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Animal anatomy, the purpose of structure, Part 1

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The anatomy of animals is varied and has evolved to meet the needs of each species to survive. The differences on the inside might be more subtle than how each look on the outside.

The head has developed to enable the animal to live in its environment. Some have large heads some have odd shaped heads but all have a purpose.

The elephant has large ears to cool there enormous body and give them acute hearing. They have grown a very long nose, a trunk equipped with two appendages, which allows them to pick up objects as small as a blade of grass or pull up a tree from its roots with its trunk.

The cetacean family has a head that allows them to breath without pulling their entire head out of the water. Their nose is located on the top of their heads called a blow hole. The shape of the head is aerodynamic to easily cut through water. The hammerhead shark has a unique head structure with eyes placed at the end of the appendage jutting out at each side at the tip of the head.

The neck of animals is also varied. This allows for feeding, mating rituals, and helps in performing tasks.

The obvious example is the giraffe. The twelve foot neck has adapted to allow for feeding off the top of the acacia tree. It is also used for male dominance mating rights battles. Because of its neck the giraffe has lots of company, herds of zebras and antelope tend to graze near them because they can see a predator far in the distance.

The bovine has a short muscular neck to plow through heavy snow in the winter and dense brush. The neck helps to cushion the head during mating fights of the males.

Milwaukee area residence can see examples of the different shapes of animals at the Milwaukee Public Museum and at the Milwaukee County Zoo. Just look at your pet birds, cats, fish and you can see the differences.

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