Vertebrates: Structures and Functions (Biological Systems in Vertebrates)
Structures and Functions Series: Biological Systems in Vertebrates. Click to have a closer look. About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles. About this book The book describes the diversity of various vertebrate groups, ranging from the oldest living fishes to the relatively more recent groups to evolve such as mammals, and their features. Contents General Introduction to the Study of Vertebrates. Diversity, Distribution and Characteristics of Vertebrates.
Organization of the Vertebrate Body. Nervous System and Endocrine Organs. Customer Reviews Review this book. Great Transformations in Vertebrate Evolution. Chordate Origins and Evolution. Given the responsiveness of the developing avian skeleton to mechanical forces, it is plausible that many bird-specific skeletal innovations reflect the presence of large skeletal muscles in this group, particularly in comparison with related taxa such as lizards or mammals.
Depending on whether a bird is flightless or volant, a runner or swimmer, it will have either hyperplastic thigh muscles, breast muscles, or both. Despite the broad morphological diversity of the birds, the presence of large depots of skeletal muscle in either or both the anterior and posterior body regions is a unifying motif across all the specialized avian orders. Was the evolution of these massive muscles a coordinated response to the same selective forces that led to the reshaping of the avian skeleton?
If so, why did it occur independently, and to very different functional effects, in the anterior and posterior locomotor modules? Here, whole-organism physiology, in conjunction with phylogenomics, provides an alternative solution to this problem, in which skeletal muscles were under directional selective pressure, driven by the internal requirements of the organism, to increase in size.
The reasoning is as follows: Mammals branched off first. Among several specializations contributing to their body heat generation was the recruitment of an ancient, nuclear gene-encoded mitochondrial protein, uncoupling protein-1 UCP1 , into cold-induced physiological pathways in mammal-specific thermogenic brown and beige adipose tissues Wu et al.
UCP1 causes leakage of the inner mitochondrial membrane, generating heat by uncoupling oxidative phosphorylation. The gene UCP1 is absent in birds and non-avian reptiles, including turtles Mezentseva et al. Because the common ancestor of sauropsids and mammals probably had an intact thermogenic fat programme Mezentseva et al.
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The loss of UCP1 would have presented these animals with a crisis. Some descendents adopted a poikilothermic physiology, giving rise to modern non-avian reptiles. Birds, however, retained a capacity for endothermy and, ultimately, homeothermy. Avian skeletal muscles eventually evolved a number of biochemical and physiological specializations for heat generation Newman et al. Initially, however, in the population of UCP1 -lacking sauropsid ancestors which eventually produced the birds, possibly enlarged skeletal muscles and, more certainly, muscle hyperplasia driven by selection for enhanced thermogenesis over the course of subsequent evolution permitted these animals to thrive as endotherms in increasingly colder venues, albeit with unique muscle-laden anatomies.
The massive thigh and pectoral muscles would have forced the acquisition of bipedality in some groups and facilitated the capability for swimming and flight in others Newman, Concomitant with its aforementioned role in generating an array of opportunistically recruited skeletal novelties, hyperplastic skeletal musculature enabled birds to overcome the genetic deficit incurred by the loss of UCP1 in their ancestors to become the most species-rich and ecologically diverse class of land vertebrates. I have reviewed the involvement of dynamical, condition-dependent i. My main goal was to examine the roles of these mechanisms and processes in the evolutionary origination and transformation of certain structural features of these body plans.
Biological Systems in Vertebrates
However, as the morphological determinants of fossil forms are outside the realm of experimentation, and it is well-accepted that present-day vertebrates are descendents of organisms that bore the same or similar features hundreds of millions of years ago, it is inevitable that the origination question would be addressed from the perspective of the developmental biology of present-day organisms. The developmental processes discussed pertain to multiple levels of structural organization in vertebrate bodies and draw on a variety of biophysical effects that up until recently have figured more prominently in the physiological than the anatomical sciences.
Somitogenesis, a process common to all vertebrate organisms that is in fact responsible for their defining character, was seen to involve intracellular biochemical oscillations and their synchronization across multicellular domains. Finally, the physiology of temperature regulation and, more particularly, its compromise in the UCP1 -lacking lineage of amniotes that ultimately gave rise to birds were seen to exert an indirect but decisive effect on the unique body plan of the avian vertebrate class.
Although the use of physiological concepts in an evo—devo consideration of body plan origination seems uncontroversial, the conclusions of such analyses can conflict with standard notions of how evolution of form has occurred.
Vertebrates: Structures and Functions
As physiological mechanisms are generally responsive to external conditions, extending them beyond their traditional roles in the homeostasis and facultative functioning of the postnatal organism to embryonic development raises the spectre of environmental plasticity and the inheritance of acquired characteristics West-Eberhard, By the mechanisms described here, morphological novelties can potentially arise in the space of one or a few generations, particularly in forms that are not extensively canalized e.
Lastly, the speculation that the loss of a uniquely important gene a usually fatal occurrence in the neo-Darwinian narrative could actually predispose a lineage to mobilize pre-existing physiological functions to eke out bare survival, and then undergo biochemical and morphological evolution driven by the need to compensate for a function deficit, invokes two taboos of the standard model: Concerning the latter, once we acknowledge the existence of a set of heritable mechanisms for morphological change that operate independently of incremental adaptive advantage, the complementary Modern Synthesis notion of a prohibition against deviation can be strongly questioned.
As has been long maintained by Richard Lewontin and eloquently asserted, with newer evidence, by Patrick Bateson The organism can do a great deal to create an environment to which it is best suited. In his famous monograph on the history of biological thought, Ernst Mayr asserted: This challenge does not outright abolish gradualist natural selection, but it does relegate it to a role in the fine-tuning and refining of heritable modifications that arise by other, often physiologically based, means. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List J Physiol v.
Published online May 8. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Received Jan 18; Accepted Mar This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.
Vertebrate Structure and Function ( Read ) | Biology | CK Foundation
Abstract The most widely accepted model of evolutionary change, the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis, is based on the gradualism of Darwin and Wallace. Introduction Form and function are usually considered complementary but distinct aspects of living systems. Dynamical innovation of vertebrate form: Thermogenesis in the origination of the avian body plan After the emergence of the vertebrates animals with segmented backbones , the tetrapods vertebrates with paired limbs and the amniotes tetrapods that develop in an intra-egg sac , the possibility of further body plan innovation was still not exhausted.
Discussion I have reviewed the involvement of dynamical, condition-dependent i. Additional information Competing interests None declared. Cambridge; New York, NY: Cambridge University Press; Cortical oscillations and sensory predictions. New thinking about biological evolution. Biol J Linn Soc Lond.
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Materials for the Study of Sariation. Bateson W, Bateson B. Bhat R, Newman SA. Nongenetic inheritance and the evolution of costly female preference. From DNA to Diversity: Molecular Genetics and the Evolution of Animal Design. Experimental evidence of a sustained standing Turing-type nonequilibrium chemical pattern. One-dimensional modelling of pulse wave propagation in human airway bifurcations in space-time variables.
A clock and wavefront model for control of the number of repeated structures during animal morphogenesis. The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication. Somites without a clock. Parental olfactory experience influences behavior and neural structure in subsequent generations. Eldredge N, Gould SJ. The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection.
Forgacs G, Newman SA. Biological Physics of the Developing Embryo. Control of vertebral number in teleosts — an embryological problem. Gatesy S, Dial K.
Locomotor modules and the evolution of avian flight. Gierer A, Meinhardt H. A theory of biological pattern formation. Modeling the morphodynamic galectin patterning network of the developing avian limb skeleton.
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Biochemical Oscillations and Cellular Rhythms: Control of segment number in vertebrate embryos. London; New York, NY: Toggle navigation Additional Book Information. Description Table of Contents. Summary Describing the diversity and features of various vertebrate groups, ranging from the oldest living fishes to the relatively more recent evolution of mammals, this book covers anatomical systems including organs and tissues, as well as their function and differentiation in various vertebrate groups.
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