist of three layers (meninx), these include:
The Dura Mater The arachnoid membrane The Pia Mater
The primary function of these layers is to protect the central nervous system.
Fig. 1 The meninges surrounding [...]
Compared to other tissues, the brain is extremely dependent on a stable and efficient blood supply. Despite making up only 2% of total body mass, the brain requires 15-20% of total cardiac output; this makes the brain extremely sensitive to hypoxia. Any hypoxic damage caused to the brain becomes irreversible after only a few [...]
Tinbergen’s four Questions of Ethology
Explanations to Tinbergen’s questions can be split into two groups; evolutionary (ultimate) and proximate. Ultimate explanations pertain to the evolution of a species and include:
• Function (adaptation) – This type of explanation for animal behaviour usually concerns a trait that is functional to the reproductive success of the organism [...]
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