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A Resourceful Menu.doc

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BIOL 1902
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BIOL 1902 VMiranda DayChapter 3 A Resourceful MenuPlants convert phosphorus calcium nitrogen and other raw materials into carbohydrates amino acids and other products of photosynthesis and the result of those efforts is exploited by many animals Ingestion Herbivorythe eating of plantsThe tissues of plants are full of tough digestibility reducers such as cellulose and hemicellulose strong deterrents for any animal looking for a meal In fact if it were not for fungi bacteria and other microbes most animals could never enjoy a green menu because they cannot produce the enzymes necessary for the breakdown and digestion of a plants structural components However microbes can manufacture those enzymescellulose hemicellulase and ligninaseand when they eat organic material microbes help detoxify and physically weaken the tissues They also liberate some of the essential elements such as nitrogen and phosphorus that are locked up in the plant By the time detrivores ingest a meal it has already undergone microbial conditioning and because the plant material still contains microbes the animals get a free protein supplement Filter feedersforego the effort of expending energy when gaining access to food supply Clams for example sit at the bottom of shallowbodied lakes and rivers and draw in water through their intake siphons which are lined by hairlike cilia that create the incoming currents Inside the clam a mucous net removes the waters organic cargo moving it into the stomach and the water is sent out the excurrent siphon Other examples black fly larvae caddisfly larvae fresh water spongesPuddle ducks are a mammalian example of a filter feeder These ducks have large flat bills that act as sieves They scoop material from the bottom with their heads submerged and bums sticking into the air Edible particles are strained from the water as it passes through the comblike lamellae lining the inside edges of the bill Sap and NectarTwo liquids serving very different roles in plants require special mouthparts for their extraction Spittlebugs Aphids and other sucking bugs have two pairs of styletsone made of modified mandiblesthat when pressed together form a thin spear that penetrates the liquidtransporting sieve tubes of a plant While some sucking may be necessary the pressure of the sugarrich phloem sap can be sufficient to force it up the tube and into the bugs mouth Plants of course do not like having their phloem tubes punctured and so normally plug the hole right away but to keep the fluid flowing sucking bugs release antiblocking chemicals with their saliva As sap on its own doesnt contain sufficient nutrition insects obtain the missing protein by digesting symbiotic microbes that live in their gut Nectar not sap is the preferred food of most butterflies and moths The sweet sugar water which can vary in its blend and concentration of sugars is sucked up through a long proboscis which comprises two galeae projections of the maxilla that uncoil to probe deeply into floral blooms Humming birds also drink nectar by first inserting their long bill into the spur of a flower Then the even longer bifid tongue is extended well beyond its tip by a marvellous piece of equipment called the hyoid horns hyoid process Once immersed in nectar the tongues forked tip separates the fringe of lamellae that line each fork uncurl The modified teeth of mammalian herbivores are analogous to the mandibles of insects and the radula of slugs they serve to tear apart plant tissues Leaf Miner An insect larva ex Caterpillar that eats the tissue between a leafs membranes creating blotches or meandering tunnels or mines in the process
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