Antibiotic Resistance

Source: imagesCA1GBIZ1 http://www.scq.ubc.ca/attack-of-the-superbugs-antibiotic-resistance/

Source: imagesCA1GBIZ1
http://www.scq.ubc.ca/attack-of-the-superbugs-antibiotic-resistance/

Throughout the past century, the world’s advance in medicine has grown exponentially. From the discovery of insulin in the University of Toronto to treat diabetis to the use of antibiotics, the advance in medicine has been great. However, there are problems involved with this increase in technology. As we use these antimicrobials to heal ourselves, these diseases, caused by elements such as bacteria, start evolving to resist our medication, which is called antimicrobial resistance. Thus, making us keep to date in our vaccinations and medicine. The antimicrobial resistance in bacteria is called antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance is a serious and growing phenomenon in medicine and has emerged as one of the pre-eminent public health concerns of the 21st century.

 

Antibiotic resistance is a genre of antimicrobial resistance that is specific to bacteria. It is the resistance of bacteria to antibiotic medicine (whose purpose was to kill that bacterium). This causes the standard treatments to render ineffective and these bacteria continue to spread throughout the body.  The evolution of these bacteria is a phenomenon due to their rapidity to develop this resistance against the drugs. This unfortunate reality forces us to take precautions when using antibiotics.

 

Antibiotic resistance dominantly occurs through the misuse of prescribed drugs. After the doctor gives the patient the drugs, the patient takes them until he feels better, not necessarily until the prescription is finished. However, if the patient does not finish the prescription, the bacteria evolve and develop resistance to the drug making them stronger. These bacteria may then spread again in the body with this new resistant trait or it may transfer into another body. Another cause of antibiotic resistance is irresponsible use of the drugs towards animals. During animal husbandry (the process in which animals are farmed for their food), animals are given antibiotics to make sure that they pass health regulations before slaughtering. If the bacteria in animals are able to develop to resist the drug, those bacteria may pass into humans, when we eat the raw meat, with the same resistance as in the animals which makes it harder to treat in humans. Those newly resistant bacteria may also start killing cattle and make farmers lose money.

 

Antibiotic resistance could be avoided through responsible use of drugs. If people finish the medication in their prescription, they would have gotten rid of the bacteria and they wouldn’t have gotten the chance to evolve and become resistant. Also, doctors shouldn’t prescribe antibiotics if the patients have a cough or something that is not proved to be bacterial because the antibiotics would not affect viruses and any bacteria mildly contacted by the antibiotics could develop resistance to that drug. By following these procedures, the amount of antibiotic resistant bacteria is lowered.

 

In Fiji, there is a problem featuring Shigellosis because it had developed resistance to its antibiotics. Doctors were giving patients antibiotics such as Ampicillin while the bacteria had not yet been severe so those antibiotics had little effects and Shigellosis developed resistance to those antibiotics. Now, in Fiji, doctors may only prescribe antibiotics if the case is moderate to severe.

 

shigellosis_stl

Shigellosis bacteria
Source: http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/intro/bio-shigellosis-pics.htm

Antibiotic resistance is a phenomenon that is affecting our world significantly. It is hard to believe how bacteria could evolve so fast to be able to survive our antibiotics; it is a perfect example of Darwin’s theory of evolution- the need to evolve to survive. However, with proper use and care, antibiotic resistance could be significantly lowered with the help of doctors and patients alike to ensuring the health of the world’s population.

 

 

 

 

Ecosystem Restoration Project

Picture1

In our travel through Fiji we experienced a great deal of damaged ecosystems and people trying to help to restore them. These trips included seeing the selective-cut forests to preserve trees during Epi`s tour, the coral restoration projects that we took part in, and a few others. This experience taught us the importance of maintaining a stable ecosystem and preserving its biodiversity.

Biodiversity is the variation of life on Earth. All the animals, plants, bacteria, and all other living things give Earth this marvelous quality. Biodiversity is vital for Earth to flourish and humans to survive. It gives our world a unique feature. Since biodiversity gives us the ability to survive, it is crucial for humans to protect the ecosystems of our world so that this feature lives on.

Biodiversity is important for all living things. The more biodiversity there is, the higher the chance that all organisms will live, it increases stability in the food chain and it gives all organisms a chance of survival. The restoration of ecosystems is crucial to the development of life on Earth. Over the past hundred years, humans have rapidly been destroying the ecosystem by cutting down trees and destroying coral reefs. This is when restoration projects are crucial. It is our duty to fix the problems that we have created. Ecosystem restoration projects are initiatives to reconstruct the ecosystem that has been destroyed.

Throughout our travels in Fiji, we have come to the realization on the importance of the ecosystem in coral reefs. They are a crucial part of the ecosystem in the ocean, making up over 25% of the biodiversity, because they are home to thousands of species of ocean life such as goru fish (my favourite because he tried to eat me), sea cucumbers, starfish, and many more. These corals are a major part of Earth`s biodiversity and we should treat it with respect. Apart from being the home of so many species, they provide humans with tourism opportunities, fishing, and research opportunities. In our travels we have come closer to these biodiverse ecosystems and we accept that we must help them in every way possible. That is why we participated in the coral replantation project at Votua Village. This is a coral replantation project that is available for tourists to help restore that wonderful ecosystem.

Another ecosystem restoration project that is taking place in Fiji is the Development of sustainable wastewater treatment systems and water supplies for coastal Fijian villages program. This initiative is supported by the University of South Pacific, Research Education Conservation, and others to treat the wastewater that is leaving the houses properly and thereby protecting environmental and human health. The issue that this project is trying to combat is that poor disposal practices threaten human & environmental health.

water 'run off' from pipeline

water ‘run off’ from pipeline

This issue is dangerous to the environment because as the contaminated water runs off into the ocean, it is usually rich with nutrients. This is threatening to the oceanic ecosystems because as the nutrients run off into the water, they fertilize the algae causing it to overgrow and suffocate corals (by preventing them from seeing sunlight and taking their oxygen). These nutrients come from our waste water from sources such as urine, clothes washer water, and sink water. These liquids get contaminated with nitrogen, nitrate, phosphorous, and other elements which are excellent fertilizers for algae.

Algae suffocating coral

Algae suffocating the coral

This program’s objectives are to:

1.  Improve the health of the people as well as the rivers & reefs on which they depend for their livelihood

2. Develop, test, & demonstrate sustainable (low tech / easy to maintain) wastewater treatment solutions for Fiji & South Pacific island nations

3. Use a participatory process to:

 Ensure village needs are addressed

 Incorporate local cultural & environmental knowledge

                 Encourage “ownership” & empowerment

 Build local knowledge & capacity, including:

 Understanding how health of the environment & people are linked

                 Skills to construct manage & maintain the community’s water supply & wastewater services

I believe that this project looks prosperous because they are incorporating everyone in their goals; this means that they are allowing tourists, residents, and specialists work and be educated in this issue. With this help, the tourists are able to replant the coral that has been damaged by the water and the residents and specialist could work towards making the new corals as well as solving the waste water problems. It is also good how the program is ensuring that the village is not negatively affected by the program in any aspect (i.e. economic). I also like how the project ensures the education of tourists and residents so that people are aware on the issues affecting the corals and ecosystems in general. This could protect other ecosystems or ignite an initiative on someone to restore another ecosystem. I believe that this project could improve in terms of focusing more on environment. I believe that its goals are too human oriented instead of focusing on the environment. If the program would shift its focus on to the environment, as in finding more efficient methods for water treatments before it gets in the water and replanting corals more frequently, maybe that ecosystem would flourish more. I really like the way that the project in this district is developing and by connecting with people the process is very likely to speed up.

I see the short term projection of this project as replanting the corals that have been killed by the villagers and the reimbursement of that ecosystem. However, the long term goals seem more prosperous. Apart from the building of efficient water pipes that would prevent the spread of algae, I believe that this project does a successful job in spreading education of the protection of ecosystems and this would ultimately raise awareness and protect/restore other ecosystems worldwide. Their presentation encouraged me to take action on protecting other ecosystems.

Ecosystems are crucial for the survival of life and biodiversity on Earth. As humans, it is our duty to protect these wonderful habitats to preserve the biodiversity of Earth.

Image Sources:

Power Point From the Votua Village wastewater and coral replantation project

The Great Tiger’s Evolution

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Siberischer_tiger_de_edit02.jpg

The Great TIger Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Siberischer_tiger_de_edit02.jpg

 

Speciation has and is occurring frequently throughout our world as animals develop to be the strongest and fittest in their journey to survive. Speciation is the creation of new species as they adapt to their surroundings. The following is a made up story in a fictional island of Fiji to explain how the tiger has evolved:

 

Millions of years ago, the island of Toorututu in present day Fiji was home to the Great Tiger (Grandioso Tigeras). The island consisted of high, rocky, mountains on the west and plains on the east. The Great Tiger lived in both the Mountains and in the plains, however, during mating season in the spring, all the tigers would meet at the beach to produce their offspring and then they would return to their home, or find a new one. The Great Tiger was large. It had a yellow coat camouflage itself in the plains to sneak up on prey and it was agile to hunt in the mountains. Its hind legs were moderate in size; it was not too fast because of its agility and camouflage. It had sharp teeth because of its carnivorous behavior. In the mountains it ate mountain goats and wolves while in the plains it ate deer and elks. Back then the mountain goats and wolves had very soft meat and they were easy to digest while the deer and elk were very rough and hard to process. The Great Tiger’s bones were very dense and heavy to keep it grounded in the mountains. Its paws were also rough to prevent them from getting pierced in the sharp rocks.

 

Unfortunately, at the peak of the Great Tiger’s dominance of Toorututu there was a great earthquake that divided the island. The mountains and the plains were pushed apart and the Great Tiger population was also divided with almost equal populations on each island. The rocky island was named Oneoorututu while the plains island was called singloorututu. The tiger suffered from overwhelming shock. Fortunately, after many years the tigers became accustomed to their new habitats and, despite the odds, they were able to evolve into the thriving species they are today.

 

In the mountains, after millions of years, the ‘Great Tiger’ developed new features which helped it to better thrive in its environment. This new tiger, which is now known as the Rocky Tiger (Piedreas Tigerias), adapted to mate in the summer, the period between December and February, so that it is does not mate in the harsh winter conditions (because of the altitude). This tiger also shrunk in size while keeping its bones dense and heavy to add agility and stability to the tiger. Over the years it had also developed a new grey colour to allow it to camouflage with the environment and add to its hunting capability. Although its diet remained the same, wolves and mountain goats, its teeth dulled and its stomach lining became softer because of its prey’s soft meat.

 

On the other hand, the tiger that evolved in the plains, now known as the ‘Plain Tiger’ (Plano Tigerias) changed differently because of its distinct environment. This tiger, although the same size as the Great Tiger, would have huge hind legs and a slim body to be able to run faster and be able to hunt its prey with a greater capability, this would happen at the price of a lower agility capability. Its bones also became less dense and the paws became softer to be able to run faster. Its teeth also became harder and sharper to eat the prey easier. The stomach lining became very rough to be able to process the meat better. THE END.

 

In this story it is evident how animals have to adapt to their environment to survive. In the original island, the Great Tiger showed that it had the general characteristics to survive in both habitats; however, they were very general so it did not flourish in any of the two to meet its greater potential. After the earthquake, the tiger showed a noticeable change of habits as its habitat split. As the tigers reproduced, mutations occurred in their DNA to allow it to establish into its environment. The Plain Tiger did not need many of the characteristics that evolved in the Mountain Tiger and vice versa. Both tigers evolved to meet the needs that speciation is vital for the survival their new habitat. If the animals lived on contrary islands it would be hard for them to survive. The separation of the tigers from each other is called ecological isolation and since the Plain Tiger and the Mountain Tiger were not able to reproduce because of their location they evolved into two different species.

Lactose Intolerance in Fiji

 

Source: http://happyherbivore.com/2013/07/what-is-lactose-intolerance-plant-based-vegan/

Source: http://happyherbivore.com/2013/07/what-is-lactose-intolerance-plant-based-vegan/

Throughout our travels in Fiji, we have come along completely distinct cultures. Through these adventures we have come to appreciate the ways that these cultures interact with each other as well as learning the ways that these cultures are distinct from us. We have had the opportunity throughout this trip to experience this new culture and practice some of their methods such as getting “accepted into a tribe`s area”. To go more in depth, I have the chance to research the evolution of lactose intolerance in the two main cultural groups of Fiji, the Indo-Fijians and the native Fijians.

 

In today’s society, the majority of adults in the world are intolerant to lactose. Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest milk or milk products because they contain lactose. Lactose is a sugar in the milk. It is digested in the small intestine through lactate enzymes which break down the lactose molecules into other sugars (i.e. glucose) which are easier to digest. However, lactose intolerance occurs when lactose is not completely broken down in the intestines and the glucose level does not rise. This may cause discomfort with symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating gas, or throwing up.

 

It was reported through a study conducted by Reddy and Pershad that 50% of Indo-Fijians were lactose intolerant while all Fijians had this condition. This difference in condition is caused through natural selection. Natural selection is a process in which species adapt to their environment. In the case of the Indo-Fijians, since they were from India with a Hindu background, they had great connection with the cow and dairy products. Part of Darwin’s theory of evolution was that species have to evolve to survive. The Indians had to adapt to drink dairy products because it was a method to avoid starvation since they had no other food. They had to adapt to drinking milk to survive. Therefore, when they came to Fiji, the Indo-Fijians brought that adaptation with them as well as their cows. As for the native Fijians, they didn’t have any cows in the country so that meant that they did not have the need to adapt to being tolerant to the milk.

 

The intolerance to lactose is created through a malfunction of the gene that inhibits the sugar lactose to be broken down through the enzyme lactase. Since the Indo-Fijians were so used to drinking milk as part of their culture, this malfunction of the gene became less evident because their body adapted into being able to produce this enzyme more effectively. On the other hand, the native Fijians did not have to adapt to this characteristic because they had not been exposed to lactose or cow milk.

 

Cultural pressures greatly influenced the development of this characteristic. The cow has been culturally and religiously significant in India. It has helped the Indians go through starvation and was therefore worshiped for the food and nutrition it gave the Indians. This pressured the Indians culturally to keep drinking cow milk and therefore has been significant in the development of the Indo-Chinese acceptance of lactose. In contrast, since the native Fijians were not exposed to milk throughout their history they had no pressure or accustom to be able to develop the ability to tolerate lactose.

 

After further examination of Fijian culture, I am able to better appreciate the country in which I am continuously learning and being able to better understand the culture and backgrounds of these people. This new knowledge helps me understand why the milk, cheese, and other dairy products taste different here.

 

 

Sources:

 

http://darwinstudents.blogspot.ca/2009/02/evolution-of-lactose-tolerance.html

 

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/12/27/168144785/an-evolutionary-whodunit-how-did-humans-develop-lactose-tolerance

 

Mealy Bugs Attacking Fiji

fiji_Mealybug-425wide

Picture source: http://pacific.scoop.co.nz/2013/04/us-customs-officials-find-destructive-bugs-in-taro-shipment-from-fiji/

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Today we had a fascinating day by visiting the Koronivia Research Station. Although we expected to find examples on various types of plant propagation, a method of reproducing plants either sexually or asexually, we came across interesting details on invasive species, ways on helping out local farmers, the examination of pigs, and other fascinating details.

 

One particularly interesting concept that I discovered while visiting this research station was the invasive species of Mealy bugs. Mealy bugs are dangerous pests that affect a wide range of plants. They are believed to have arrived in Fiji through the transport of sugar canes. They are harmful because they suck the sap out of fruits and their waste attracts a black fungus that prevents the plant from undergoing photosynthesis and it slowly kills the plants. These include native plants such as the papaya and the guava. Ways that the mealy bugs are controlled are through biological control predators such as the Green Lacewing, the ladybird beetle, and the ladybug. Mealy bugs could also be chemically controlled using isopropyl alcohol, horticultural oil, insecticidal soap, and mineral oil. It is crucial to find ways on controlling these plants to help farmers get more money out of their harvest and to help prevent starvation in smaller villages.

 

Today was an interesting day where we were able to develop our learning abilities in other ways rather than in a classroom. I learned the way that the research station helps local farmers as well as the effects of invasive species on a small island like Fiji.

Source:

Brochure from the Koronivia Research Station

Prokariotes in Fiji

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http://www2.fiu.edu/~goldberg/coralreefs/Cyanobacteria.htm

In Fiji there are many algal blooms. These colonies of algae flourish with many living creatures: Fish, plants, sharks…, but one particularly interesting single celled organism is the cyanobacteria.

The cyanobacteria is a prokaryote. A prokaryote is a single celled organism while a eukaryote is a multicellular organism. Prokaryotes mostly belong to the Bacteria and Archae kingdoms while eukaryotes belong to the remaining kingdons. The cyanobacteria is part of the Bacteria kingdom. Eukaryotes include sharks, ants, marlins, humans, etc. Since eukaryotes have many cells, they have specialized cells (i.e., red blood cells, alveoli, etc.) to carry out specific duties in the organism, in contrast, since in a prokaryote, cells are the entire organism they are unspecialized which gives them the ability to perform all of the organism’s necessities. Also, prokaryotes do not have a nucleus while eukaryotes do. Similarities between these two organisms are that their cell(s) have cell membranes, cytoplasm, DNA, and enzymes.

The Cyanobacteria lives in the ocean and flourishes around algal blooms. They are very small but they live in groups, or colonies, which makes them visible to the human eye. Cyanobacteria are one of the oldest known fossils, they are over 3.5 million years old, and they are of the most important bacteria in the world. This is because cyanobacteria provide nitrogen to the coral reef ecosystems through nitrogen fixation as well as oxygen through photosynthesis. The cyanobacteria, like all prokaryotes, do not have membrane bound organelles. Also, it has its DNA in a loop since it has no nucleus.

The cyanobacteria are photosynthetic meaning that they harvest their energy through the process of photosynthesis. This means that it has chloroplasts that transfer water and carbon dioxide, with the help of sunlight (that acts like a catalyst), into oxygen and useable energy. This energy is then used up within the cell to perform is necessities to live. When there is no sunlight it uses the process of cellular respiration by using sugar and oxygen to produce energy, water, and carbon dioxide. Cellular respiration and photosynthesis give the cell its energy needed to survive.

The cyanobacteria are interesting creatures that have a great, positive impact on the ocean’s ecosystem. They have very interesting functions and I would find it fascinating to one day see them under a microscope.

Hiking with the Kava Plant

Capture OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This Tuesday we all went to bed with the taste of wood in our mouth after eating the crushed up roots of the Fijian Kava plant. The Kava plant is a very popular Fijian species that, when food was scarce, it was used for its minerals when drunk with water. It was also very popular in poor villages where alcohol was not available and so the residents drank Kava roots to give them a drunken sensation. Epi, our tour guide, gave us a great presentation of the plant and it is an experience that few of us will ever forget.

The Kava plant, also known as Piper methysticu, is a flowering plant native to the South Pacific islands. There are twenty different species of the plant. The Kava plant is a dicot because the veins in its leaves consist of one branch with others sprouting out, as seen in the leaf picture. Also, As seen in the root picture, the Kava plant also has a main root with secondary roots sprouting out.

The taxonomic classification of this plant is:

Kingdom: Plantae

Phylum: Tracheobonita

Class: Magnoliophyta

Order: Piperales

Family: Piperaceae

Genus: Pipper L.

Species: Piper Methysicum

The plant’s anatomy consists of three parts: the leaf, the stem, the inflorescence, and the root. This useful plant has many purposes. The leaf and the stem contain ailments; however they are not consumed because they contain toxins to the liver. The stem is hard, thick, green and straight and it resembles a bamboo while the leaf is big, green, and round. The inflorescence is a flower that grows on the base of the leaf. The roots, being a dicot, are formed in a taproot system which is a main root with many sprouting out. Its roots are used for medicine and it can help treat things from asthma to fungal infections. The root also has kavalactones, which can help relieve muscle cramps, anxiety and insomnia. The root also contains anti-inflammatories which can help bladder problems, irritable prostate and other problems involving swelling. The root of the Kava plant has many substances in its composition which make it very useful to humans.

The Kava plant reproduces asexually. Since sexual reproduction does not occur in the flower, it multiplies through vegetative propagation which is the process in which meristematic cells are capable of cellular differentiation so new plants sprout from pieces of the original plant and the meristematic cells differentiate into the specialized tissues. This process occurs through each new plant forming the new colony of Kava.

The Kava plant is a vascular plant, which means that it has veins, phylum and xylem, to transport its water. For the xylem to transport the water to the leaves, it uses the process of transpiration. As the water in the leaves is used up and evaporated, the roots collect water from the soil. Being a dicot, there are little branches of roots sprouting up from the main root giving the roots a greater surface area to soak up the water through osmosis. Once the water is soaked into the roots, the process of transpiration occurs in which water is pulled up the xylem because the water molecules are polar which creates a transpiration pull making the water go up into the leaves. Once that water goes into the leaves the process repeats itself.

Since the leaves of the Kava plant have some toxic components, it has no natural predators or threats. Also, it lives in an unindustrialized region of the world so habitat loss is not a threat.

                Kava is a tropical plant so it requires warm, sunny, humid, conditions. Since the Kava grows in the rainforest, partial sunlight is sufficient for its survival. The Kava plant also requires sufficient respiration in its roots so the soil must be loose for the Kava to flourish. The Kava plant grows in tropical rainforests so it must have about 2000mm of rain annually.

                On Tuesday, we had a great, adventurous day. We discovered a great variety of plants that have many uses in Fijian, or human, society. The hike today helped me learn to better appreciate the skills of the native Fijians and the diversity of plants in the Earth.

Bibliography:

Images:

http://www.pagansworld.org/2011/08/hump-day-herbs-kava-kava/

http://www.1stchineseherbs.com/Herbal_Tea_Chinese_Bags.html

Sources:

http://www.kavaroot.com/

Interview with Epi during the Epi Tour

Comparative Anatomy of Spinner Dolphins vs. Humpback Whales

DSCF0250index

Today we went on a day trip to the Takalana Bay Resort to watch Spinner Dolphins give us an amazing show. They jumped in groups and near the end they flapped their tails to say goodbye. The Spinner Dolphin and the Humpback Whale have many similarities and differences in their anatomy.

 

The gross anatomies of the animals have many similar attributes. The Spinner Dolphin has many organs that are vital for its survival. The melon of the dolphin which is located in its head is used as a method of communication and echolocation. Echolocation works like a radar, it sends signals which bounce off solids and back to allow the dolphin to familiarize itself with its environment. The humpback whale also has a melon located above the eyes, inside the head, to serve the same purpose as that of a Spinner Dolphin.

 

The blowhole is another organ vital to the spinner dolphin. It uses the blowhole to breathe which compares to our nostrils. In contrast, the Humpback Whale has two blowholes. It breathes out through the left nostril and it inhales through the right nostril.

 

Another important feature of the dolphin is its fins. The dolphin has three fins that allows it to navigate in the ocean, these are the dorsal fin (back fin), the flipper (lower fin), and the fluke (tailfin).  These support the agility, direction, and the speed of the dolphin. The Humpback whale also has the dorsal fin and the fluke which support the direction and the speed of the whale, however, instead of a flipper, which aids the agility, the Humpback whale has pectoral fins which aid the lift of the whale.

 

The brain of the dolphin is located behind the melon and the eye and it helps store and process the information. The brain of the Humpback whale is located above the eyes and it is one of the biggest brains of a mammal in the world.  Other vital organs for these marine mammals are the liver, the pancreas, and the heart.

 

Since both of these marine animals are vertebras, the skeletal systems serve the purpose of giving the body its shape and structure. The body of the dolphin, which is structured by the bones, is long and slender giving it the capability to swim fast and have agility. The Spinner Dolphin has a bent back to allow the blow hole to surface and swim fast. Its bones have evolved to give it the skills it needs to catch prey. The humpback whale, on the other hand, is a very big animal so its bones must be structured to give the animal stability while its tail bones would give the tail the capably to swim around the ocean, with the help of its fins. The Humpback Whale also has a hunched back (hence ‘humpback’) to allow it to reach out into the air and breathe.

 

The respiratory system of the Spinner Dolphin is similar to the respiratory system of the humpback whale. In both cases, the respiratory system is voluntary which means that dolphins and whales make the decision to breathe rather than not think about it (like we do; our breathing is involuntary unless we want it to be voluntary). For the Spinner dolphin, it starts exhaling its carbon dioxide before it reaches the surface to allow it to have more time to breathe while surfaced. The Humpback Whale, on the other hand, has two blowholes and it uses on to exhale while the other inhales when the whale surfaces. For both animals, after breathing, the air goes through the larynx and it reaches the lungs.

 

The dolphin’s lungs are the average size of a land animal. However, the dolphin makes excellent use of the area in its lungs so that it reaches the full capacity of oxygen. The Spinner Dolphin’s lungs have a significantly higher concentration of alveoli, cells that put oxygen in the body and release carbon dioxide, than humans do. They also have two layers of capillaries and this is allows for a more efficient exchange of gas. The dolphins have evolved these efficient lungs to be able to hold their breath longer under water. The Humpback whale, on the other hand, has had adaptations in its evolutionary process which also gives its respiratory system unique characteristics. Like the dolphin, its blowholes both seal when it enters the water using powerful muscles above the larynx. The Humpback Whale has huge lungs with similar characteristics to those of humans to allow them to hold their breath for a long time underwater.

 

Both animals have similar ways in transporting oxygen. Spinner Dolphins have made crucial adaptations to allow it to store oxygen for a longer time. For example, the red blood cells in the dolphin, along with the amount of hemoglobin (the oxygen carrying organelle) in the cells, allow the blood to carry a significant amount of oxygen. Also, there is hemoglobin found in the cells of the muscle tissue which allows oxygen to be ready for the muscles at any time. Humpback whales have similar characteristics in storing oxygen. However, they must carry oxygen throughout a greater surface area so they have a larger heart.

 

Today the spinner dolphins gave us an incredible show to show us their loving and compassionate attitude towards humans. After further research of the Humpback whale, I hope to be able to see them to appreciate their beauty in nature. The Spinner Dolphin and the Humpback whale are fascinating creatures that humans must learn to better appreciate.

Monocot vs Dicot

DSCF0133   DSCF0179

 

Today in the botanical gardens of Fiji, otherwise known as the Thurston Gardens, we came across interesting species of monocots and dicots. The picture of the white plant above, known as the White Tendril, resembles a monocot because, as shown in the picture, there are six pedals (a multiple of three) and as seen on a lower leaf of the plant the veins are parallel. Looking at the plant I was able to identify these features allowing me to come up with the conclusions that it is a monocot. Also, features that are not evident in the photo which would be in a monocot are fibrous roots, the vascular bundles would be scattered in the stem, its pollen would contain one pore, and its seeds would contain one cotyledon.

 

We also saw an example of a dicot. The pink flower shows evidence of a dicot because it has ten pedals (two are seen slightly showing behind two other pedals) which is a multiple of five. I was also able to identify the plant by looking at how its leaf’s veins were laid out: there was a main vain crossing the center with other, smaller, veins branching out. Other features of a dicot that cannot be seen are that the seeds would have two cotyledons, the root is mainly a primary root with smaller ones sprouting from it, the vascular tissues of the plant are arranged in a ring, and the pollen has three pores. In the Thurston Gardens we were able to experience the classification of two different types of plants in a small variety of species.

 

Bibliography:

 

http://theseedsite.co.uk/monocots2.html

 

www.diffen.com/difference/dicot vs monocot

 

http://lifeofplant.blogspot

 

http://crescentok.com/staff/jaskew/ISR/botzo/modrait.htm