Study "Animals / Nature / Zoology" Essays 221-274

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Great Basin Spadefoot Term Paper

… ¶ … Basin Spadefoot

The common named Great Basin Spadefoot is a ranked species in the animalia kingdom, and is known as Scaphiopus hammondi intermontanus and Scaphiopus intermontanus, Cope 1883 (Spea pp). The Taxonomic Hierarchy is as follows: Kingdom Animalia,… [read more]

Popol Vuh Term Paper

… Hunahpu and Humbatz certainly appear to be two of the most human deities; indeed they open the door for human creation. Still, many of the other gods represent things that seem almost wholly unrelated to one another. Quetzalcoatl seems to be both a snake and a bird, at the same time that he is the creator of civilization, the god of water, and the god of the south wind. Xquic is doubtlessly the god of pregnancy and weaving, but she also possesses the destructive properties of water. Out of these many contrasts, and the way much of the world was constructed out of the gods' attempts at creating man, the reader gets the undeniable impression that the underlying philosophy of the Maya was that existence itself is alive, conscious, and fluid.

The existence of man is one that is parallel with nature; he fits into his specific position in nature -- his duty is to behave as a man by using his unique gifts to honor the gods -- but he is not at the center of the world. It is from this particular perspective that all Mayan moral philosophy must necessarily flow. Accordingly, it is wrong for an individual to be self absorbed, to not express humility, to dominate others on the grounds of wealth or riches, or to be prideful. These are the central morals to be found in the Popol Vuh, and recognizing them demands that one distinguish his place within nature, civilization, and the divine as being linked to interdependence and complexity. So, to overlook the philosophical teachings within the Popol Vuh would be to overlook the coexistive plan for the world that it describes.

It is somewhat possible to make an analogy between the universe that the Popol Vuh develops and the particular properties of an ecosystem. This is because within the Popol Vuh the justifications for why human beings can eat animals, why monkeys are the way they are, why the stars are in the sky, and why man is granted certain traits are all present. In other words, mankind is positioned within the balance of nature both physically and spiritually: such is the core lesson of the Popol Vuh.


1. Nelson, Ralph. The Popol Vuh.…… [read more]

Gray Wolf, Giving Some Natural History Term Paper

… ¶ … gray wolf, giving some natural history of the animal, its living habits, and range, along with the ongoing controversy over relocating wolves in the American West. Gray wolves are related to domesticated dogs, and are members of the… [read more]

Snakes Term Paper

… Hence it is not unusual to find snakes basking in the sun for long periods after devouring a meal.

To conserve heat, snakes coil up, exposing less skin to cold. In colder environments, snakes hibernate in winters hiding in deep crevices or underground shelters. Such shelters may be inhabited by a number of snakes at a time due to lack of appropriate space, but otherwise snakes like to live solitary lives.

Snakes feed on worms, insects, lizards, small mammals, birds, and frogs. Some snakes feed exclusively on other snakes or on eggs of other animals. The large pythons such as the anaconda can swallow even larger animals such as wild pigs, monkeys, and deer. They usually employ one of two methods for killing their prey: by injecting their venom or by constriction

. Smaller, agile snakes may pursue their prey while heavier snakes like the python lie in waiting and ambush their victim when they pass by. Sakes do not chew their food and swallow their food whole -- often while the victim is still alive. ("Snake," 2005)

Snakes also employ a wide-range of techniques to ward off predators who feed on them. Some snakes become absolutely motionless to escape detection. Venomous snakes sometimes have distinctive coloration such as bright yellow and orange stripes to warn attackers about their poisonous nature. Other snakes such as the rattlesnake make a hissing or a buzzing sound to frighten predators. Some snakes simply strike at their attackers, and/or display their fangs to warn them off. (Shine, 2005)


The mating season for snakes in cold climates is spring while in tropical climates there is no specific season. Females produce a special smell to signal their readiness for mating. During mating the male injects his sperm in the female's oviduct where fertilization occurs. Most snakes lay their eggs in crevices or secluded places and abandon them while a few species such as the king cobra and the diamond python contruct a nest for their eggs and guard and warm them until they are hatched. Some snakes, e.g. snakes in colder climates or sea snakes, give live birth. This is because the female can control the temperature of the eggs by keeping them in their bodies, helping to speed up the rate of development. One snake specie is even known to reproduce without mating by a process known as parthenogenesis.


Shine, Richard. (2005). "Snake (reptile)," Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2005. Retrieved on August 17, 2005 from

'Snake." (2005). Article from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved on August 17, 2005 from

Since snake skeletons are fragile they usually do not fossilize. Origin and evolution of the species are, therefore, difficult to determine.

Squamata is the largest order of reptiles; it is distinguished by horny, scaly skin.

Animals that cannot produce their own body heat

If disturbed during the process of digestion, snakes often regurgitate the prey in order to escape the threat.

The constrictors wrap their body tightly around the prey…… [read more]

Literary Analysis on Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek Term Paper

… Annie Dillard

Metaphors of "Winter" from a Pilgrim at Tinker Creek -- the Author and her World at Rest, both in harmony with and against the natural world

Annie Dillard's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, A Pilgrim at Tinker's Creek, is set… [read more]

Region of the World Term Paper

… Rainforests - Environmental Challenges in Central and South America

For several decades, many Americans have been aware that the rainforests of Central and South America are shrinking as well as the fact that the lost of significant amounts of rainforest… [read more]

Taxa What Is Cnidaria? Term Paper

… There is asexual reproduction too among cnidarians, and this type of reproduction may more often than not occur in both phases of its life cycle. In asexual reproduction, the new entity is produced from small bits of tissue that has… [read more]

Histology Term Paper

… Areolar connective tissue consist of a meshwork of thin fibers that interlace in all directions, giving the tissue both elasticity and tensile strength. It is commonly found in the papillary region of the dermis of skin and in the lamina propria of mucous membranes. While dense regular connective tissue occurs as cord or band-like structures or as broad sheet-like structures. It is composed primarily of collagen fibers in a parallel arrangement. This arrangement results structures that are flexible but have great tensile strength.

Ligaments are special type of dense regular connective tissue that connects bones to bones. They have similar structural arrangement to tendons, but differ in their yellow color, which is due to the abundance of elastic fiber in the tissue. The elastic fibers are stained a dark brown-red with orcein. Elastic fibers provide ligament with…… [read more]

Adaptations of Organisms in the Taiga Biome Term Paper

… Adaptations of Organisms in the Taiga Biome

Taiga or Boreal Forest

Taiga or Boreal Forest (also Northern Coniferous Forest) cover about 11% of the Earth's land surface, or one third of its total forested area (about 1.5 billion hectares/3.7 billion… [read more]

Mekong River Basin Term Paper

… Mekong River Basin

Research, Review and Evaluation of Present and Future

Conditions of the Region

Physical Geological Information

Present Environmental Condition

Cultural Significance of the Mekong River Basin Region

Economic Significance of the Mekong River Basin

The Mekong River Basin

Research, Review and Evaluation of Present and Future

Conditions of the Region

The Geography of the River

The Mekong River Basin is one of the ten longest rivers existing in the world and has a significant impact upon the nature, environment, societal aspects as well as the economical aspects of the Indo-china Peninsula. The origination of the name of "Mekong" is in the Thai language of Mae Nam Khnong. (Bao, et al., 2004) the Tibet Mountains are home to the Mekong's beginning which travels from the River of Rick or the Dza Chu River, or River of Rock, which is the primary source for the Mekong River. The Dza Chu runs through a valley that is narrow and parallel to the two rivers of Yangz Jiang and Salween River. Upon the Mekong having reached the Chinese province of Yung-Nan it is then called the Lancang Jiang or "Turbulent River" Next the river travels through the Golden Triangle, Myanmar and Laos boarder, and on into the Vientiane Plain. The phrase lower Mekong means downstream segment from the point [According to a geographic review online at

] After the Vientiane Plain the rapids which are termed notorious flows into Cambodia and on into the Mekong Delta in Vietnam where the water is distributed into the paddy fields.

I. The Countries of the Mekong River Basin

The countries of the Mekong River Basin region are listed as follows with other relevant data:

Countries Area (km2) Basin in Nation (km2)


The Kingdom of Thailand 9,597,000

The Union of Myanmar 678.030

The People's Republic of China 236,725

202,400 85.5%

The Lao Peoples Democratic

Republic 513.115

Cambodia 181,100

Social Republic of Vietnam 331.700

There is much history due to frictions between countries in the Mekong River Basin area and this is cited as the reason that the river is known by some very many different names. The relationships of Laos and Cambodia are integral to the people of this country as 85% of the areas of both countries are connected intricately with the river in one way or another whether economical, environmental, or simply in the dependence upon the river for the resource of water the river provides. The River is 795,000 km2 in length of 4, 6-20 km and is at its' highest point in Tibet 4,620 km. The catchments area of the Mekong Delta is "very unstable due to lack of proper survey especially in upstream mountainous area and in the Mekong Delta of which watershed is obscure.

II. Environmental and Ecological Data

The Lower Mekong River Basin fishery is called "one of the most abundant river fisheries in the world" and is critically important to 55 million individuals living in the basin area. From this income is earned in the industry… [read more]

18th C. Decorative Botanical Art Term Paper

… 18th C. decorative botanical art

18th Century Botanical Art

In the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, pearls were a very popular bauble with the wealthy and the royal; brought back from the explorations of the Far East and the New… [read more]

Destruction of Wilderness Term Paper

… Diminishing Wilderness

Most people are aware that as human beings encroach on previously wild area, this new use of old land can have negative effects on the environment. No person takes joy in seeing an animal, even one considered obscure, go extinct, but at the same time, people need some place to live, and people like to live in beautiful surroundings. That human tendency often puts human desire and the needs of individual species in conflict.

The area in which a plant or animal lives is called its habitat. An animal's habitat suits that animal's needs for food, shelter, and reproduction. In return, the animal contributes to the maintenance in various ways. A bird might eat a specific berry, and the seeds, contained in the birds droppings, have a fertilizer-enriched dot of land in which to germinate. Thus a habitat can be defined as "an ecosystem, [or] a community of organisms functioning as a unit in nature" (Editor, PAGE).

The main reason for most endangered species is habitat destruction. While some animals are resilient enough to cope with major habitat destruction, others cannot, in particular those animals who have evolved to live in very specific types of habitat.

There are numerous examples of habitat destruction and its effects on wildlife. For instance, the Richmond birdwing butterfly is a beautiful butterfly found in subtropical rainforests in Australis (Pyper, PAGE). This butterfly feeds almost exclusively on one plant -- the Richmond birdwing vine. As habitat shrank, a second problem developed: a vine called Dutchman's pipe pushed out the Rhichmond birdwing vine. The butterflies laid their eggs on the Dutchman pipe, which made a good environment for the eggs but was poisonous to the caterpillars (Pyper, PAGE). The result was that the butterfly lost nearly 70% of its habitat, and a further decline because of the intruding vine, which was not native to the area.

The example of this butterfly shows that it is not always obvious what interferes with a specie's survival, and not always obvious what needs to be done to support its continuance.

Not always obvious what features in an environment help support the species. Another example is The red-cockaded woodpecker. This southeastern United States bird lives in Southern pines. The sap that oozes from the trees as the bird drills under the bark oozes out and prevents snakes from eating its young (Nickens, PAGE). Birds seem to be animals easily affected by habitat change: the least tern used to be very common in much of the United States before 1880, when hunters nearly pushed them to extinction (Gerhardt, PAGE). They live in river basins, dive into the water to catch small fish, and nest in open sandy shorelines. They stay away from vegetation where predators might lie in wait. Water programs to create dams, recreational areas and irrigation have made much of their former habitats unsuitable for them (Gerhardt, PAGE).

One animal that has been brought back from the edge of extinction and studied extensively is Australia's mountain pyygmy-possum.… [read more]

Poisoning Our Planet Term Paper

… Poisoning Our Planet

If it is the air we breathe, the land we use, or the water we drink, we do not pay any heed to the indiscriminate use of the resources of our planet. Nevertheless we are dependent on… [read more]

Tiger and Me See Essay

… ¶ … Tiger and Me see the tiger, lying in the sun. I walk up the walkway and view her through a wire mesh that separates her from me. The setting looks so natural as she lies there, by a little manmade brook. Perhaps she knows she cannot get to me, but I know I cannot get to her. I wonder, then, what it would be like to be walking through a forest in India, and come upon a beautiful glade, with trees and a little stream, and a lovely tiger stretched out by the water. What would I do? There would be no wire mesh to hide behind. Would she notice me? Would she be hungry? Would she be as curious about me as I am about her right now?

The experts call that "anthropomorphism," when a human sees human traits in an animal. No, she does not think in the same ways humans do, but surely she must think, or else how could she plan the best way to catch an antelope? If I came upon this tiger in the wild, she would not be curious about me. She would simply judge whether I was a potential meal, whether she was hungry, and whether she had a decent chance of catching me.

They say that the biggest difference between humans and animals is that humans know they are mortal. This tiger knows about mortality, but she knows it differently than I do. I know that I will die some day, and that if that wire mesh were not there, or if I had come upon her in the forest of India, I might be looking at the thing that would soon kill me. She does not look at death that way. She does not know that she is alive, or that she will die some day, but she understands death.…… [read more]

American Pit Bull Terrier Term Paper

… However, of late, this poor and loyal beast has been severely castigated and penalized for being a man-killer, a vicious beats, and a dog that must be banished from within the city limits, or land his owners into trouble, meaning… [read more]

Organism: Monkey Classification Term Paper

… (ibid)

An important characteristic is the existence of a hard palate, which allows the animal to breathe and chew at the same time. (ibid) The skeletal anatomy of the monkey allows for quick movement. The reproductive system is designed for longer periods of gestation. Most monkeys have layers of hair which also acts as a cooling system in many species. "Morris points out that all primates (including all 192 species of monkeys) are covered with hair ... " (Bergman J. 2004)

4. Movement and stance

Monkeys normally have an erect posture. Except for the spider monkey, monkeys cannot swing arm-over-arm. They move about in the trees by running on all fours along the braches. They have a similar skeletal structure to other mammals. (Monkey: Encyclopedia Com)

5. Nutrition and life support

Almost all species eat insects, leaves and fruit. However, there are some species of monkey that are carnivores. Some species supplement their diet with different types of food, including lizards, bird eggs, fruit, and plant sap. "Several species of monkeys, and chimpanzees, but not the other apes, have been known to attack and eat other monkeys." (Primate: Encarta Encyclopedia)

6. Habitat

Monkeys commonly live in trees. However, there are some species that live on the ground. They have no permanent home or shelter.

7. Reproduction and social life

Similar to apes and humans, the female monkey has a monthly reproductive cycle. Mating can occur at any time. However, in some monkey species mating is a seasonal occurrence. Monkeys usually produce one infant at a time and the baby is cared for by the mother for a long period of time. With regard to the social structure, monkeys commonly live in groups, as well as separating into male-female pairs. Monkeys can live in large groups or troops of a few hundred individuals.


Bergman J. 2004)

Why Mammal Body Hair Is an Evolutionary Enigma. CRS Quarterly. [Online] Available from: December 26, 2004.

Classification: Infoplease. [Online] Available from: December 26, 2004

Kinzey, Warren G., ed. New World Primates: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior. New York: Aldine De Gruyter, 1997.

Monkey: Encyclopedia Com [Online] Available from: December 26, 2004.

Monkey: Wikipedia. [Online] Available from: December 27. 2004.

"MONKEY," Young Students Learning Library, January 1, 1996

"Monkey." The Columbia Encyclopedia. 6th ed. 2004.

Oxnard, Charles E. The Order of Man: A Bio-mathematical Anatomy of the Primates. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 1983.

Primate. Encarta Encyclopedia. [Online] Available from: December 27, 2004.

Primate Characteristics. Jan Goodall Institute. [Online] Available from: December 26, 2004.

Segerstrile, Ullica and Peter Molnar, eds. Nonverbal Communication Where Nature Meets Culture. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1997.… [read more]

Brazilian Rain Forest Term Paper

… Al Gore and John Chafee were shocked when they visited the rain forest in 1989. Gore stated "The devastation is just unbelievable. It's one of the great tragedies of all history (Linden, 1989)."

Experts point out that if the rain forest vanishes, the entire planet would suffer. "Moist tropical forests are distinguished by their canopies of interlocking leaves and branches that shelter creatures below from sun and wind, and by their incredible variety of animal and plant life. If the forests vanish, so will more than 1 million species -- a significant part of earths' biological diversity and genetic heritage (Linden, 1989)."

Finding New Species

In 1992, a "pocket-size monkey with a koala-like face, a hint of stripes like a zebra and tufted ears was discovered in the rain forest (unknown, 1992)." The species was named the Maues marmoset after being found near that particular Brazilian river. This was the third new species of monkey to be found in the forest in only two years. Revelations such as these "underscore the Amazon's biological richness (it is home to more than a quarter of the world's known primate species) and its continuing mystery (unknown, 1992)."

Other species found in the rain forest in the past years include the "Black-headed Sague Dwarf, which was discovered in 1996 and is the second-smallest monkey ever found; the Zog-Zog, which was discovered in 1997 and is one of four new monkey species found in a single year in the Amazon region; and a species of Piranha, which was discovered in 1996 and whose young eat floating fruits and seeds while the adults devour fish flesh (Cannell, 1999)."


The Brazilian Rain Forest is able to sustain a number of rare species of plants and animals through its rich soil and freshwater system. While many of these species are currently in danger from deforestation, researchers are hopeful increased awareness of the rainforest and its habitants will allow the forest to continue to sustain these rare species for years to come.


Cannell, Michael. (08 February, 1999). "New Species -- Keep on Counting!." Science World.

Linden, Eugene. (18 September, 1989). "Playing with fire: destruction of the Amazon is "one of the great tragedies of history." Time.

(Rainforest Facts.…… [read more]

Wes Sechrest and Thomas M Term Paper

… Special care is taken to accurately approximate values that the fossil record or point molecular estimates do not clearly identify. They write, "Date estimates were available for a majority of nodes in both trees. Nodes without times of divergence were… [read more]

Endangered American Burying Beetle Term Paper

… Biology

Endangered American Burying Beetle

This is a paper about the Endangered American Burying Beetle. There are four references used for this paper.

There are a number of species that are facing extinction throughout the world. It is important to look at the Endangered American Burying Beetle and determine its ecological significance, its population and geographic distribution, the known anthropogenic threats, and a realistic management plan for recovery.

Ecological Significance

The American Burying Beetle plays a significant role in ecology. The beetles "bury carcasses found on the ground, thus playing an important role in the recycling of nutrients. Through the act of burying, they also remove prey from competing flies and ants, and in this way may serve to limit those species, which sometimes reach pest proportions ("

Population and Geographic Distribution

The beetle used to be found throughout the eastern portion of North America, however, today is only found in two natural areas- "on Block Island, off the southern coast of Rhode Island, and in eastern Oklahoma, where it has been recently recorded in Latimer, Cherokee, Muskogee, and Sequoyah counties. Some beetles, however, have also been found in southwestern Missouri, and in the Platte River Valley in west-central Nebraska ("

The population of the beetle is thriving fairly well on Block Island, with an estimated mean adult population in 1991 of 375. During the same year, 207 adult beetles were recorded by researchers in Oklahoma.

Anthropogenic Threats

There is no clear cause in the decline of the American burying beetle, however it has been suggested that the "decline has the characteristics of the rapid spread of a pathogen, while there is no evidence which supports this explanation. Fragmentation or loss of the beetle's habitat, as well as competition with raccoons and other scavengers that tend to follow humans into new environments may also have contributed to the beetle's decline (Chenot)." The use of chemicals such as DDT in the beetle's natural habitat may…… [read more]

Narwhal Whales General Characteristics Term Paper

… Communication may lead to a better understanding of social behavior, migration patterns, and gender differences among Narwhals. Such a finding may be as unique as the whale itself and may cause others to re-think the perception of other mammalian teeth. Information will be collected and integrated from field observations, traditional Inuit knowledge, and new scientific data from collaborators in dental and marine mammal research. (Secrets of the tusk)

This research and many other research projects are in the process of unlocking much valuable information -- which is more reason to prevent the extermination of the Narwhal whale.


All about Whales. Accessed November 22, 2004.

American Zoo. Accessed November 22, 2004.

Bruemmer, Fred. Of monstrous moles and unicorn horns. International Wildlife, May 15, 1998.

monodon monoceros: Narwhal. Accessed November 22, 2004.

Narwhal Whales. Pictures of Pets. Accessed November 22, 2004

Narwhals: Photos Show Decline of "Unicorn" Whales. Accessed November 22, 2004.

Odontoceti. Ask a Scientist. Accessed November 22, 2004

Secrets of the tusk. Narwhal org. Accessed November 22, 2004

Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises. Accessed November 22, 2004.

Whale guide Reference Desk. Narwhals, Accessed November 22, 2004.… [read more]

Environmental Ethics the Natural World Has Taken Term Paper

… Environmental Ethics

The natural world has taken approximately 4.5 billion years to reach the form we currently see today. All the diversity of life we are currently familiar with gradually sprang from the first single-celled organisms -- human are no exception. The biological processes of natural selection and sexual selection have ultimately resulted in some of the most beautiful and interesting plants and animals that could ever be imagined. As part of this process, humans -- as observed from an objective perspective -- could almost be thought of as a plague. We have descended on the land like locusts, devoured and destroyed everything in our path, with completely no concern outside of our own sustenance. On a geologic timescale humans are hardly worth mentioning; even the most generous estimates place the origin of modern man to 2 million years ago. By comparison to the millions of organisms that came before us, our success has been extremely short-lived and, like locusts, self-destructive.

The manner by which humans utilize the earth's resources is not only detrimental to the survival of other species, but also to our own. For example, the worldwide use of oil as a source of energy is growing exponentially; as humans drill deeper and in more locations the world's wildlife is pushed aside in the name of profit. Additionally, global warming threatens to permanently alter our climate, further risking the natural world and our own survival. As if that were not enough, the use and drilling of oil is increasing at a time when it should be decreasing. It has been recognized that oil is a finite resource that will eventually run out, and in so doing, threaten very the fabric of civilization: this aspect of human negligence is directly analogous to a plague. Even with a level of consciousness far beyond all the organisms that came before us, and even though we know our current practices will lead to eventual disaster, humans continue to behave in a manner concerned with only immediate benefits.

Doubtlessly, some could make the argument that this sort of behavior is perfectly aligned with the principles of evolution; namely, that organisms behave in their own, immediate self-interest. Extending this notion to humans, it should be anticipated that we expend all of our natural resources before we implement new solutions, and also, that we be unconcerned with competing species. This is a strong argument. There is no way to directly refute this sort of perspective, but I am sill inclined to take issue with it. It appears that this outlook on life is a mere justification for practices and institutions that are already in place, and therefore, are reluctant to change their ways. I would argue that humans are, debatably, the first organisms on earth to possess a high level of deductive reasoning, and that we also have an innate appreciation for beauty and the value of that beauty. Because of this, humans should be concerned with other species of life; they possess inherent value… [read more]

Merostomata Horseshoe Crabs Term Paper

… Merostomata- Horseshoe Crabs

The history of the Horseshoe Crab is one of confusion, the traditional association of the coruscations has given them their common name, yet with more close analysis the association is clearly only a loose one.

At one time they were considered true crustaceans, thus the name "crab." However, these dark brown Arthropods that we usually have in our popular touch tank are only distantly related to such crustaceans as the true crabs, shrimps and lobsters. By examining their underside, we can clearly see many similarities between the horseshoe crabs, members of the class Merostomata, and spiders, scorpions and ticks, which belong to the class Arachnida. (Sturtevant 2004)

The formal name for the American species is Limulus polyphemus. Additionally, historical confusion about the species is its age. It is often called a living fossil yet it has no fossil record whatsoever.

While we sometimes see the horseshoe crab referred to as a "living fossil," it is more appropriate and factual to eschew such an oxymoron, since Limulus polyphemus has no fossil record whatever. The genus Limulus ranges back only about 20 million years, and, therefore, is not so old as was thought at one time. (Sturtevant 2004)

Though much older relative of today's horseshoe crabs are known to have been present on the American continent about 520 million years ago.

A judging from fossils found in the Burgess Shales of British Columbia, Canada. While these relatives and their descendants enjoyed a phenomenal evolutionary success, surviving environmental changes that led to the rise and fall of the dinosaurs, they did not undergo great diversification. Actually a modest four species grouped into three genera inhabit the earth today. (Sturtevant 2004)

The relatively small set of species associated with the horseshoe crab name are relegated in relatively small numbers to only a few regions of the world, waterways.

Our Limulus is only found along the entire Atlantic coast from Maine south and along the Gulf of Mexico as far as the Yucatan. The other two genera are found along the coast of southeast Asia and adjacent islands such as Japan. (Sturtevant 2004)

Another notable fact about the horseshoe crab is that like humans it has no natural enemies and therefore lives in relative peace, at the will of the retention of its specialized habitat. The habitat of the Merostomata class is largely associated with its life cycle.

Spawning adults prefer sandy beach areas within bays and coves that are protected from wave energy. Beach habitat also must include porous, well-oxygenated sediments to provide a suitable environment for egg survival and development. Differences between coarse- and fine-grained sand, as well as how rapidly the sand drains, affect nest-site selection and nesting synchrony. The preferred sites are usually located next to large intertidal sand flat areas, which provide protection from wave energy and an abundance of food for juveniles.

The eggs, juveniles and adults also thrive in highly salient water.

Horseshoe crabs use different habitats at different life stages. For example, protected beaches… [read more]

Reproductive Biology of Rotifers Term Paper

… Bdelloid Rotifer Reproduction

Rotifers are, perhaps, one of the most interesting phyla of microscopic pseudocoelomate animals on the face of the planet. Each tiny animal is approximately 0.1-0.5 mm in length and are found in freshwater around the globe, and… [read more]

Insect Camouflage L. Jones Term Paper

… One only had to sit down quietly however and to wait patiently for a few minutes before the water seemed to become alive. First the fishes start to emerge from below overhanging rocks or grasses, then the backswimmers and whirligigs resume their frantic surface activities. Next a large leaf floats by - but if you try to pick it up it bites! At least, this is the case if it is the giant water bug - I have no records of biting water scorpions as yet.

Of course, no discussion of camouflage using insects can be complete without a description of a spider species. Again, in Arabia there are several examples. However, two of the best know are the sand spider, which blends in so closely with the sand that it is almost impossible to detect, as well as the Yellow Crab Spider, which lies in wait in the middle of yellow sunflowers, awaiting the much larger pollinating bees to land within their grasp.

Finally, one of the most striking examples Jungbloed encountered within her Arabian study is found in the "huge" caterpillar of the oleander hawk moth. She relates, "Even when you know what to expect the sudden appearance of enormous eyes and the split second transformation of a peacefully munching long caterpillar into a scrunched up green ball with huge staring blue eyes is startling."

Of course, one need not venture to the oases and wadis of Saudi Arabia to find good examples of insect camouflage and mimicry. According to Jerry Powell, in his book, "California Insects," the Band Winged Grasshopper has an uncanny ability to blend into surrounding rocks, and is often only detected in flight, when its contrasting hind wing color, or in its "cracking noise" (Powell, 1981).


Insect camouflage and mimicry is an exciting aspect of biological study. Not only is it striking how a particular insect can adapt to resemble other objects or organisms to avoid becoming prey, or to allow for ease of "catching" prey, but it is also interesting the degree of success these organisms enjoy due to their efforts. Indeed, many would argue that it is the very success of the insect world that spawned human camouflage technology for use in warfare. However, despite all of humankind's best efforts, they have yet to achieve the skill and efficiency the insect world utilizes its camouflage abilities -- so much so that even in today's world many insect species can evade even the most trained human eye. Insect camouflage and mimicry is yet another example of the amazing diversity of the biological world.


Brewer, Jerry. 2000. Insect Mimicry. Web site.

Castner, James L. (1998). Please Don't Eat the Katydids. International Wildlife. May 15, 1998. Retrieved on August 17, 2004, at

Hilda Simon, (1968). Insect Masquerades. New York, Viking Press.

Jongbloed, Marijcke. (1999). Disappearing Acts: natures camouflage artists. Arabian Wildlife Journal. Vol. 2. Issue 1. Retrieved on August 17, 2004, from,

Manning, Julie. (1997). Insect Camouflage. Retrieved on August… [read more]

Coastal Animals Sea Turtles (Seaworld Term Paper

… They often opportunistically feed. They follow trawlers. Fishermen often feed dolphins. Unlike bottlenoses, speckled dolphins are not as sociably disposed to man. They do not approach boats and it is difficult for humans to approach them.

There is evidence that… [read more]

Neutering Dogs: IT's a Good Term Paper

… One has but to see a sick or injured dog limping down the street to see the horrible tragedy of this situation.

In addition to the suffering of the animals that are allowed to reproduce without limit, is the significant human suffering that can result as well. After all, dogs not only can carry very serious diseases, including rabies, fleas and lice, as well as possibly spread other diseases due to their disturbance of trash cans and garbage bags, but allowing overpopulation to result in large numbers of stray dogs can result in dog attacks on adults as well as children (on whom, such an attack can prove to be fatal). Further, in addition to disease, large numbers of stray dogs can also cause traffic accidents, attacks on other domesticated animals, especially cats, and can reduce the appeal of those neighborhoods plagued by roving bands of snarling dogs.

In conclusion, although neutering of dogs does have some drawbacks, the importance of which varies depending upon the individual, its benefits outweigh those drawbacks significantly. True, neutering does cause physical pain for the dog, as well as other physiological changes in disposition and body composition. However, the negative aspects of not neutering one's dog are tremendous. After all, anyone who complains of the suffering of dogs undergoing the neutering procedure, should go to any small village in Mexico, and note the more extreme suffering of sick dogs without veterinary care, the sad plight of their hungry, gaunt bodies, the horrible smell of garbage strewn everywhere, as well as the fear of walking alone after dark without an arsenal of stones. Yes, neutering is harsh -- especially to the males among us. However, to neglect the importance of controlling the population of dogs is harsher still. Not only dogs, but the human population will suffer as well. To allow that is unacceptable in the extreme.… [read more]

Funny Term Paper

… That humans are insensitive is further explored by the cat in the minutest details. For example, when the Schoolteacher decides to paint the cat, and the cat needs a bathroom break, the human fails to understand that the cat was not being thoughtless of the human's need to paint, but simply needed to relieve himself. Still, he had interfered with the human's program and was cursed at for it. The Schoolteacher didn't know many curses; the Schoolteacher, it seems isn't really very good at much of anything, as is apparent from the cat's descriptions. It is ironic, then, that this relatively passionless, talentless man should be the unwitting savior of the cat, simply because he has no particular enthusiasm to do otherwise. He passively allows the cat to stay, so much so that he fails to bestow on it a name. Through the cat, the reader learns that the Schoolteacher is the most ordinary, most colorless of humans and it is only through his total lack of active human attributes that we learn at base what a human life is. It is shapeless and colorless, unless one applies the color and paint one's self.

Still, the Schoolteacher explores many kinds of self-expression; the cat merely observes them, especially through the character Kuro, the rickshawman's cat. Kuro, like the Schoolteacher's trickster friend, engages his world and tries to best it through cunning and strength of a certain kind. With the Schoolteacher's friend, one is not quite sure when to believe him, and when not to. It is the same with Kuro. The cat is fat, to be sure, but seems unwell. Perhaps the nameless cat concludes that catching rats for another's gain is not a good way to live. Perhaps the schoolteacher thinks that catching people out in practical jokes is equally valueless. The Schoolteacher himself is not ruthlessly honest, of course, pretending to have a hard job but actually snoozing as much as anything else. And that behavior is, perhaps, mimicked by his nameless cat. Not a bad life, the cat might say. Not exciting, not overly packed with 'goodies,' but then, neither the cat nor the schoolteacher has any particularly valuable cat or human talent.

Perhaps the final irony is in the final line. The cat has resigned himself to living with the Schoolteacher as a cat without a name. But names carry meaning, and what is simply a condition of cat-ness in this household might be metaphoric for the condition of human-ness being explored by Soseki. Were the roles reversed, the Schoolteacher might have written a similar line; "I have resigned myself to living in the world as a human without a…… [read more]

Fantastical Voyage in Gulliver's Travels Essay

… Both groups serve as hyperbolic descriptions of the human race by Jonathan Swift.

Ironically, Gulliver fails to realize that the Houyhnhnms, however much Gulliver idealizes them, share many traits in common with human beings. Swift makes sure his readers can perceive those similarities. For instance, throughout the section, the Houyhnhnms oppress the inferior Yahoos and later wish to decimate their population. When they learn that human culture is essentially a reversal of life in Houyhnhnm country, they suggest castration as a means to end the Yahoo race. In fact, by creating a world that reverses the role of human and horse, Swift draws attention to the many flaws inherent in human society. That animals represent the noblest ideals of humankind is a stark vision of human nature.

Although the Yahoos do not exhibit any redeeming qualities and cannot be taught as humans can, Gulliver starts to imagine all human beings as being as brutish and offensive as the Yahoos. Gulliver does not want to return to England, a world populated solely by Yahoo-like humans. Swift intends to associate human beings primarily with the Yahoos, as the reader is encouraged to sympathize with Gulliver's experiences and perceptions. Furthermore, the physical similarities between Yahoo and human show that we more closely resemble those brutes than the noble Houyhnhnms. However, on a subtler level, Swift derides Gulliver's blindness to the truth of human nature. Gulliver idealizes the Houyhnhnms to the point that he ostracizes himself from his own race. Moreover, Gulliver fails to fairly judge the Houyhnhnms as lacking passion, creativity, and…… [read more]

Marine Life Extinction Caused Term Paper

… "A major study in Nature last month reported that fully 90% of large, predatory fish populations, including tuna and marlin, have disappeared, mostly due to over-fishing and destructive fishing methods" (Bowen, 2003).

Furthermore, assessing the global situation of marine ecosystems and drawing up stringent guidelines against over-fishing is not enough. Marine species need to come under fishing embargos (as in the case with whaling) that prevent all nations from fishing a species until there is physical proof that populations have improved. If a species is given a chance within its own ecosystem to improve, this will affect other areas of its food chain.

As a result, other population numbers will come under threat of over-population and predators. It is therefore, imperative that an awareness and educational plan is structured to not only make the public aware of the desperation of certain species to survive, but that within the fishing industries harsh fines are implemented to curb over-fishing of 'embargo' protected species.

Above any other form of preventing over-fishing, public awareness speaks volumes. If there is a decline in demand, then the fishing industry will have no need to fish a particular population. Over-fishing is an issue for everyone, regardless of if they eat seafood or not, because the ocean ecosystem is a large part of our natural ecosystem. Once it disappears, so too do we.


Conservationists warn grey nurse shark faces extinction. ABC News Online, 18th March 2003. Retrieved from: ABC Sci-Tech,

Troubled Waters. Environment Magazine, Issue: September 2003, Excerpted from: Pew Oceans Commission press release, 4 June; and Science, 6 June. (S.B.) (Online copy available at: (

Bowen, L. World's leading scientists issue unprecedented plan for protecting ocean and marine life EurekAlert newsletter, 3 June, 2003.

Harder, B. Catch zero: what can be done as marine ecosystems face a deepening crisis? Science News, July 26, 2003. (Online Edition, retrieve copy from: (

Raloff, J. Wanted: Reef Cleaners

Science News, Issue: August 25th, 2001.

Online article: (

Ramsayer, K. Has whaling driven orcas to a diet of sea lions? Science News, Sept 27, 2003. (online edition at website and found also at: (… [read more]

Brine Shrimp Term Paper

… Despite current harvest restrictions and the aforementioned resiliency of brine shrimp, there's concern for the brine shrimp this is a controversial issue around Great Salt Lake. The salinity, or percentage of salt dissolved in the Great Salt Lake, varies greatly depending on annual amounts of precipitation vs. evaporation. Brine shrimp populations vary depending on the amount of salinity in the water. If salinity falls below 6%, brine shrimp eggs sink to the bottom of the lake where they cannot hatch. This happens as large amounts of fresh water enter the lake. When salinity levels exceed 25%, the shrimp eggs remain suspended on the surface of the water. Brine shrimp eggs, or cysts, recovered by a drilling company near the Great Salt Lake were carbon dated to be 10,000 years old. Some of these cysts were placed in a salt water environment and were able to be hatched even though they are 10,000 years old.

One of the popularity of brine shrimp is that they can be grown in homes without too much effort. They are resilient and hardy. There are many sources on the Internet that advertise from selling brine shrimp eggs to entire mini hatcheries. The optimal conditions for hatching artemia are at 25 degrees C, a salinity of 5 ppt (parts per thousand), heavy continuous aeration, constant illumination, pH [HIDDEN] Good circulation is essential to keep the cysts in suspension. Separating nauplii from their shells may be desirable for several reasons. Cyst shells are indigestible and can lodge in the gut of predators causing fatal obstructions, and the shells have been speculated to be a source of heavy bacterial contamination. Decapsulation is accomplished in four steps: re-hydrating the cysts, treating with the decapsulation solution, washing and deactivating the residual chlorine, and the hatching of the embryos.

Brine shrimp are an important part of our ecology. They…… [read more]

Finance and Financial Entrepreneurship Term Paper

… Pacific Lumber did not clear cut. It generally left standing 30 to 50% of the timber in a harvested area. This created a natural canopy break for new growth, while keeping much of the soil stable, thus increasing the forests… [read more]

Snakes Have Been Interesting Term Paper

… However, snakes need special care, partly because they are so unique and partly because their life in captivity is very different than the life they would have had in the wild. Although many pet snakes are bred in captivity, they are still wild animals with the needs of wild animals. In addition, they are predators, and owners should think about how large a predator they are willing to have in their home in, say, ten years. Potential snake owners need to know that if their cute, squirmy reptile turns into a giant predator, few people will want the snake, and zoos typically do not take snakes that have lived as pets.

Snakes in the wild move about from environment to control their body temperature. During the hottest part of the day they will seek shade, and on cool days, they will sit on a rock in the sun, gathering heat from both the sun's rays and the warmed rock. Unfortunately, snakes sold commercially are often shipped without consideration of their special environmental needs, and many die. Responsible owners should ask dealers about how humanely the animals were treated prior to their arrival at the pet shop and avoid shop owners who do not know, so they do not contribute to animal cruelty by accident.

Owners also need to learn about the variety of snake they have and how to care for it. In the wild, a snake that becomes sick and injured becomes part of the food chain, but once a person has taken an animal on as a pet, he or she is responsible for its health and safety. It can be hard to look at a snake and realize from its appearance that it needs medical attention.

Potential snake owners should be especially careful about exotic or rare varieties. The snake may have been poached - illegally taken from its environment. If the snake is rare, it may be hard to find good information about its environment and food needs. Snakes bred in captivity, for instance, can learn to eat dead animals, but wild snakes will only eat prey that is alive. They won't recognize dead animals as food. Exotic snakes may have very specialized environmental needs, and putting such a snake in the wrong kind of cage with the wrong temperature may kill it or leave it chronically sickly, and the owner might never know.

Snakes in the wild may or may not live a long life, but the length of its life will depend on natural forces. Once a person has taken a snake as a pet, he or she is responsible for…… [read more]

Biodiversity the Natural Environment Term Paper

… In my opinion, this observation can be extended to other areas of the environmental debate. If science is not definitive, how are we to proceed in the environmental debate? It is clear to me that this debate represents a complex interplay of ethical considerations and empirical evidence.

My concern is that the Lomborg ethos has "maximize profits" as the prime directive and that this is coloring the interpretations of the data. Could it not be argued that a more biblical, stewardship approach to managing the environment is a legitimate alternative ethos? What is the appropriate ethical framework in which to evaluate the data generated in the debate on the environment? This question, I feel, is not addressed in The Skeptical Environmentalist.(Lomborg Bjorn The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the real state of the world..)

It is clear that the skepticism of the environmental movement advocated by Lomborg is a double-edged sword -- the same skepticism needs to be applied to The Skeptical Environmentalist. I think that it is necessary to acknowledge that an honest evaluation of empirical evidence is essential in defining the parameters of the debate, but that ethical yardsticks will also be part of the equation and may even color our interpretations.

A accept that biodiversity is important, but what can we or for that matter I do to protect it is a matter for contention. In general, you can think about how decisions are made when it comes to using the environment. We need to work with governments and industry to discuss not just economic principles, but also ethical and spiritual values. It bascially boils down to what do we want for our children and their children and the legacy we want to leave for them.

We can continue to study animals and plants to discover first, what exists, and then, what needs protection. We can try to improve the scientific understanding of the public.

We can set aside areas like parks and ecological reserves where ecosystems and wildlife are not disturbed. We can look at the big picture and concentrate on preserving entire habitats and ecosystems rather than single species. Species cannot exist without a place to live.

We can act thoughtfully and with respect for those around us and those who follow us. Part of this would be to assess possible effects on the environment (now and in the future) before large-scale projects, such as dams and forest clearing, are allowed to proceed. Partnerships such as the one in Nova Scotia between N.F. Douglas, Kejimkujik National Park and the Smithsonian Institution give us great hope for the future, and our ability to achieve sustainability. (Dr. Gretchen C. Daily Nature's Services: Societal Dependence on Natural Ecosystems)

We can learn to make more conservative, even frugal, use of the environment for such things as shelter, food and medicines. That is, we can learn how to use resources in a sustainable fashion. We can foster an attitude of stewardship of our world's resources.

If we can do that, we will… [read more]

Tale of a Shaman's Apprentice Term Paper

… In addition to the above, the explanation of studying the Amazon forest and the reason not to consider the remaining two rain forest regions (Plotkin: 5) comes late in the book. Hence, excluding a few parts, Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice is soundly organized in the presentation of its contents.


Reading through the enthralling book and analyzing the well-organized contents of the monograph, it is evident that the book provides sufficient matter on the concerning issue of preservation and management of the various valuable resources of the rain forests. It is not only statistically well written; Plotkin uses easy-to-understand language and creative writing skills to entertain readers of all classes and age. It is not one of those too-intricate-to-comprehend kinds of a book. It is profitable for both the students and teachers as well as for the conservation-oriented organization, research societies and a common man interested in learning about the plant life and the significance of preserving it. However, there are some parts of the book that I have found far more enlightening and helpful as well as relevant to the topic than the remaining material in the book. I found Plotkin's description of his Harvard night museum reserved for the students of ethno botany lectures and his distinguish interest in plants and animals than in opposite sex and alcohol both revealing and entertaining. All in all, the book is highly informative, gripping and entertaining piece of writing that addresses various neglected issues that must be examined in order to reduce health related problems of the human race.

Works Cited

Plotkin M. Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice: An Ethno Botanist Searches For new…… [read more]

Return of the Gray Wolf Term Paper

… "We made the right choice to... bring these animals back from the brink of extinction," said Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, in announcing that the animals have rebounded enough to warrant their reclassification in virtually all of the country (Hebert, 2000). "

In a recent report it was concluded that the release and re-introduction of the Gray Wolf to the lower 48 states within the last twenty five years has been a huge success. The group that has worked to bring the species back from the brink of extinction now has a national vision (Releases, 1999). One recent report however, cautions against relisting or unlisting the wolves from the endangered list to soon. "Places for Wolves: A Blueprint for Restoration and Long-Term Recovery in the Lower 48 States." Bob Ferris, director of the Species Conservation Division at Defenders, is the lead author (Releases, 1999). In 1974, wolves were listed under the ESA as endangered in all 48 states but Minnesota, where they were listed as threatened. Although listed nationally, the species recovery efforts have been handled on a piecemeal basis, regionally (Releases, 1999)."

The lack of a national vision may cause the wolves to become endangered again according to experts. They believe that a national plan to maintain the current success is the key to being sure the wolves continue to climb in numbers so that they do not slide back to the endangered zone in the future years.

Recent reports of Gray Wolves being shot by campers and other tales of the demise of wolves individually have experts sure that a slow phase out from the endangered list is more prudent than an all at once removal would be (Uhlenbrock, 1998).


The public as a strong virile animal has long since viewed the Gray Wolf. They have been used in horror movies as well as westerns to denote fear and violence. In reality however the Gray Wolf became close to extinction in the 1950's in the lower 48 states. Massive efforts have been focused on re-introducing them to the lower 48 and the success of those efforts have been described as extraordinary by many in the field. Today there are virtually thousands of gray wolves roaming the plain sand hills of many states but the effort cannot end here. It is important to continue on a national level for the program to remain strong and the future of the gray wolf to remain successful.



Hebert, Josef. H.(2000). Gray Wolf Makes Remarkable Recovery. AP Online, 07-11-2000.

Uhlenbrock; Tom (1998).Of The Post-Dispatch, GRAY WOLF SHOT BY CAMPER IN…… [read more]

Riparian Buffer Management Current Knowledge Term Paper

… For example, they might not have considered the impact of the soil type, slope, and habitat requirements of a particular area on the effectiveness of a given buffer. To correct this inefficiency, the Division of Soil and Water Conservation's, Delaware Riparian Buffer Initiative will result in the development of comprehensive site-specific riparian buffer criteria. The designs are being developed using an ArcView geographic information system (GIS) application. This Riparian Buffer Analysis System (RBAS) combines layers of information (soil types, vegetation, endangered species) about a particular area for the future Riparian buffers, which are a critical component of watershed protection and restoration throughout Delaware (DDNR, 2000).

We have understood the important role that Riparian Buffer systems play in the conservation of out watershed and environment. Programs in the past have been strong in theory and weak in execution. New technologies and research now help us to understand more of the mechanics of how a riparian buffer system works. In the future this new technology and information will help us to design and implement better riparian buffer systems along the nation's waterways. Better education will help us to establish and maintain the buffer systems already in place. By working closely with urban and rural communities we can help to protect and preserve our precious resources for future generations.

Works Cited

D.C. Environmental Management Council (DCEMC) Dutchess County Planning & Development. Poughkeepsie, NY. 2001. Accessed May, 2002.

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DDNR). Delaware

Riparian Buffer Brochure. October 2000.

Maille, Peter. Science and Society Series, Number 1 April, 2001 Cacapon Institute, Highview,


Roberts, Dr. Mark Herbaceous Layer Diversity and Stand Structure in Partial Cuts, Riparian

Buffers and Tree Islands. University of New Brunswick Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management. 2001.

Sneider, R.L. Streamside Management -- Do's and Don't's, Cornell Cooperative Extension, 1998.

Sneider, R.L. Streamside Protection -- Why Bother, Cornell Cooperative Extension, 1998.

Tjaden, Bob and Glenda M. Weber. Riparian Buffer Management Riparian Buffer Systems

Maryland Cooperative Extension, Publication FS733. 1998.

Tjaden, Bob and Glenda M. Weber. Riparian Buffer Management: Soil Bioengineering or Streambank Restoration For Riparian Forest Buffers. Maryland Cooperative Extension,

Publication FS729. 1999

U.S. Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service. Guidelines for Streambank

Restoration. Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission. Sept., 1994. "Soil

Bioengineering for Upland Slope Protection and Erosion Reduction." 1992. Engineering Field Handbook, Chapter 18.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service. 1997 Riparian Forest Buffer Manual. How…… [read more]

Seaworld Term Paper

… Suburbs offered the pretence of rural life to those with no penchant for the hard work of real rural life: Little could be more distant than the hard work of farming than the ranch-style home with a two-car garage. Suburbs thus seemed to allow people to avoid both the deficits of the city and of the country. In fact, however, this was hardly the case. Suburbs brought many of the ills of the city along with them as well as producing their own particular ills.

In precisely the same way, Seaworld offers the pretense of wilderness to those who do not really want to get their feet wet or muddy. It would in fact probably be impossible to get your feet muddy at Seaworld given that even the dirt there seems unnatural.

Seaworld's official website argues that the park is committed to providing "an enthusiastic, imaginative, and intellectually stimulating atmosphere to help students and guests develop a lifelong appreciation, understanding, and stewardship for our environment."

The park's organizers plan to do this through the following steps:

To instill in students and guests of all ages an appreciation for science and a respect for all living creatures and habitats.

To conserve our valuable natural resources by increasing awareness of the interrelationships of humans and the environment.

To increase students' and guests' basic competencies in science, math, and other disciplines.

To be an educational resource to the world.

And no doubt in many ways it performs these functions at least to some extent. But it does so within the context of a highly regimented capitalistic and artificial structure. The theme park's website, the brochures that are available at the part itself and the shtick that the announcers at different sites go through all emphasize the company's dedication to protecting animals and doing environmental research.

But no where is the amount of money spent on conservation tallied against the profits that the company is raking in. Calls to the public information office on this issue proved pointless: A company spokeswoman would only say that it was "impossible to calculate all of the many ways that the park and its employees work to help animals."

Works Cited

Hrinko, Alexis. Interview, April 15, 2001.

Kincaid, Jamaica. My Garden (Book). New York: Farrar Strauss, 2001.

Stanley, Nick. Being Ourselves for You: The Global Display of Cultures, London: Middlesex UP, 1998.

Roberts, Anji. Interview. April 15, 2001.

Roberts, personal communication.

Hrinko, personal communication.

Stanley 19-26.… [read more]

San Antonio's Transition to a No-Kill Shelter Research Proposal

… Homeless Dogs and Cats in San Antonio

Pet overpopulation is, oftentimes, an invisible community problem. This is true in San Antonio, where many people fail to understand how significant the pet overpopulation problem is. People in middle-class neighborhoods in San Antonio oftentimes have no idea that there are so many homeless dogs and cats in the city. In fact, they may engage in behaviors that encourage pet overpopulation, without realizing that they are contributing to the problem. In many neighborhoods that are not as affluent, homeless dogs and cats are not an invisible problem; they can be seen on street corners and in yards, creating health and safety risks, not only for themselves, but for the people and pets that live in those neighborhoods. Pet overpopulation is literally a life and death struggle; thousands of companion animals are euthanized every day in America, not because there is anything wrong with them, but because there are simply far more homeless pets than there are people to adopt them. San Antonio, like some other cities, has made a tremendous effort to reduce the homeless pet population and reduce euthanasia rates among companion animals.

To truly understand the problem, one must look at San Antonio in 2006, when it had "

the third largest euthanasia rate of pets per capita in the country, with more than 50,000 euthanized annually" (SAAFDN). In fact, " Less than 10% of the dogs and cats impounded at the City of San Antonio's Animal Care Services (ACS) shelter made it out alive via adoption, transfer to rescue groups or returned to owners (collectively known as "live release")" (SAAFDN). In addition to animals that were impounded, there were neighborhoods that were plagued by roaming animals, which not only created health problems for the residents, but also desensitized many of them to the plight of homeless dogs and cats. It was then that San Antonio made a commitment to transition to a no-kill environment.

One of the most important tools for reducing the homeless dog and cat population is spaying and neutering companion animals. A single unneutered dog or cat and its offspring can create thousands and thousands of puppies or kittens within a very short time period. Furthermore, even if a pet owner places each of those puppies and kittens with a responsible owner and those owners then spay or neuter the pets, every animal placed in a home from an unplanned litter takes the spot of an animal that could have been adopted from a shelter and is at risk of euthanasia. This is true even of dogs and cats that are purebred. First, shelters are full of purebred dogs and cats that are homeless. Second, most purebred dogs and cats that have been bred as companion animals do not have the breed characteristics that mean that breeding them is necessary to improve or maintain breed standards.

In addition to spaying and…… [read more]

Changes in Stream Channel Essay

… During the floods, the boulders are brought downstream by the raging waters. This activity also brings downstream gravel and sand most likely from all the way up at the Burrard inlet. The presence of boulder layer at the top of the cliff which are similar to those in the canyon is an indication of the ancient level of the river at the times when the river flowed at that high level and the flat surface was the ancient floodplains before the river curved the surface to be at the lower level it is today.

Evidence of glaciation in the Canyon

The Lynn Canyon has spectacular geographical features with the canyon presenting the major glaciation processes and at the base of the canyon a Coast Mountain Range that was formed due to volcanic activity that is estimated to have taken place 10 million years ago. Then the isostactic adjustment also further raised the volcanic range to be above the sea level hence completing the orogenic process and the exposed igneous dike is an evidence of this (Geocaching, (2013). This presents a unique combination of numerous geographical activities in the same region. Following the formation of the coast range, there occurred three glacial and inter-glacial periods that eroded the coast range to the present form.

The Lynn Canyon underwent three significant periods of glaciation with the recent one that shaped it to the current status taking place 20,000 to 10,000 years ago. It was during this period that the U-shape valley of the canyon was formed, changing the previous nature of the North shores that used to be large bays and had high elevations. This was as a result of a 2km thick ice and one of the evidences of this glaciation are the erratic rocks that were picked up and deposited along the canyon as the glacier moved into the Pacific ocean. Yet another evidence of this glaciation is the deposits of till and peat that are located near the suspension bridge (Geocaching, 2013).

Apart from the U-Shape valley, there are other evidences of the glacial activities such as the deposition of the glacial till as well as the tongue silt. At the same time, the inter-glacial fluvial activity eroded the surrounding topography forming the rounded boulders and the Lynn Valley box canyon. Also during this time, the depositing involved the alluvium as well as peat layers in the Lynn canyon.

There are also glacial erratic, glacial lake deposits and raised sea level benches all of which are evidence of glaciation that took place thousands of years ago. Yet another strong evidence of glaciation is the presence of sand along the banks of the river that have no vegetation which was brought about by the marine glacial process. The glaciation process hence left the region with sandy escarpments to the present times. The layers of sand that are evident in the Canyon or the facies is yet another evidence of glaciation due to the distinct physical characteristics that the layers of… [read more]

Environmental Science Essay

… Another thing is that once some nonnative species have established themselves in an area it becomes very difficult to get rid of them and in some occasion it is impossible to remove them (Manchester & Bullock, 2001). The introduction of non-native species in an area leads to detrimental ecological impacts such as decline in biodiversity as well as leading to climatic change which can result to an increase in the susceptibility of the environment to invasion of various ecosystems in an area. With all this it means that introduction of non-native species in an area eventually leads to the threatening of native species which often leads to their extinction and being wiped out from the face of the earth completely.

Having seen the negative impact of non-native species been introduced in an area we have to come up with methods that can be used to prevent the invasion or introduction of these non-native species in an area. These are methods which can be used to maintain and sustain the native land in order to avoid putting pressure on the diversity that is already in existence. Some of the methods include coming up with legislations against introduction of non-native species in an area where there are native species so as to alter the native diversity that exists in that area. Another thing is ensuring that the native species are protected against people who destroy them. This is through putting outs strict legislation and consequences on anyone who is found destroying native the same time we should ensure that we maintain this native species by avoiding hybridization with non-native species so that they remain pure. The local communities in the area should be sensitized on the importance of maintaining and sustaining the native species. They should be made to see the benefits of these native species and thus know the importance of protecting them and avoiding their depletion (Manchester, & Bullock,2001)


Manchester, S. & Bullock, J. (2001). The Impacts of Non-native Species on UK Biodiversity and the Effectiveness of Control. Journal of Applied ecology. Retrieved March 26, 2014 from… [read more]

Natural Europe Essay

… The other most interesting point was the amber that was found along the shoreline. The documentary discussed the rise of the mammals in subtropical forests. Much like the giant insects of the rainforests back 300 million years ago, these mammals came to dominate the area after some massive changes, specifically the fall of the dinosaurs. The hair found inside the ancient amber revealed the presence of mammals and their subsequent dominance.

The tapirs, miniature horses, anteaters, and carnivores were of interest because of the history Europe has with horses. Horses were and still are a very important part of Europe for millennia as it provided a means of transportation and economy. To see their origin story within this documentary was great. It also provided a sense of cyclical scale as these events were always triggered by a cataclysmic rise and fall.

The fact that the mammals evolved so rapidly and became so diverse shows how Europe's landscape provided the means for which the mammals could thrive. Additionally the splitting of North America and Iceland, creating the Atlantic Ocean, could provide explanation as to how certain species of animals existed in North America as they did in Europe. Looking at the way Europe came to be and then split up, and then merged again all shows how necessary it was for Europe as it is today, to undergo continual movement and thusly adaptation.

In conclusion, this was a great documentary. What was interesting in the documentary were several things. First, the animals changed and either evolved or died off due to the turbulent activity of the continent. New oceans formed giving rise to the birth of North America. Coal came from the remains of a once lush and dense rainforest populated by giant bugs. Lastly, pieces of ancient amber hold the secrets of the world millions of years ago. This is all a part of Europe's natural history and it makes for one of the most fascinating and exciting stories.

Works Cited

"BBC Europe A Natural History 1 Genesis." YouTube. YouTube, 10 Dec. 2011. Web. 5 Mar. 2014. .

Lindahl, Kai. Europe, a…… [read more]

Fairytale Long Ago and Far Creative Writing

… He descended slowly, careful not to make any noise. As he reached the ground he saw the whole picture and shivered. There was no time to wait. The ogres were almost ready to take Victoria and throw her into the burning flames. Using his special powers that enabled him to go invisible, but only to help others, he went invisible, flew over them and quickly grabbed the girl before they could tell there was more than a gust of wind. He took her safely to the castle and the royal head were able to enjoy her mother's special woolen fabric. The stable boy saw that she came riding on his pony, but he said nothing.

The next time her mother sent her to he castle, this time with some special fruit from their orchard, the girl used the flute the pony gave her to call him whenever she was in need. From that day on, she called Messy Hair every time she had to cross the forest and reach the castle.

The king and queen were old and they had no children. They were afraid they were going to leave the country in disarray once they were gone. One day, the king looked over his shoulder and saw the gaze the stable boy gave to the little girl who came from across the forest. He also saw that she blushed and seemed to enjoy it. He told the story to his wife, the queen. Together they made a plan. They both loved the boy as well as Victoria and found them perfect for each other. They were two beautiful people in love who knew their fellow countrymen well and loved their country more than anything on earth. More importantly, they loved their jobs, they were loyal and trustworthy and they respected every living thing on earth. Who could be better suited to replace the king and queen but Victoria and the stable boy? Thus, the king told Messy Hair in big secrecy about their plans and asked him what he thought about them. Messy Hair congratulated them for their wise choice and helped them prepare a big feast to celebrate their marriage. Victoria and the stable boy were thrilled and overwhelmed. They never thought someone as important as the king and queen could ever notice a creature as humble as them.

The stable boy formally asked Victoria's hand from her parents across the forest. These were happy to give them their blessing. At their wedding, the king and queen announced that they were old enough to retire and let Victoria and the stable boy lead the country. They brought their parents to the castle to live with them and Messy Hair was always at their side to counsel them and show them the path whenever they seemed lost. They lived happily…… [read more]

Gould's and Mayr's Biological Species Research Paper

… What the study points out to and what one can understand from examining what is happening in the present, is that, while extinction is not probable in the very short-term, it is very likely in the medium term, because all the elements that would cause such extinction are there.

A sixth mass extinction could mean the disappearance of mankind, perhaps the most important way in which this extinction would differ from others. Similarly as in the past, it would also mean the survival of adaptive organisms, perhaps smaller ones, that are able to transform the negative chemical reactions into positive effects for their bodies.

3. The large number of studies about whether hybrids should be included under the Endangered Species Act and, if so, in what form, shows that this is a difficult discussion. The primary obstacle and element of difficulty is given by the fact that, as Hill (1993), showed, it is still a problem to define a clear and limited set of criteria defining the term "species."

The issue of including hybrids under the protection on the act started with the passage of the act itself, in 1973, when there was no mention of hybrids. In 1977, the hybrids were introduced, only to be taken out in 1983. An intercross policy was proposed in relation to hybrids, in the 1990s, still pending approval or disapproval. Things seem to be as complicated as ever.

With this in mind, awarding the red wolves an endangered species status is, in fact, related, as much to them being considered hybrids or not as to hybrids being protected under the act. As Hill (1993) notes, the red wolf can be included, from a taxonomic perspective, in four potential categories: full species, subspecies of the gray wolf, subspecies of the coyote, or a hybrid. One could not that in three out of these four categories, the red wolf would be categorically included under the protection of the Act and that only in one situation, the hybrid, this issue is still under discussion.

So, it is really not very clear whether the red wolf is actually a hybrid and there is a significant probability that it is not. As long as there is still a strong debate on whether to include hybrids under the protection of the act (or not), the red wolf should be included, since there is a strong scientific debate that supports the idea that the red wolf is not a hybrid.


1. Stamos, David, (2011). Evolution and the Big Questions: Sex, Race, Religion, and Other Matters. John Wiley & Sons

2. Barnosky, A. et al. (2011). Has the Earth's sixth mass extinction already arrived? 3 MARCH 2011 | VOL 471 | NATURE | 51-55…… [read more]

Confluence: A River, the Environment Discussion Chapter

… Confluence: A river, the environment, politics & the fate of all humanity by Nathaniel Tripp

The flow of the river and the sediment it carries can be both beneficial and harmful depending on the amount and context. To what degree is this a cyclical, natural phenomenon and to what degree is it the result of human land use patterns within a river's watershed? Discuss the pros and cons of human attempts to manage river flows. Give examples from the book.

One interesting association that the author makes is that wherever the resources are rich, such as the great Amazon basins, the Mississippi Delta, and the coal seams of Appalachia, the people are kept poor. Even when the rivers have become healthier, the full ecosystem does not always share in its wealth. When people began to use rivers for agricultural purposes, the management of the rivers systems began. Although this represented a turning point from the hunter-gather type of organizations to the more stable farming communities, the more that the river was managed, the more harm that was done to it. Part of the nature of the river is to both unite and divide. The resources of the river were used to follow profits, while the benefits of these resources often overlooked those who were closest to the river in the first place.

b. Discuss the author's appointment to the Connecticut River Joint Commission. How do you think his time on the commission shaped his views? Was his appointment politically driven - why or why not?

It seems like…… [read more]

California Water Resources Essay

… California Water

Water Resources in California

The California state water system has a plethora of interesting features and dynamics that are complex and the hydrology continues to evolve. Although there have been massive projects to harness the water in the state and deliver to the areas that need it, such as urban or agricultural centers, there have been many consequences to these actions. The water is steadily degrading throughout the entire system and the construction of the system itself has caused many environmental problems as well as the loss of natural habitats; in fact, roughly ninety-five percent of the state's wetlands have already been lost -- forever. Furthermore, one of the most alarming factors is that the system of California's water distribution system has been built on a precipitation model that is becoming increasingly irrelevant. Climate change is predicted to heavily influence these patterns in the future and the entire water distribution system may have to be altered to meet these challenges.

Background on California's Hydrologic Cycle

The term hydrology refers to the science that encompasses the occurrence, distribution, movement, and properties of the earth's waters, and their relationship with the environment within each phase of the hydrologic cycle[footnoteRef:1]. The hydrologic cycle begins with evaporation as heat changes liquid water into gas, and ends in condensation as it cools and returns to the earth. The precipitation becomes runoff and collects in some body of water depending on where it flows. Much of the water will eventually end up in an aquifer which is an underwater storage area for water. [1: (Hyslop and Wu 141)]

California's statewide participation is approximately 58 centimeters which equals 200 million acre-feet of water that is dropped however this is not distributed equally across the state. Approximately seventy five percent of the runoff goes north of Sacramento[footnoteRef:2]. The 78 maf that occurs on a yearly average is used for environmental (46%) uses, agricultural uses (46%), and urban use (11%). However, this figure is only an average and can fluctuate considerably throughout the years. One of the primary factors that influence these levels is periods of drought in which rainfall does not meet the average levels. Floods on the other hand can be caused by excess rainfall that can cause a significant amount of damage as the runoff is too much to be absorbed and causes impromptu rivers and streams that can damage natural and human structures. Too little waterfall can result in dry conditions in which wildfires can occur. The level of water fall is vital to California's well-being. [2: (Hyslop and Wu 144)]

Figure 1 - CA Hydrologic Cycle (Garver)

California's Hydrology

The Central Valley contains three hydrologic regions. In the north end of the state, the Sacramento River Region drains the northern half of the Central Valley, which still represents a major agricultural area. The Sacramento River carries almost a third of the entire state's runoff and receives most of its runoff from the west slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. The next… [read more]

Marine Mammals Essay

… Possible conflicts between marine mammals and humans -- if they are understood after careful examination (through necropsy) -- can lead to "appropriate measures" to resolve those conflicts (16).

Describe the steps of a pinniped necropsy

The first step is to determine which "code" applies (how far along in the process of decomposition has the animal gone?); and next, it must be estimated as to how well nourished the animal appear to have been (prior to its demise)? Questions / issues to be considered include: a) Is it a male or female; b) are the eyes discolored; c) are their lesions or parasites -- and what is the color of the discharge from nostrils; d) all abnormalities must be examined and documented, including abscesses, wounds, and possible injuries due to fishing gear; and e) fur, skin, genital aperture, and anus must be closely examined and recorded (32).

Next, skin must be removed (a 2-inch piece) near the left rear flipper and the lower left jaw should be removed (this gives the life history of the animal). The blubber, muscle and skin must be removed, and once that is done, the front flippers should be removed. The lymph node needs to be carefully scrutinized, the Thymus should be investigated, a propane torch should be used to sear the body and a blade so "uncontaminated bacterial and viral samples" can be assured. The rib cage must be removed and the lungs, heart and other internal organs need to be assessed.

What tissues are sampled -- for what purpose?

It is important to examine brain tissue (for the presence of lesions or worms) (51); also male testes' tissues, kidneys' tissues, liver tissues and tissues from the lungs must be obtained for life history and for signs of contamination.

Works Cited

Section One and…… [read more]

Five Step Approach Essay

… ¶ … Five Step Approach: The Case of Bison in Yellowstone National Park

There is definitely a clear problem here. Every time the population of Bison would rise to healthy levels once again, citizens in near by Montana would reduce the heard again back down to dangerous levels through hunting. This constantly placed the Bison in danger because they were not allowed the chance to gain enough numbers to be able to suffer losses from hunting in near-by Montana. Although Yellowstone Park does not rest in Montana, it is close to its borders. As such, Bison often travel outside the safety of the park and on to Montana lands, where they are in danger of being hunted. Essentially, there was no effective cooperation between park officials and Montana fish and game officials to make sure that the number of Bison shot on Montana soil each year did not get too far out of hand. This problem was thus affecting a number of stakeholders on top of the actual Bison being slaughtered. For one, it impacted the environmentalists and park officials who were working so hard to protect the species. On the same note, it was affecting all of the American population who identify this great beast with a mythical image of the American past. Without the chance to see Bison first hand, many Americans will loose a sense of that past. Yet, still, the citizens of Montana who were slaughtering the Bison for meat, especially in harsh winters like the one from 1995 to 1996 would also be affected because they needed some source of protein out in the wilderness and protection of their grazing lands for their own cattle. Restricting the hunting of Bison too much might endanger them as well. As such, it is clear that a good middle ground was needed to ensure that safety and welfare of the Bison, without endangering the citizens who needed the food during harsh Montana winters. Also, the area has bear, mountain lion, and wolf populations that are also at stake. Hunting Bison too much might endanger a source of food for the bear species, and thus endanger more than one animal in the park proximity.

In order to find a solution for this problem, it is important to establish criteria to evaluate alternatives. First and foremost, the level of healthy Bison population needs to be understood. The numbers at which the entire population becomes at risk must be defined so that subsequent policy can enforce hunting restrictions that allows for a healthier hunting of the population without endangering the species, which has had…… [read more]

Consequences of Artificial Lighting on Bats and Ecology Research Paper

… Artificial Lighting -- Impacts on Bats

When Thomas Edison introduced the incandescent light bulb in 1879, it was seen as an enormously helpful technology. Little did Edison know that by 2013 environmentalists, naturalists, and medical professionals would consider "…light pollution… [read more]

Walking Home From Work Essay

… ¶ … walking home from work on the same road that I used every day until that moment and tiredly contemplating my condition. I tend to be philosophical when I am in such situations, as I try to look back and figure all of the events that led to me being happy and sad at the same time. I was everything I ever wanted to be, but I felt I was insignificant in the great scheme of things. I basically wanted the world to appreciate me for who I was and I actually felt I was not a part of the 'masses'. Dogs. There were a bunch of stray dogs in my way looking fiercely at me as if I was their enemy.

I am particularly fond of dogs, but I feel that it would be wrong for me to support them, taking into account that they suffer greatly on the streets as a result of society's tendency to persecute them. So when I came across this puppy staying alongside of the other dogs I felt that it was up to me to help it. I picked it up and I took it to the local dog shelter (it was just around the corner), as I heard that people often adopt dogs from that place. I figured no one would be as ignorant as to leave such a cute puppy live in a dog shelter.

As I entered the shelter I saw several puppies that looked just like the one I picked up locked up and screaming for their mommy as they struggled to get out. The manager immediately walked up to me and said:

"There's that little bastard. It just escaped like an hour ago and I was furious that I was…… [read more]

Ring of Fire Case Study

… In fact, reports speculate that once mining is complete, the area would be an ideal area for moose, because the new horticulture would likely consist of bushes as opposed to trees.

The final issue that must be considered is the impact the mine would have on local wildlife. Many animals call the boreal forest home including the snow elk, snow fox, and Atlantic salmon. Animals are sensitive to their surroundings, especially when new things are introduced into the environment. There are two new impacts that the mine would produce. The first impact is that of noise. Mines are no longer dug into the faces of mountains. Instead, modern mines are dug directly into the ground by blowing out the rock layers, crushing the rock, and dumping it back into the environment. This entire process is extensively noisy and would likely cause all wildlife within earshot to relocate to quieter, safer parts of the forest.

The second impact on the animals is safety. Along with the mine, there are also plans to build multiple roads to make transport easier. Roads bring traffic into areas where once there was none. Before long, animals such as fox and deer begin exploring the road and inadvertently are struck. Additionally, if there are herds that migrate to the area, the roads will likely re-route their migratory paths.

Before such an ambitious project as a mine is started, there must be a full analysis of the possible environmental implications. If it is found that the mine would be too destructive and the results could not be mitigated, then it is in the best interest of the nation to halt the mining and find a better solution. When both humans and animals are at risk, all precautions should be taken to ensure the safety of…… [read more]

Controversy Regarding Cats and Dogs Essay

… In addition to making it possible for people to understand the importance of having animal rescue organizations involved in saving animals consequent to catastrophes, the hurricane also enabled society to understand more about the importance of neutering. With most of the animals that escaped after the hurricane not being neutered or spayed, cat and dog populations experienced rapid growth (Hurricane Katrina Animal Rescue: IFAW Saves Dogs and Cats).

Overpopulation is a significant problem when considering cats and dogs and both animal lovers and those who are indifferent toward them are likely to agree to this issue. Large amounts of finances are being poured into animal shelters and people are largely responsible for the fact that overpopulation exists in the first place. As a consequence, it is very important for the masses to understand that they need to take care that their animals do not produce unwanted litters and that they do not contribute to the number of homeless pets (Anchel, 50).

It is surely worrying that in spite of the fact that many individuals claim to love animals, they have a limited understanding concerning the attitudes that they need to employ toward them. Individuals need to be provided with extensive education with regard to raising animals, taking into account that this is going to improve general conditions and that cats and dogs will then come to live in better conditions, both for them and for society in general.

Works cited:

Anchel, Marjorie, "Overpopulation of Cats and Dogs: Causes, Effects, and Prevention: Proceedings of a Conference, New York City, September 11 & 12, 1987," (Fordham Univ Press, 1990)

Knight, Sara, and Herzog, Harold, "New Perspectives on Human-Animal Interactions: Theory, Policy and Research," (John Wiley & Sons, 01.09.2009)

"Hurricane Katrina Animal Rescue: IFAW Saves Dogs and Cats," Retrieved November 17, 2012, from the IFAW…… [read more]

Wilderness Growing Up Gazing Essay

… Here, Williams also finds it difficult to digest the Cronon argument that wilderness is something dysfunctional. William's description of seeing the formaldehyde shark and comparing that "sculpture" to the art world made perfect sense to me. I have grown up surrounded by art, and by thinkers who view the world through the same lenses that Williams does in "A Shark in the Mind." Ultimately, Williams states, "I cannot live without art. I cannot live without wilderness," (2). Wilderness is an aesthetic, claims Williams. And what is wrong with that? It is precisely this aesthetic that I perceived when my family and I would visit the Antalya coast or the interior of Anatolia, or when we would tread on the travertine of Pamukkale. Who cares what it is called: wilderness or not?

Then, reading Zwinger's "A Desert World," I finally got what Cronon was trying to say. In America, wilderness zones are segregated on a physical and spiritual level. There is a prevailing sense of guilt that people have somehow tainted God's great creation and now have a responsibility to protect that creation by acting in a paternalistic and overprotective manner towards it. I thought about all the places I have visited, which inspired me the way the mystical desert inspired Zwinger, and I realized that never had I considered feeling like I was trespassing on some kind of sacred ground. Even when I felt elevated or uplifted, my heart and soul came closer to the sentiments expressed by Williams. Wilderness is certainly a human construction, as Cronon carefully points out. And that's just fine with some of us. There is no need to do away with that construction, but it helps to understand that our cultural values, beliefs and worldviews have a strong bearing on how we organize our universe into natural and urban spaces, sacred and profane.

Works Cited

Cronon, William. "The Trouble with Wilderness." Retrieved online:

Williams, Terry Tempest. "A Shark in the Mind of One Contemplating Wilderness." The Nation. 11 Nov 1999. Retrieved online:,0#

Zwinger, Ann. "A Desert World."… [read more]

Photosynthesis Lab This Experiment Was Carried Out Term Paper

… Photosynthesis Lab

This experiment was carried out in order to develop and understanding and appreciation of photosynthesis, the mechanism on which almost all of the internal energy needs of living organisms depends, and to measure the rate of photosynthesis and some of the factors influencing this rate. Segments of spinach leaf were placed in conditions that caused them to undergo photosynthesis in a controlled and observable environment, enabling the observation of the process and of influences upon the rate of reaction occurring within the spinach leaf in light of environmental changes. Specifically, this experiment measured the proximity of the spinach leaf segments to their light source and its impact on the rate of photosynthesis, with the initial assumption that the closer the leaf segments were to this light source, the faster the photosynthesis would occur. The experiment showed that the reverse was actually the case, and when the spinach leaf segments were moved closer to the light source the rate of photosynthesis was approximately 50% longer. Possible reasons for this result and methods for further experimentation are discussed.


Though human beings most if not all of the animal kingdom consists of heterotrophs -- organisms that must eat things (typically other organisms) in order to survive -- almost all life is ultimately dependent on the work of autotrophs -- organisms that use sunlight and/or other environmental (that is, inorganic) sources (Kent, 2000). The most common form of autotrophy is photosynthesis, the process by which most plants convert sunlight into usable energy stored in the form of carbohydrates (Kent, 2000). Through a series of complex chemical steps, incoming sunlight is first converted to chemical energy, and then in a second reaction that is not itself light-dependent this chemical energy is used to create a carbohydrate -- a simple sugar -- which contains energy in the form of certain molecular bonds that can be broken to release this energy (Kent, 2000; Dalton, 2012). Photosynthesizing plants make up the foundational level of any food chain; organisms higher on the chain must eat these plants and/or other organisms that have themselves eaten these plants in order to obtain the energy they need, and in this way the process of photosynthesis is vital to almost all life on the planet (Kent, 2000; Dalton, 2012).

This research set out to determine how the distance between plant matter and the light source it is using affects the rate of photosynthesis it achieves, utilizing a controlled environment in which spinach leaf segments are exposed to light and the chemical changes they undergo as a result of photosynthesis is indirectly measured. By keeping all other variables in the experiment consistent across two trials but by adjusting the space between the light source and the spinach leaf segments, the impact that this distance has on photosynthesis rates can be demonstrated. It is hypothesized that the closer the spinach leaf segments are to the light source the faster the photosynthesis reaction will happen, as more of the…… [read more]

Forest Ecosystems Are Functioning Units That Contain Lab Report

… Forest ecosystems are functioning units that contain both biotic (plants, animals, and microorganisms) and abiotic (air, water, rocks, energy) factors. Forest ecology is the study of the interactions between the organisms in a forest and the interactions between these organisms and their nonliving environment.

In this assignment, you will:

Design a unique simple, imaginary forest ecosystem with several species.

Determine the interrelations between the species inhabiting the ecosystem and their physical environment, including species niche and reproductive habits.

Apply a disturbance to your forest ecosystem and anticipate the impact that such a stress would have on the organisms living in the ecosystem.

Suggest options to mitigate the impact of the disturbance.

You are to design a FOREST ecosystem. Your ecosystem should be imaginary but your species must actually exist in a forest somewhere on earth. Be sure to take into consideration the conditions associated with species endangerment while you plan your ecosystem:

1. Limited Range: Species is found in only a small, specific area.

2. Small Population or Rarity: Species is rare within its range. High level consumers are usually rare. Other species may also have small populations.

3. High Specificity: Species has very specific requirements for:

food (e.g. Pandas only eat bamboo; animals which eat only one type of food, or a few specific foods, are prone to extinction if the food supply disappears.);

reproduction (e.g. Spotted Owls only nest in old coniferous tree hollows, rabbit fleas use female rabbit reproductive hormones and don't make their own);

habitat (e.g. there are fungi which are found only in gopher tortoise burrows); etc.

4. High Sensitivity: Species is extremely vulnerable to environmental disturbances. Examples include:

Birds are very sensitive to DDT and related pesticides which cause thinning of their eggshells. Compare…… [read more]

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