Introduction to Natural History – Staying Alive – Behavioral and Chemical Defences
: An observational science that involves looking at all living things. Natural history
knowledge is essential for assessments of ecosystems or habitats. It is also one of the most enjoyable
pursuits in the world.
The scientific research of plants or animals, usually leaning toward the observational rather than
experimental, and encompasses more research that is published in magazines. Natural history
itself involves the research and formation of statements that make elements of life and lifestyles
comprehensible by describing the relevant structures, operations and circumstances of various
species, such as diet, reproduction, and social grouping.
“Natural history is the scientific study of plants and animals in their natural environments. It is
concerned with levels of organization from the individual organism to the ecosystem, and
stresses identification, life history, distribution, abundance, and inter-relationships. It often and
appropriately induces an esthetic component.” (Stephen G. Herman, 2002)
: One who studies Natural History. Aka a natural historian
: A Kingdom that includes these and other Classes of living things, including Birds, Reptiles,
Amphibians, Fish, Mammals, and Insects.
The animal kingdom has classes (birds, amphibians, insects, spiders).
Invertebrates – animal lacking a spinal column. The group includes 97% of all animal species –
except those in the Chordate subphylum Vertebrata (fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and
Vertebrates – members of the subphylum Vertebrata (within the phylum Chordata) are those
chordates with backbones or spinal columns. About 57,739 species of vertebrates have been
described. Vertebrata is the larges subphylum of chordates, and contains many familiar groups
of large land animals. Fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals (including humans) are