Lecture 1 - Lecture 1: Introduction to Natural History...

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Lecture 1: Introduction to Natural History – Staying Alive – Behavioral and Chemical Defences of Animals Natural History : 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) Naturalist : One who studies Natural History. Aka a natural historian Animals : 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 mammals) 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 vertebrates
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Insects : a Class of animals. Most diverse group of animals on the Earth, with over a million described species – more than half of all known living organisms (major group of arthropods, Class Insecta) Natural Selection : the driving force behind evolution. It consists of all the selective pressures placed on plants and animals by the environment (such as wind or cold or drought) or by animals (such as predators or even members of the same species). Those poorly adapted do not survive to pass on their genes and those that are better adapted tend to survive and pass on their genes allowing the adaptation to persist into the future and even become more refined. Natural Selection was first recognized by Charles Darwin.
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Lecture 1 - Lecture 1: Introduction to Natural History...

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