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Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892
Textbook Problem

Apply Evolutionary Thinking Humans produce urea as an excretion product, whereas reptiles and birds produce uric acid. Indeed, human kidneys are not as efficient as those of reptiles and birds. What does this mean in an evolutionary sense?

Summary Introduction

To review:

The evolutionary significance of different excretory products in humans, reptiles, and birds.

Introduction:

Humans produce urea as an excretory product through their kidneys, whereas reptiles and birds produce uric acid. In reptiles and birds, excretion of uric acid is an evolutionary adaptation to conserve water.

Explanation

Humans and other mammals who have a sufficient, but not always a plentiful, supply of water release the toxic ammonia from their system through urea. Urea is a soluble but relatively nontoxic by-product of tubular filtration in the kidneys, which can be readily excreted...

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