Comparative Animal Respiration

Natural history

Strategies of Diving Mammals
Note the small diameter of the air capillaries in the chicken lung vs. Tracheae also extend into the wings, running inside the wing veins. Gas is easy to compress, and so as pressure increases i. Decompression sickness can arise due to the rapid resurfacing from large depths underwater, this results in a large gradient of partial pressures between the blood, lungs and tissues. In some butterflies and moths, at least, circulation has been shown to help drive breathing by affecting air sac expansion and contraction.

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Aquatic respiration

Many more species become extinct, or potentially will become extinct, without gaining public notice. Critically Endangered species are organisms that are of an extremely high risk of becoming extinct in the wild or completely extinct in the immediate future. Extinct in the Wild is a conservation status assigned to species where the only known living members are being kept in captivity or as a naturalized population outside it's historic and natural range.

Extinct species no longer exist anywhere on Earth. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the last individual of that species.

Cryptic Colouration An animal uses certain colours and markings in order to make itself invisible in its surroundings. Delayed Implantation In some mammals, there can be a delay between when the egg is fertilised and when the embryo begins to develop.

Deposit Feeder An animal that feeds on small particles of organic matter that have drifted down to and settle on the bottom. Detritivore An animals that feeds on dead plant and animal matter. Distinctive Features Characteristics unique to the animal [Top]. Diurnal If an animal is diurnal it means that the animal tends to sleep during the dark, night hours and wakes up to hunt when the sun rises in the morning.

Humans, bears and horses are considered to be diurnal animals. Domesticated An animal that lives with humans or is looked after by them. Dorsal Fin Large fin on the back of marine animals such as fish, sharks, whales and dolphins. Echinoderm Echinoderms are spiny-skinned invertebrates that are found on the ocean floor. Echinoderms are armoured animals that have a hard internal skeleton endoskeleton made up of plates and spines.

Echinoderms are slow-moving creatures that have a water-vascular system which pumps water through the body. Echinoderms also have small jaws that are supported by the water-vascular system and tube feet which they use to attach to objects for protection, as well as to obtain food. Echinoderms generally have radial symmetry and most can regenerate lost limbs. Echolocation A way of sensing nearby objects by using pulse of high-frequency sound.

Ecological Niche The term niche is used to describe an animals specific function or purpose within a certain habitat. Most species of animal play an integral part in keeping their surrounding ecosystem running, whether it be the spreading of seeds or predatory animals that hunt smaller species of animal. Ecosystem The term ecosystem is used to describe the working together of different species of animal within a particular habitat, a good example of this being the basic food chain.

Ectoparasite An animal that lives on the surface of another animal's body, generally by sucking it's blood. Endoparasite An animal that lives inside another animal's body, both eat the tissues and food.

Endoskeleton An internal skeleton that supports an animal's body and is generally made of bone. Environment The term environment is used to describe the conditions surrounding a certain organism as a whole. This includes everything from the social structure of life contained within that environment from animals to plants, but also is a method of describing how all the different organisms in one area interact with each other.

The are numerous different environments throughout the world including desert environments, jungle environments and mountainous environments. The term environment basically refers to all living and non-living things in the world or a particular region.

Estimated Population Size How many of a particular species are thought to exist at this time. Evolution Evolution is the process by which different species of animals evolve, generally in accordance with natural selection and to make life more successful for the species.

For example, certain species of moth have known to completely change colour in just a few generations because of pollution, and the horse we know today evolved from having many toes, to just having a single toe today. Exoskeleton An external skeleton that supports and protects the animal's body. External Fertilisation Fertilisation that occurs outside of the womb, normally in water.

Family A level of classifying animals within an order. Orders are broken down in families and families are broken down further into smaller groups called genus. Favourite Food The preferred food of an animal.

For example, Penguins may eat Crab or Squid, but typically prefer to eat Fish - this may because they are easier to catch, eat or digest. Femur The femur is the thigh bone in all vertebrates that have four limbs including elephants, lions and humans. Feral A feral animal is an animal that was brought up domestically but has then begun to live life in the wild. Fertilisation The meeting of a female animal's egg cell and a male animal's sperm, which creates a cell able of developing into a new animal.

Filter Feeder An animal that feeds by extracting small particles of food out of the water. Fish Fish are cold blooded vertebrates that live in the waters of rivers, lakes and oceans worldwide. Fish have scales covering their skin and usually an oily layer on the surface of the fishes skin, which helps to regulate the body of temperature of the fish.

Fish have gills on the sides of their heads which allows the fish to breath underwater, due to their complex respiratory breathing system. There thought to be around 32, different species of fish found in freshwater and saltwater sources alike, with over 1, of these now considered to be critically endangered. Fish are a stable food source for many species of mammals, birds and reptiles around the world. Flight Feathers The wings and tail feather of a bird that are used in flight.

Flipper A flat paddle-shaped limb that many aquatic mammals have. Fluke Many whales and their relatives have a rubbery tail flipper which is known as a fluke. Food Chain An animal food chain is the sequence of who eats whom within an ecosystem in order for each animal to obtain nutrition. A food chain starts with the primary energy source, which is usually the sun and the food chain is then connected by a series of organisms that eat each other, in turn.

The food chain starts with the sun and is then followed by the primary producers, then the primary consumer, then the secondary consumer, followed by the tertiary consumer and finishing with the quaternary consumer which is generally an animal that is eaten by nothing else and is therefore the end of the food chain.

Food chains are never the same as each ecosystem contains different organisms within it. If one part of the food chain is missing then there will be high population levels in the links before the missing part of the food chain, as nothing is eating them, and there will also be lower population levels in the links after the missing part in the food chain, as those animals have nothing to eat.

The food chain is then said to be out of balance, so it is crucial for food chains to remain unaltered in order for balance within the animal kingdom to remain. Primary Producer Primary producers are those organisms that require nothing but the natural resources of the Earth in order to thrive and survive. Primary producers tend to be plants that are photosynthetic and these plants use the energy provided by sunlight in order to make their own food using a process called photosynthesis.

Other primary consumers include bacteria that make their own food using chemicals that are produced in natural vents in the ocean. Primary producers are also known as autotrophs and are vital to the survival of the animals that follow in the next stages of the food chain. Primary Consumer The primary consumers are the next stage in the food chain behind the sun and the primary producers.

The primary consumers are the herbivorous animals of the world and consume the primary producers autotrophs in order to gain their nutrition. For example, an insect primary consumer will eat the seeds and sprouts that are provided by grass primary producer.

Primary consumers are also known as heterotrophs. Secondary Consumer The secondary consumers link in with the food chain as they are the omnivorous animals that eat the primary consumers and the secondary consumers will occasionally eat the primary producers in order to supplement their diet.

For example, a rat secondary consumer will eat an insect primary consumer that has gained its nutrition from eating the grass primary producer. Secondary consumers are also known as heterotrophs. Tertiary Consumer The secondary consumers are followed by the tertiary consumers, the tertiary consumers tend to be the smaller carnivores of the animal kingdom.

The tertiary consumers only eat meat and therefore really on the consistency of the secondary consumer populations in order to continue to thrive as a species. For example, a snake tertiary consumer will eat a rat secondary consumer that has gained its nutrition from eating an insect primary consumer , and the insect has gained its nutrition from eating the grass primary producer.

Tertiary consumers are also known as heterotrophs. Quaternary Consumer The final part to the food chain are the quaternary consumers, and these are the animals that tend to be large carnivores and dominant predators within their natural environment.

Quaternary consumers generally have few, if any, natural predators at all and this tends to be where the food chain ends.

For example, an eagle quaternary consumer will eat a snake tertiary consumer , that has eaten a rat secondary consumer , that has eaten an insect primary consumer , that has eaten the grass primary producer that has used the energy from the sun in order to make food.

Food Web The interlinking of a collection of food chains from one habitat. Genus A level of classifying animals within a family. Families are divided into sub-groups called genus which generally contain one or two animal species.

Gestation Period The gestation period is the time from conception to birth in which a mammal embryo is developing. The gestation period is different for almost every species of animal, for example, the gestation period for a human embryo is roughly 9 months but the gestation period for a kangaroo embryo is only around 30 days.

Gill An external organ used by aquatic animals such as fish, to extract oxygen out of the water. Group Behaviour How an animal behaves when in a group. For example, Elephants live together in herds, whereas a Jaguar is a solitary animal which lives on its own. Habitat The term habitat is used to describe a specific area where a particular animal lives, within an environment. Many animals have adapted to requiring specific conditions which can only be found in their natural habitat such as those animals that live in the polar regions that have longer, thicker body fur to keep them warm.

Herbivore A herbivore is an animal that only eats plant material, algae and bacteria in order to gain its nutrition. Those animals that are herbivorous have adapted to digest plant material specifically, such as elephants, donkeys and rabbits.

Hermaphrodite An animal that has both male and female reproductive organs so that it is able to self-fertilize. Hibernation When an animal hibernates, it isn't as simple as the animal just sleeping for a long time. When an animal sleeps, the animals brain is still active so the animal is able to move around in their sleep and can also wake up quickly.

When an animal hibernates, the animals heart rate slows down, the animals body temperature drops as it is exposed to cold surroundings and the animals breathing slows down meaning that the animal takes longer than usual to wake up. The animal spends the months before it hibernates eating lots of food to make sure its body has enough energy to survive the winter. Some animals are in hibernation for the duration of the winter meaning they don't wake up at all, others wake up every few weeks to have a snack and walk about before going back into hibernation.

Home Range The area that an animal or group of animals lives in. Horn A hard, pointed growth on the head of some mammals. Incisor Tooth A flat tooth at the front of a mammal's jaw that is used for gnawing and slicing food. Incubation Period The incubation period is the time from when an animal egg is laid to when it hatches.

The term incubation period is used to refer to all egg laying mammals like fish, birds and reptiles but also to the platypus and the echidna which are the only egg laying mammals on earth. The incubation period varies between animal species from the incubation period of a penguin egg which is around 60 days to the incubation period of the an iguana egg which is between three and four months.

Insect Insects are invertebrate arthropods, which means that the insects body is made up of sections of shell rather than bones. There are more than 1 million described species of insect found worldwide, but estimates suggest there to be around 30 million different species of insect still left to identify. Insects are found in every habitat around the world from the deserts, to the jungles and in the mountains.

Some species of insect also live in or around water such as the mosquito and the dragonfly. Insects generally have a lifespan that is less than a year, although some types of insects such as beetles, have been known to live for more than a few years. Internal Fertilisation Fertilisation that occurs inside the body of the female.

Introduced Species A species that has been accidentally or purposefully been introduced, by humans, into an eco-system where it is not found naturally. Keel An enlargement of the breastbone in birds, that secures the muscles during flight. Keratin A strong and resilient structural protein that is found in an animals hair, nails and horn.

Kingdom A level of classifying all living things on earth, as similar species are broken into 5 groups including plants, animals and fungi. Larva A young insect that is independent of an looks very different from the adult form. Insect larva become adults through a metamorphic process. Lifestyle Whether the animal is solitary or sociable [Top]. Litter Size The typical number of offspring an animal may give birth to at one time.

Location The place in the world where something is found. For example, Chameleons can be found in forests in Madagascar. Mammal Mammals are warm blooded vertebrates that have mammary glands, which means that the females are able to produce milk to feed their young. Mammals are also the only animal group that gives bird to live young, where the others all lay eggs. Mammals are generally land-dwelling animals but there are exceptions like the blue whale, which is the worlds largest mammal and grows to around 20 times the size of the biggest land mammal, the African elephant, average about 33 meters in length..

The smallest mammal in the world is the bumble bee bat which is only 3. There are approximately 5, different species of mammal found worldwide. Mandible The paired jaws of an arthropod such as ants, crabs and spiders. Melon A large swelling of fatty-fluid that is found in the heads of many toothed whales, that is believed to improve sound focus used in echolocation.

Metabolic Rate The rate of an animal's metabolism can be affected by many factors including size and energy. Metabolism A mixture of chemical processes that occur within the body of an animal to either release energy breaking down food or to consume it muscle movement.

Metacarpal The metacarpal is one of a set of bones that is found in either or the arm or the leg in all vertebrates with four limbs.

Metamorphosis The complete change in body shape when certain animals move from being young animals into adults. Metatarsal The metatarsal is one of a set of bones found in the back of the leg in all vertebrates with four limbs.

Migration The migration of animals is generally connected with the seasons and involves with travelling between one place and another, often along a well-known route.

Mimicry When one animal attempts to camouflage itself by resembling another animal or an object such as a leaf or a stick. Molar Tooth A flattened or ridged tooth found at the back of the jaw in mammals, that is used for chewing.

Mollusc Molluscs are a group of animals that are found in both marine and freshwater habitats. The octopus and the squid are both molluscs.

Monogamous Mating with a single partner for life or throughout the breeding season. Moult The shedding of fur, feathers, scales and skin so that it can be renewed and replaced. Name Of Young The name given to the offspring of an animal, for example a young Cat is called a Kitten. Natural Environment The term environment is used to describe everything in a certain area.

This includes the terrain such as mountains and deserts, the natural elements that are found there like water and metal, the climate and all the living and non-living things in that area like animals, plants and objects.

Natural Selection The term natural selection refers to the the process where heritable traits that make it more likely for an organism to survive long enough to reproduce become more common over successive generations of a population. This can include anything from the exterior appearance of an organism for example those that are most easily camouflaged tend to fair better to the temperament of an organism for example, a lion would have more difficulty in hunting prey if it was irrational and clumsy in behaviour instead of being stealthy and systematic in it's actions.

Natural selection is a key mechanism of evolution. New World monkeys differ from other groupings of monkeys and primates, such as the Old World monkeys and the apes, mainly in the fact that New World monkeys tend to be small to medium in size. The New World monkey group includes the world's smallest monkey, the pygmy marmoset. New World moneys are different from the Old World monkeys in many ways, including the fact that the nose of New World monkeys is flat and has side facing nostrils, the lack of opposable thumbs and due to the fact that most New World monkeys are arboreal, they often have prehensile tails.

Nocturnal If an animal is nocturnal it means that the animal tends to sleep during the daylight hours and wakes up to hunt when night falls. Raccoons, koalas and hedgehogs are all considered to be nocturnal animals. Nymph A young insect that is similar in appearance to it's parents but it does not yet have functioning organs or is able to fly. Offspring An offspring is an animal's child or children.

For example, a Kitten is the offspring of a Cat. Old World Monkeys The Old World monkeys are native to Africa and Asia today, inhabiting a range of environments from tropical rain forest to savannah, scrubland, and mountainous terrain, and are also known from Europe in the fossil record. However, a possibly introduced free-roaming group of monkeys still survives in Gibraltar Europe to this day.

Old World monkeys include many of the most familiar species of non-human primates such as baboons and macaques. Old World monkeys tend to be medium to large in size and tend to have a predominantly herbivorous diet preferring to eat plant matter rather than other animals.

Old World monkeys are known to have an opposable thumb and rarely have prehensile tails. Omnivore An omnivore is an animal that eats both plant material and other animals in order to get enough food. Animals that are omnivores have complex digestive systems that are able to deal with both plant animal material equally well, like kangaroos, otters and humans.

Opposable Digits that are able to be pressed together from opposite directions, like thumbs in humans and apes. Optimum pH Level The perfect acidity conditions for the animal. Order A level used to classify animals. Classes are broken into sub-groups known as order, which are broken down further into families. Organ A structure found in an animal's body that is made up of tissues and does a specific task. Organism In biological terms, an organism is used to describe a living thing whether animal, plant, fungi or micro-organisms.

Underwater, the pressure increases by 1atm per 10 meters, therefore at 10 meters below sea level, the pressure is 2atms. At meters below sea level, the pressure rises to 11atms. This means, if pressure increases, volume decreases and vice versa. This is important because the body contains many gas filled spaces such as the lungs. Gas is easy to compress, and so as pressure increases i. As we travel deeper into the ocean the volume of these gas filled spaces within the body decrease in volume.

In order to understand the changes of the body with pressure, there are two other important pressure laws, these are:. This means all partial pressures of gases within air must total to 1atm. This means that if the P N2 in the lungs increases, the amount of nitrogen which dissolves into the blood also increases.

The main concerns of hydrostatic pressure are; the toxicity of the gases, decompression sickness and barotrauma. The potential of damage being caused by these factors increases as hydrostatic pressure increases. At certain depths, nitrogen and oxygen can become toxic. At around 20m depth nitrogen can begin to have affect consciousness — altering perception.

At around 50m oxygen can cause damage to the central nervous system, lungs and eyes. Barotrauma is physical damage as a result of pressure. Gas filled spaces are prone to such damage. Major targets of barotrauma are the thorax and the trachea, if the trachea is not strengthened at great depths, the high pressure can cause the trachea to collapse. This is similar with the thorax, as pressure increases, the size of the lungs decreases.

Such a large decrease in size could cause damage to thoracic muscles. By having a strengthened trachea, elastic diaphragm and strong sternum, it is possible to prevent such damage. Decompression sickness occurs due to resurfacing too quickly, this is a result of how pressure of nitrogen changes within the body at depth:. P tot has increased to 4atms. P N2 in the lungs quickly reaches 3.

P N2 in the blood slowly equilibrates followed by the tissues. Resurfacing too quickly means P N2 in the blood and tissues remains at a value near 3. This results in a rapid release in pressure resulting in the formation of bubbles in the blood. The bubbles consist of nitrogen at a partial pressure of 0. Because of this, the bubbles can quickly grow in size. Decompression sickness arises due to any rapid change in pressure not just changes in pressure when diving.

The only treatment available is to contain the sufferer in a hyperbaric chamber — a chamber where pressure can be controlled and allowed to rise steadily, preventing further formation of nitrogenous bubbles in the blood.

Decompression sickness can arise due to the rapid resurfacing from large depths underwater, this results in a large gradient of partial pressures between the blood, lungs and tissues. The offloading of nitrogen from the blood into the lungs is a relatively slow process and therefore takes time. By resurfacing too fast, the pressure is quickly released causing gases nitrogen to go out of solution.

This results in the formation of nitrogen bubbles in the blood. The bubbles can join together to become larger and more dangerous, whilst nitrogen is able to diffuse in, further increasing the size. It is energetically favourable for nitrogen to diffuse into the bubbles as they are at normal atmospheric pressure. If decompression sickness reaches the spinal cord, it can result in paralysis. There are basically two ways to combat decompression sickness; limit the load of nitrogen into the body and prevent its distribution.

To limit the load of nitrogen, diving mammals have evolved specialised alveoli. An alveolus consists of a sac-like, bulbous area where gas exchange takes place and a terminal bronchiole a tube connecting to the alveolus where no gas exchange takes place.

In terrestrial mammals, pressure such as that experienced whilst diving causes the bronchiole to collapse, trapping nitrogen within the bulbous end of the alveoli. With nowhere to go, the nitrogen moves out into the tissues and blood increasing nitrogen load and the possibility of decompression sickness.

The bronchioles of diving mammals on the other hand consist of strengthened cartilage, preventing them from collapse. Under pressure it is the alveoli which compresses first. Nitrogen in the alveolus moves out into the bronchiole. As no gas exchange occurs in the bronchiole, nitrogen is not able to move into the surrounding blood and tissues.

Nitrogen load is therefore decreased as is the possibility of suffering from decompression sickness upon resurfacing. Such alveolar collapse occurs at a depth of 30m in Weddell seals, meaning the partial pressure of nitrogen in the tissues does not increase further than 3. The other method of avoiding decompression sickness is to limit the distribution of nitrogen.

This is done by peripheral vasoconstriction. As with oxygen limited dives that extend past the aerobic diving limit, regional or peripheral vasoconstriction result in decreased blood flow to the body. Blood flow is only preserved to the lungs, heart and brain.

The benefit of this is that fatty tissue i. The brain on the other hand consists mainly of watery tissue which has much lower nitrogen solubility; it also offloads nitrogen much faster and therefore has a reduced risk of bubble growth.

In toothed whales, the sinuses and air sacs serve as acoustic mirrors reflecting sound inside their. It also prevents them from diving and feeding. I do not advocate the halt of oil exploration; however, I only ask that the oil industry and the US. Instead, they fund research that covers up barotrauma in. Keeping Livestock Cool O The Importance of Colost Visit PetSci PetSci is our new website, bringing you the latest in animal news. No Comments Jan 20, David Williams August 26, Believe it or not, the answer to the mystery of whales beach themselves can stated in only one word: It is well-known that rapid and excessive changes in the surrounding water pressure can cause physical trauma in all diving mammals, including man.

Severe oscillations in pressure are common above the epicenter of certain shallow-focused undersea earthquakes, especially those located in the rift valley of mid-ocean ridges. Scientists called these seismoacoustic waves seaquakes until the s when the name was changed to T-Phase Waves. But not all earthquakes generate whale-dangerous T-Phase Waves aka: Only events that occur in specific places and in a specific manner generate T-Phases that are dangerous to diving whales and dolphins.

Navy sonar, oil industry airguns, and underwater explosives also induce rapid and excessive changes in pressures surrounding the diving whales and dolphins. These man-made devices cause the exact same barosinusitis injury as caused by seismoacoustic waves generated by undersea earthquakes. In toothed whales, the sinuses and air sacs serve as acoustic mirrors reflecting sound inside their heads in such a fashion to enable their echo-navigation system to function properly.

An injury in this critical part of their biosonar system naturally disrupts echo-navigation, causing the animals to lose their normally excellent sense of direction. It also prevents them from diving and feeding themselves.

This control over the swim path of the injured sea mammals happens because water is times denser than air. The increased density induces a powerful drag resistance to swimming in any direction except downstream with the flow. Thus, surface currents quickly point lost whales and dolphins headfirst into the path of least resistance or least drag. On the other hand, surface currents are likely to deposit those that do not recover on a sandy beach because current just happens to be the same energy that carries each grain of sand to build the beach in the first place.

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