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An Antipodal Mystery
Transcript of An Antipodal Mystery
A Letter from Down Under
This Highly Interesting Novelty
2. What does this imply about evolution?
This simply imies that throughout evolution, various changes have been found throughout the adaptation of animals over time. As the animals accomadated to their necessities, their systems reflected these changes. Evolution causes changes through every species, helping and providing it with the help the animals need to survive.
3. Third, what revelance does this anomalous animal have for the old ideas of a perfectly created world? What is the revelance of
to the idea of evolution, which was beginning to be whispered about?
This animal creates a conclusion that many animals cannot be sufficiently classified into a single species. The old ideas of a "perfect world"symbolize that all animals can be effieciently classified. When the reality is that since every animals is so unique, there is no way for them to be easily classified into one specific group. Evolution and the idea of Ornithorthynchus are related in a way that as time progresses, there are more advances and new seen species that are completely out of the ordinary terms.
1. Examine the drawings on the following page showing the reproductive systems of animals. What conclusions do you make? Which seems most similar to
I can conclude that each animals species has different characteristics in their reproductive systems. As I compared them to the human reproductive system, there are many elements other animals have that the humans do not contain. The most similar to the Ornithorynchus is the bird system. They both have a cloaca, while the other animals do not have it at all.
1. Predict in as much detail as possible exactly what features a mammal would be expected to have. Consider the external as well as internal anatomy of a mammal; list all characteristics you can think of. Indicate which of these are exclusive to mammals and which are found in other vertebrates such as fish, amphibians, reptiles, and birds. Indicate which of these are exclusive to mammals and which are found in other vertebratres such as fish, amphibians, reptiles, and birds.
A mammal is expected to have fur, gives natural birth to its young, warm-blooded, breathes air, and has a backbone.
Female mammals are differntiated from other specimens by the presence of mammary glands.
The neocortex region in their brains
Mammals are the only animals with these specific characterisitics unlike amphibians, birds, and reptiles.
2. Second, how does
produce its young?
This animal lays the youngs eggs, and after an aquired time, the eggs are hatched. This is similar to other animals such as birds. Once their young is older, they leave their care (like many other animal species).
1. First, how can we fit this strange beast into the classification and taxonomic schemes that had worked so well in the Northern Hemisphere?
This animal can be fit into the classification and taxonomic schemes by using the known characteristics in order to obtain a way to classify it into the correct standards. This is based on the way they deliever their young, as well as other categories.
An Antipodal Mystery
3. Think about how young
are likely born. Are they born alive (viviparous)? Or are eggs laid, incubated, and then hatched (oviparous)? Or are eggs produced and then held in the body for a long time and then hatched inside the mother as in some snakes (ovoviviparous)? All of these opinions of
development were firmly held by some of the great anatomists of the time.
The Ornithorynchus is oviparous. These animals are the only known mammals that lay eggs instead of giving natural birth. The animals lays the eggs, and after a specific time, the young is hatched from the eggs.
1. So what is the best solution for classification for this unusual animal? If birds, reptiles, fishes, and mammals are placed in separate classes, where should an animal like
An animal like Ornithoryncus should simply not be classified in any of the known groups. For conditions of an animal like this, it should have a classification system all to its own. For in the case that a new found animal has similar characteristics to it, then they can all be classified sufficiently.
What is the best logic for predicting how the young platypus is born: viviparous, oviparous,or ovoviviparous? What seems to be the most probable reproductive method and least probable method? And once produced, how will they be fed?
The most logical breeding of platypus is oviparous. We know that platypus lay eggs, and if their eggs are laid, then the young will hatch after a full development. They cannot be hatched unless they are fully grown, unlike how snakes have their young.
Solving the Mystery
Do these discoveries change your view about how to classify the platypus?
These discoveries give me a whole different perspective on the classification system of animals. Before this experience, I thought that no matter the animal's characteristics, they could all be classified into the same groups without any problems at all.
The Big Picture
1. When Charles Darwin came into the picture, he had his own view of the Scala Naturae. What do you think was his view?
I believe that Darwin had a different idea unlike many others in his time. The scala naturae is the "great chain of being" which implied that all matter in life had been striclty decreed by God himself. I believe Darwin wanted to find a logical explanation for these things, instead of leaving his curiosities and accepting the facts that the popular public around him believed.
2. Today, we have DNA evidence as well as that from the traditional fields of comparative anatomy and physiology. Based upon everything that you know, draw a likely phylogenic tree showing the evolutionary relationships among birds, marsupials, monotremes, placental mammals, and reptiles.