Classify these adaptations as physiological, morphological, or behavioral. The adaptation of the mussel to thicken its shell when in the presence of an Asian shore crab is a morphological adaptation because the physical form of the mussel changes. Explain how the adaptation has improved upon the fitness of the organism. The adaptation has improved upon the fitness of the organism because if it were not for the adaptation the mussel will easily be crushed by the crabs and eaten. Because of the adaptation, the mussel can harden its shell to prevent the crabs from breaking its shell, and therefore it can not be eaten by the crabs.
Relate at least one of the adaptations to a “theme of biology” that is not connected to evolution. In other words, do not use either the unity or diversity of life as your theme. This adaptation can relate back to the theme of the correlation of structure and function insofar as the structure of the mussels shell has adapted its function. The crabs without the adaptation to harden and thicken their shells when in the presence die out because they can be eaten, but the ones with the adaptation live on to reproduce and to pass on the genes that allow the mussel to harden their shells when they sense an Asian shore crab.
The structure of the shell of the mussel has evolved so that its function now protects it from the shore crabs. Protecting against the netted dog whelk or northern purple shell Describe the adaptation The netted dog whelk and northern purple shell snails are two predators of the blue mussel (Nordsieck). They attack the mussel when the mussel opens its shell to breathe or feed by driving siphons between the shells’ halves and feed on it. To protect itself against the snails, the blue mussel ties down the attackers with its byssus threads (strong silky fibers) until the snail starves to death or succeeds in escaping its grasp (Nordsieck).
About 30% of the purple shells present in mussel beds are caught that way (Nordsieck). Classify these adaptations as physiological, morphological, or behavioral. This adaptation is a physiological adaptation because it is an adaptation in how the mussel functions. The mussels who had the physiological adaptation to tie down the snails survived and reproduced. Explain how the adaptation has improved upon the fitness of the organism. Like the previous adaptation, the ability of the mussel to fend of the predatory snails allows the mussel to survive and reproduce.
If the mussel could not use its byssus threads to tie down the snails, then the snails could attack the mussel and eat it, and thus not allowing mussels to live on and to possibly reproduce. d. Relate at least one of the adaptations to a “theme of biology” that is not connected to evolution. In other words, do not use either the unity or diversity of life as your theme. This adaptation also relates to the theme of the correlation of structure and function. The byssus threads are mainly intended to fixate the mussels onto bedrocks or to other mussel’s threads to create large mussel beds.
The structure of the byssus threads allows them to fulfill the function of anchoring the mussel down, but it also can be used as a weapon, as in the case when the mussel defends itself from the snails (Nordsieck). Therefore, the function of the byssus threads can be altered to allow the mussel to defend itself. 3) The behavior of mussels to form mussel beds Describe the adaptation Mussels hand together using byssus threads to form huge mussel beds that can be made up of millions of different mussels.
The formation of mussel beds has one large advantage: it increases the chance for sperm cells to meet another mussels egg cells. Because of mussel beds, the chance of fertilization increases and the mussels can reproduce and survive. Classify these adaptations as physiological, morphological, or behavioral. The adaptation is behavioral because it is an adaptation that has to do with the behavior of the mussels. The behavior of the mussels to form mussel beds enables the organism to adapt to their water environment to increase the hances of fertilization of their sperm and egg. Explain how the adaptation has improved upon the fitness of the organism. In the water, if all mussels were to live individually, then when the sperm cells or egg cells are released into the water then the currents may sweep them away from other mussels or may fall prey to plankton eating sea creatures. The behavioral adaptation to form mussel beds increases the organisms chances of survival by ensuring that the sperm and egg cells are at least physically close together so their chances of meeting are substantially higher. . Relate at least one of the adaptations to a “theme of biology” that is not connected to evolution. In other words, do not use either the unity or diversity of life as your theme. This adaptation can be an example the theme of emergent property of living systems with increasing complexity because it is an example of how individuals form together to create a whole that is favorable to the survival of each individual. The individuals form a complex system within the environment that increases the survival rate of each individual as well as the whole population.
Bibliography University of New Hampshire (2006, August 11). Mussels Evolve Quickly To Defend Against Invasive Crabs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 14, 2013, from http://www. sciencedaily. com/releases/2006/08/060811091251. htm This website described the mussels adaptation of hardening its shell in the presence of the Asian shore crab. The site explains the experiments scientists used to prove that the mussels were in fact evolving, and it also provided a detailed summary of the adaptation of the mussels.
Nordsieck, R. (n. d. ). Mussels and Clams (Bivalvia). The Living World of Molluscs. Retrieved April 15, 2013, from http://molluscs. at/bivalvia/index. html? /bivalvia/common_mussel. html This website provided the information on the mussels ability to tie down the predatory snails and information on the mussels behavior of forming mussels beds. It also has the information regarding how the mussel bed is favorable to the fertilization of the sperm and egg of the mussel.