Various scientists such as Malthus, Lamarck, and Darwin have managed to influence the field of biology through their discoveries. Biological processes have been used over the years to explain the different phenomena occurring on the earth including the emergence of different organisms, water movement processes such osmosis and diffusion, and change in the physiology of different plant and animal species. In the article, Seven Skeletons and a Feather: The Mysteries of Archaeopteryx, the key biological processes identified include taxonomy and evolution which have been used to explain the existence of different specimens.
The article introduces taxonomy as a significant biological aspect to explain the existence Archaeopteryx. The process entails classification of organisms in relation to their taxonomic names. Each organism is given two scientific names, generic and specific, in process referred to as binomial nomenclature. The generic name may refer to a specific species or different species that are closely related. In the article, the specimen that Ostrom discovers in the museum is referred to as Archaeopteryx, which is a generic name of a bird species. He decides to the name the discovered bird Archaeopteryx lithographica. From this classification it is clear that there is a formula in naming species. First, both the names must be written in italic and are written separately. The first (generic) name is capitalized while the second (specific) name starts with a small letter.
The taxonomic process also entails grouping organisms in terms of their physical features. Different animal classifications such as mammalia, reptilia, and arthropoda are doe according to the physical features of the organisms; for instance, insects (arthropoda) have specific features: possessing bilateral symmetry, having segmented bodies, and possess exoskeletons. In the article, different scientists try to relate the unique species identified with other organism. For instance, Huxley relates the organism with a dinosaur, Compsognathus, since it has seven skeletons and one feather. Ostrom believes that the same species is a bird since it can fly. It is thus clear that taxonomy consider the features of organisms.
The process of evolution among organisms has also been highlighted in the article. Different organisms have transitioned over the years due to various factors including environmental and genetic influences. The author explains the process of bird flights by use of ground-up ad tree-down hypotheses in an attempt to explore the existence Archaeopteryx. The identified organism is suggested to have evolved four times: it was first an insect, then it evolve to pterodactyl ancestors, then later a bird, and finally a mammal. This is a tree-down approach. The evolution process is used to justify why the species has wings yet it possesses seven skeletons like the reptilians.
In summary, the article highlights different aspects of biological processes which tend to explain the existence of Archaeopteryx discovered by Ostrom. The first one is taxonomy which involves classification of organism in reference to the species group they belong. Taxonomic names are always in two: generic and specific, with both being written in italics and separated. The article also reveals that different classifications are done in reference to the physical features resemblance among species. The more similar organisms are, the higher chances of them placed in one species group. Evolution process has also been highlighted in the article. The Archaeopteryx species identified is claimed to have evolved from an insect into a dinosaur.
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