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Biology Project

Published on Dec 01, 2015

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Biology Project
By: Sean Wagner

Specialist species are animals that require very unique resources. Often, these species have a very limited diet, or need a specific habitat condition to survive. Tiger salamanders are an example of specialists. They cannot reproduce unless they live in wetland habitats that do not dry out throughout the spring and summer. They also require an abundance of insects and worms for their diet.

Species that can live in many different types of environments, and have a varied diet are considered generalists. Raccoons are the classic example of a generalist species. Their range extends throughout North and Central America. They are omnivores that can thrive on many different foods, including human garbage. It is this ability to be successful in a variety of environments that has enabled the raccoon to maintain a population sizes.

A conformer is an animal that can regulate the internal environment to maintain a stable, constant condition, typically in a living organism. There are two ways in which an organism can maintain a stable internal temperature {1} By regulating their internal temperature to best suit of their needs. {2} By conforming their internal temperature to the external temperature.

Photo by zabdiel

A regulator is also known as an endotherm. A regulator uses internal control mechanisms to maintain the optimum temperature needed for its body to function. Mammals and birds are examples of regulators. They are often described as warm blooded because they maintain a constant body temperature. For example, if the climate around a regulator gets hotter, the animal can adjust its metabolism to lessen the need for heat production.

Photo by pelican

Mutualism is the way two organisms of different species exist in a relationship in which each individual benefits from the activity of the other. Similar interactions within a species are known as co-operation. Mutualism can be contrasted with interspecific competition, in which each species experiences reduced fitness, and exploitation, or parasitism, in which one species benefits at the expense of the other.

Parasitism is a relationship between two organisms where one is usually harmed and the other gets benefits from the relationship. Parasites are smaller than their host organism and can reproduce quicker, causing more damage to the host. Endoparasites live inside the host’s body and ectoparasites live on the outside of the body.

An example of commensalism: cattle egrets foraging in fields among cattle or other livestock. As cattle, horses and other livestock graze on the field, they cause movements that stir up various insects. As the insects are stirred up, the cattle egrets following the livestock catch and feed upon them. The egrets benefit from this relationship with the livestock have helped them find their meals while the livestock are typically unaffected by it.

predation is a biological interaction where a predator (an organism that is hunting) feeds on its prey (the organism that is attacked). Predators may or may not kill their prey prior to feeding on them, but the act of predation often results in the death of its prey and the eventual absorption of the prey's tissue through consumption. Thus predation is often, though not always, carnivory.

Photo by cliff1066™

Populations of animals are controlled by many factors. Natural selection is a broad term that describes one effect of these controls on population. For example, one form of population control that can result in competition for survival.

The End