Vertebrate Adaptions for Terrestrial Life Essay

611 Words3 Pages
Vertebrate Adaptions For Terrestrial Life

AP-Biology Essay on vertebrate structural adaptations for terrestrial life.

The problems of survival of animals on land are very different from those of survival of animals in aquatic environment. Describe four problems associated with animal survival in terrestrial environments but not in aquatic environments. For each problem, explain a physiological of structural solution.

Four problems faced by animals on land are breathing (respiration), water conservation in excretions, successful reproduction, and the producing an egg which can survive outside of the water.

All animals need to respire, but I have no idea why. Maybe you would like to answer that? Aquatic
…show more content…
One way we do this is through our excretions.
Nitrogen forms a major waste product in animals. When amino acids and nucleic acids are broken down, they release toxic ammonia (NH3). To rid the body of this toxin, several mechanisms have evolved, each appropriate to the habitat or survival of the animal. Aquatic animals secrete NH3 directly into the surrounding water. Land animals cannot do this because of the toxicity of NH3.
Instead, NH3 is converted into urea in our livers. Urea is significantly less toxic than NH3, and thus requires less water to excrete in the urine. The reason we need the water to excrete this is because the water is needed to dilute the urea (or NH3 if we did excrete it in that form), in order to make it less toxic.
Birds excrete ammonia in the form of uric acid, that’s what they’re always dropping on our heads. Those mangy little rats with wings… have you ever wondered why we let those little pests run free in the cities, but we wont let dogs and cats free, even though most people consider the birds more of a nuisance? I didn’t think so, anyways:

A third adaptation to terrestrial life is internal fertilization. In aquatic animals, many eggs are laid, usually allowing the water, and chance to fertilize the eggs. We can’t do this on land, because the eggs and sperm would dry out, and would stay in the same place, unless they could walk (he he he). To solve this problem, we have developed a system of internal fertilization.

More about Vertebrate Adaptions for Terrestrial Life Essay

Get Access