Essay The Biology and Diversity of Extant Reptiles

Essay The Biology and Diversity of Extant Reptiles

Length: 1622 words (4.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Biology and Diversity of Extant Reptiles

The word reptile itself does not describe a monophyletic group of
vertebrates, like the mammals or birds. It is used to classify a
polyphyletic group of animals that are a subset of the larger group of
Amniotes. The term is best described through a cladogram: [IMAGE]

The reptiles first appeared in the early Carboniferous, having evolved
from labyrinthodont amphibians. They had several distinct advantages
over the amphibians that allowed them to flourish during the cold, dry
Permian period. These lead them to be the most successful group of
vertebrates and this period was referred to as the "age of reptiles."
They exploited all terrestrial niches, a few marine and even one group
took to the air. No other group of vertebrates had ever displayed such
diversity and mammals today are their only match. They were the first
group of tetrapods to successfully overcome the major problems of
terrestrial life, namely desiccation, thermoregulation and

Adaptations to withstand desiccation

Unlike amphibians reptiles are able to tolerate dryer conditions and
avoid desiccation. This allowed them to exploit more niches and
therefore achieve greater radiation. They did this in a number of
ways: 1 Skin. Reptilian skin is impermeable to water due to its unique
structure. It has a thick dermis and a thick epidermis. The relative
thickness of these layers helps somewhat in water conservation but it
is the components of the epidermis that make the skin waterproof. See
diagram: The α-keratin makes up the lower layer and is softer and more

... middle of paper ...

...whilst it is on land, something like a suspension bridge. Unlike the
chelonia, crocodiles do show a great deal of parental care, they build
and guard nests, help their young to hatch and acre for their young in
nursery pools for several weeks after hatching.Summary

As seen from this essay the diversity and subsequent biology of
reptiles is very wide and encompasses many niches. However reptiles
today are nowhere near as prolific as they were in the Mesozoic era
where they ruled the earth and exploited hundreds, if not thousands,
more niches. The real diversity and biology of reptiles was seen about
60 million years ago, before the mammals got a hold. But the only way
to investigate that is through the fossil record and that will never
give us all the information needed to draw a complete picture of
reptile diversity.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Diversity: The Ethical Choice

- The United States is one of the most diverse nations on the earth, originally conceived so, and often described as a great melting pot, as “all nations are melted into a new race of man, whose labours and posterity will one day cause great changes in the world” (St. John de Crèvecoeur, 1782). Yet, despite the country’s diverse population, the workplace remains a place of inequality as women and minorities continue to earn less than their white male counterparts (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011; U.S....   [tags: Diversity ]

Strong Essays
1397 words (4 pages)

Diversity in the Workplace Essay

- Introduction As a general statement diversity refers to the prevention of discrimination in conjunction with the improvement of equality. It’s about valuing differences and inclusion; this is the act of spanning such areas as ethnicity, age, race, culture, sexual orientation, physical disability and religious beliefs. In a global marketplace diversity is theorised as a corporation that employs a diverse workforce in that includes both genders, people of many generations and those from ethnically and racially diverse backgrounds....   [tags: Racial Diversity, Ethnic Diversity]

Strong Essays
1460 words (4.2 pages)

Essay on Biology: Biome and DNA Identification Process

- DNA forensics is a division of forensic science that focuses on the use of genetic material in criminal investigation to answer questions pertaining to legal situations, including criminal and civil cases. Through DNA testing, law enforcement officers are able to identify human remains or the individual responsible for a crime. DNA testing is a highly advanced scientific process that involves replicating the human DNA sequence to create a genetic map of an individual. Because of its reliability, DNA testing has become a significant factor in criminal cases....   [tags: biological diversity, forensics, dna testing]

Strong Essays
1778 words (5.1 pages)

Practical Applications of Evolutionary Biology Essay

- Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace's concept of natural selection and descent with modification helped shape the theory of evolution which holds as much weight as the theory of relativity per se. Evolutionary biology is the science devoted to understanding how populations change through time in response to modifications of their environment and how new species come into being by studying adaptation and diversity (Freeman and Herron 2004). Evolutionary biology has proved that all organisms have evolved from a common ancestor over the last 3.5 billion years....   [tags: Biology]

Strong Essays
1498 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on Diversity in the Workplace

- Diversity in the workplace is a subject that has gained increased attention in the workplace over the past few years. After all, the impact of affirmative action and equal employment opportunity programs on the nation's work force is undeniable. Women and minorities were the first to dramatically alter the face of the economic mainstream, while gays, persons with disabilities and senior citizens followed not far behind. The result is a diverse American labor force representing a microcosm of our society - yet one that continues to struggle with its identity....   [tags: Racial Diversity, Ethnic Diversity]

Strong Essays
1261 words (3.6 pages)

Six Marine Biology Films Essay

- Summary of Films Film # 1 is called The Open Ocean. In this film, the author takes a look at the pacific. It says that the Mariana Trench (7 miles deep) is the deepest place on earth. The highest mountains of the world are located there. In shallower waters, there is much life. Photosynthetic organisms are the basis of all life in the sea. Also, some animals such as the sea anemones and the sea cucumbers allow currents to carry particles to them, and some creature pulse to deliver oxygen to their bodies, an example could be the coral polyps....   [tags: Marine Biology]

Free Essays
1006 words (2.9 pages)

Supporting Diversity Essay

- Supporting Diversity “Without awareness and knowledge of gender, race, culture, and ethnicity, therapists and other helping professionals could unwittingly engage in cultural oppression (A. Dunklin, Ph.D., personal communication, October, 2009). Dr. Dunklin is accurate in his statement. After surviving the destruction of the Third Reich, the civil rights’ movement of the 1960s and the women’s movement of the 1970s, it is hard to understand why the need for diversity still has to be discussed except that as a society, we are infants when dealing with diversity issues....   [tags: Diversity]

Strong Essays
2637 words (7.5 pages)

Biology Essay

- Biology is the science of living systems. It is inherently interdisciplinary, requiring knowledge of the physical sciences and mathematics, although specialities may be oriented toward a group of organisms or a level of organization. BOTANY is concerned with plant life, ZOOLOGY with animal life, algology with ALGAE, MYCOLOGY with fungi, MICROBIOLOGY with microorganisms such as protozoa and bacteria, CYTOLOGY with CELLS, and so on. All biological specialties, however, are concerned with life and its characteristics....   [tags: Biology]

Free Essays
2806 words (8 pages)

Reptiles Essay

- Reptiles are vertebrate, or backboned animals constituting the class Reptilia and are characterized by a combination of features, none of which alone could separate all reptiles from all other animals.The characteristics of reptiles are numerous, therefore can not be explained in great detail in this report. In no special order, the characteristics of reptiles are: cold-bloodedness; the presence of lungs; direct development, without larval forms as in amphibians; a dry skin with scales but not feathers or hair; an amniote egg; internal fertilization; a three or four-chambered heart; two aortic arches (blood vessels) carrying blood from the heart to the body, unlike mammals and birds that on...   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1082 words (3.1 pages)

Biology Essay

- Biology 1. The virus is made up of five parts and is in the size range of 10 nm-300 nm in diameter. The first is the coat made up of protein that protects the virus to a point. Next is the head that contains the genetic material for the virus. The genetic material for a virus is DNA. The two other parts are the tail sheath and the tail fibers that are used for odd jobs. I believe that a virus is not considered to be a living creature due to the fact it is a parasitic reproducer. To me it is just like ripping up a piece of paper because it is still the same thing and it isn't carrying out any other function besides reproduction....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1215 words (3.5 pages)