Evolution Of The American Museum Of Natural History Essay

Evolution Of The American Museum Of Natural History Essay

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The Tardigrade multicellular microscopic organism is found almost anywhere. The Tardigrade is able to survive temperatures as cold as negative 300˙F and “atmospheric pressure 600 times that of the surface of the Earth” (Dean, “The Tardigrade: Practically, Invisible, Indestructible ‘Water Bears’). Unfortunately, it only has a lifespan of about one year. Every day, scientists obtain new information on how the Tardigrade evolved and what its ancestors might have been like. When scientists sent Tardigrades into space and two-thirds survived, they learned that the Tardigrade can be destroyed. In fact, scientists from the American Museum of Natural History have gained more information about the Tardigrade’s lineage. The new information shows the Tardigrade evolved through natural selection to change colors and have hooks on its feet because of predation and heavy raindrops. The common ancestors of the Tardigrade that perished are explained in a chart that scientists made that is similar to Carl Linnaeus’ “Species Plantarum” and explains how the Tardigrade is the only survivor in its lineage.
Dziadek is an ancestor of the Tardigrade. Johnathan Dream, a paleontologist that mainly studies microorganism fossils, recently became attracted to finding a fossil record for the Tardigrade’s ancestors. In the tropical forest of Southeast Asia, Dream found many fossils of the microscopic Dziadek. Alongside the fossils of the Dziadek, Dream found a fossil of an ameba that eats other microorganisms and is still around today, called Chasseur. The prey Chasseur hunts consists of brightly colored microorganisms because the microorganism Chasseur is only capable sensing bright colored microorganisms. Dream was able to find out the color of the microorg...


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...o see it. Darwin’s theory of natural selection states organisms that have favorable traits survive and the organisms that don’t have favorable traits do not survive. The gray Dziadek could not leave the rain forest of Southeast Asia because they had no protection from huge raindrops that knocked them off trees. Over generations the gray Dziadek grew longer and stronger hooks to stay connected to the trees. Darwin’s theory of natural selection also states organisms’ structure evolves an organism to allows it to better survive in that area. Scientists created a chart to map out the lineage of the Tardigrade. The chart mapped out certain traits that scientist knew evolved from distant relatives of the Tardigrade. It would be interesting if humans could uncover how the Tardigrade evolved and encompass the traits that allowed Tardigrades to survive such harsh conditions.

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