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F o r m & F u n c T i o N. What is a skeleton?. A skeleton consists of the bones that make up the framework of a body. Exercise directions. In this exercise, we will be looking at the form and function of different skeletons and how they suit the lifestyle of those animals.

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what is a skeleton
What is a skeleton?

A skeleton consists of the bones that make up the framework of a body.

exercise directions
Exercise directions

In this exercise, we will be looking at the form and function of different skeletons and how they suit the lifestyle of those animals.

Let’s try a few examples.

observations
observations

Making Observations:

Take a few minutes to make some observations about the form of this animal.

example
example

For example, you might say….

Short arms with finger-like appendages

Long, thick-boned tail that reaches to the ground

Elongated rear limbs with shorter bones connecting them to the pelvis.

Large feet

inferences
inferences

Making Inferences:

To make an inference means to draw conclusions from your observations.

What are some functions of these structures??

slide7

Some questions you might start with are…

What are the arms used for?

Why is the tail so long and sturdy?

How might long, skinny legs help it move?

Why are the feet so large?

slide10

How does form relate to function?

Click on a part of the animal to find out

slide12
An adaptationis a characteristic that helps an organism survive and reproduce in its environment.

Can you identify a structure that serves as an adaptation for a kangaroo?

slide15

Observations:

  • Hoofed feet
  • Thing, long legs
  • Long neck
  • Short, skinny tail
slide17

Observations:

  • -Thick beak
  • Elongated, skinny legs
  • Three skinny toes
  • Long, tapered neck
slide20

Flamingo

Giraffe

slide22

How do the similar structures of these two animals serve as different adaptations to their environments?

slide25

Observations:

  • Long tail
  • Small skull
  • Short limbs
  • Five toes per foot
  • Body set low to the ground
slide27

Observations:

  • Elongated torso
  • Short limbs
  • Small skull
  • Body set low to the ground
  • Front feet larger than back feet
  • Five toes
slide34
A homologous structure is a characteristic shared by related species that has been inherited from a common ancestor.

See example

slide35

In this next example, take note of any homologous structures that could support an ancestral link between these two animals.

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Observations:

  • Small skull with sharp teeth.
  • Forelimbs proportional to rear limbs.
  • - Long tail
  • - Four paws with claws.
slide40

Observations:

- Large skull with protruding fangs.

- Prominent front and rear claws.

- Broad shoulder blades

- Dense forelimbs

- Long tail

slide43

Cat

Lion

slide44
Cats and Lions are closely related species, therefore, they exhibit structures called “homologous structures”
slide47

Analogous structures are two structures with the same function but no evolutionary link.

See example

slide49

Observations:

  • Hard, outer shell
  • Small skull
  • No visible teeth
  • Four toes
  • Thin forelimbs and back limbs
slide51

Observations:

  • hard, outer covering
  • Long, bony tail,
  • Elongated snout
  • Three sharp toes
slide54

Armadillo

Box Turtle

slide55

Turtles and armadillos are unrelated species that share similar characteristics. Can you identify a few analogous structures between these two animals?

what characteristics do these three animals have in common
What characteristics do these three animals have in common?

Do they appear to be related or unrelated?

armadillo skeleton
Armadillo Skeleton

Armadillo:

Hard, outer covering

Elongated snout

Long, bony tail

Sharp front claws

anteater
Anteater:

Long tail that drags behind the animal

Long, tapered snout

Short, forelimbs with claws

slide61

Sloth:

Sharp claws

Long forelimbs and hind legs, relatively similar in length and size.

slide62

Based on your observations, are these animals related or unrelated? Or in other words, do they have homologous or analogous structures?

order xenarthra
Order Xenarthra:

All three animals are classified in the order “Xenarthra” because they all lack incisors or canines and have 2-3 predominate claws. These common structures are known as homologous structures.

Anteater

Sloth

Armadillo

identifying related species
Identifying Related Species:
  • Make observations about the forms of different organisms.
  • Draw inferences about the functions of those forms.
  • Consider how those forms may serve as adaptations.
  • Compare those adaptations to other organisms.
  • Do the forms and adaptations represent homologous or analogous structures?
conclusions
Conclusions:
  • By making careful observations and inferences, we are able to formulate hypotheses on the relationships between form and function.
  • Certain structures have specific functions according to the organism and the environment. These are called adaptations.
  • Structures of related species are known as homologous structures.
  • Similar structures of unrelated species are known as analogous structures.
  • By analyzing the structures of these organisms, we can begin to draw conclusions about their origins and relations.

1.

the kangaroo tail
The Kangaroo Tail

A Kangaroo’s Tail is long and muscular, extending all the way down to the ground. It serves as a sturdy prop while the kangaroo sits or stands. When the kangaroo fights, sometimes the only limb touching the ground is the tail!

??Can you think of any human inventions that may resemble a kangaroo tail in both form and function?

BACK

forelimbs
Forelimbs

A Kangaroo’s Forelimbs are thin and short and help the animal “hop” forward.

Compare the kangaroo’s forelimbs to the arms of a runner. How are they similar and how are they different in both form and function?

BACK

kangaroo hind legs
Kangaroo Hind legs

The Kangaroo’s hind legs have tendons that act like rubber bands, propelling the animal forward in quick, strong leaps.

It’s large feet help the animal sit and balance, and are also a very powerful defense mechanism. No one wants to experience the kick of a kangaroo!T

BACK

slide72

Giraffe’s Legs

Because its legs are so long, a walking giraffe moves both legs on a side at almost the same time. It can gallop at up to 56 km/h

BACK

slide73

Giraffe Tail

Like many animals, a giraffe’s tails function as fly swatters. The zebra to the right demonstrates with his tail, which has a similar structure to the giraffe’s tail.

BACK

slide74

Giraffe Mouth

Their mouths are designed to pick leaves from trees and have flat teeth to crush the vegetation. Therefore, their feeding structures are adapted to their feeding habits.

BACK

slide75

Giraffe Neck

Giraffes tend to feed on the leaves from tall trees where they experience less competition from other herbivores. To reach those leaves, they need long necks.

BACK

slide76

Flamingo Neck

A flamingo’s long neck helps it extend down into the water to feed. It is also used to stabilize the bird during flight.

BACK

slide77

Flamingo Wings

Flamingos are capable of flying distances up to 300 miles in one night. They typically extend their necks forward and their legs behind them during flight and reach speeds of up to 30mph.

BACK

slide78

Flamingo Legs

Flamingos have long legs that allow them to wade into deeper waters than their competitors. Their webbed feet help them to stabilize themselves in the mud.

BACK

slide79

Flamingo Beak and Feeding

Flamingos have a unique feeding mechanism whereby they hold their heads upside down and filter algae, seeds, and marine invertebrates such as shrimp and mollusks from the water through their beaks.

BACK

slide81

Analogous Structures

Butterfly wings and bat wings resemble each other in form and function, but there is no ancestral link between the two.

BACK

slide82

Iguana Claws

An iguana has four feet with five digits on each. These claws are used mainly for climbing seeing as the iguana’s main habitat is in trees.

BACK

slide83

Iguana Tail

The iguana’s tail has two functions. First, as a means of balance during climbing. Second, as a means of defense against predators. It can whip and distract predators and sometimes, may disconnect from the iguana, but don’t worry; its grows back!

BACK

slide84

Iguana Head and Mouth

Iguana’s have spines starting at the back of their head and continuing down their back which make it more difficult for predators to swallow them. Their flat mouths crush vegetation and fruit which are the main sources of nutrition for these reptiles.

BACK

slide85

Gila Monster Tail

A Gila monster’s short, fat tail serves as a storage place for fat. When the animal is low on food sources, it uses the fat from its tail as a source of energy.

BACK

slide86

Gila Monster Head

The Gila monster has a large head with a strong lower jaw, which is where the animal stores its venom. One reason why the head sits low is so the animal may lick the ground which is how it picks up the scents of its prey.

BACK

slide87

Gila Monster Claws

The Gila monster’s short legs and short claws are ideal for digging burrows, digging for eggs and food, and climbing.

BACK