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Evolutionary Designs of African Animals Danielle Lesso College of Engineering Pennsylvania State University [mwanasimba]

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Presentation on theme: "Evolutionary Designs of African Animals Danielle Lesso College of Engineering Pennsylvania State University [mwanasimba]"— Presentation transcript:

1 Evolutionary Designs of African Animals Danielle Lesso College of Engineering Pennsylvania State University [mwanasimba]

2 During the dry season in the African grasslands, fierce competition exists among the animals for water 2 [cnx.org]

3 On the African savannah, predators of different sizes and strategies compete for large herd animals

4 This talk presents evolutionary designs of the largest, tallest, and fastest land animals on the planet African Elephant Giraffe Cheetah 4

5 Modern elephants are the only remaining species of a vast order of animals [www.nationalelephantcenter.org] 5 [www.defenders.org]

6 Elephants have changed size and shape over time 6 [www.smallkidshomework.com]

7 Using infrasonic sounds, elephants can communicate up to several kilometers apart infrasonic 7 Human hearing range [www.birds.cornell.edu]

8 Infrasonic communication is made possible by the elephant’s unique hyoid and trunk time 8 [www.sciencdirect.com] [www.birds.cornell.edu]

9 Elephants can communicate long distances by using seismic vibrations 9

10 Elephants can also physically generate seismic vibrations [physiologyonline.physiology.org] 10

11 Seismic signals are picked up in the elephants’ wide feet 11 [physiologyonline.physiology.org] Fatty Cushion

12 Elephants are masters of communication, thanks to key evolutionary designs [www.pixabay.com] 12

13 Arnason, B. T, Hart, L. A., & O'Connell-Rodwell, C. E. Exploring the potential use of seismic waves as a communication channel by elephants and other large mammals. (2001). American Zoology, 41, Retrieved from Blanc, J., de Boer, W. F., Gaston, K. J., Hamilton, I. D., van Langevelde, F., Prins, H. H. T., de Ruiter, P. C., & Vis, M. J. P. (2013). Understanding spatial differences in African elephant densities and occurrence, a continent-wide analysis. Biological Conservation, 159, doi: /j.biocon Fyvie, C. (2005). Introduction to Elephant Evolution. Eco Travel Africa. Retrieved from Gibson, A. (2013). Elephant communication non-vocal. Elephants Forever. Retrieved from International Union for the Conservation of Nature. (2013). [Interactive map of African elephant range (Provisional AESR 2013)]. Elephant Database. Retrieved from O'Connell-Rodwell, C.E. Keeping an "ear" to the ground: seismic communication in elephants. (2007). Physiology,22, doi: /physiol Palski, R., Thole, K., Van Tilburg, K., Zack, T. (2014). How do elephants communicate with one another? [PowerPoint slides]. Shoshani, J., & Tassy, P. (2005). Advances in proboscidean taxonomy & classification, anatomy & physiology, and ecology & behavior. Quaternary International, , doi: /j.quaint Wrege, P. Infrasound. (2012). The Elephant Listening Project. Retrieved from References Not Projected During Slideshow

14 Reflection on the delivery of this section’s speakers

15 Giraffes are truly unique African mammals 15 [commons.wikimedia.org][flickr.com] [zoo.org]

16 Evolutionary designs help giraffes survive in the dangerous African savannah [Fore, Himes, Thomas; Dr. Eric Chudler] 16

17 The coat of the giraffe aids in camouflage and parasite protection [commons.wikimedia.org] 17 benzene p-cresol [Fore, Himes, Thomas]

18 Giraffes’ coats also play a role in thermoregulation 18 [commons.wikimedia.org] [universalhealthcarela.com] Sites of thermoregulation

19 The circulatory system of giraffes overcomes the challenges posed by the animal’s height 19 [panzajpanal.pl]

20 Valves in the neck arteries keep giraffes from passing out when they have to live their lift heads quickly 20 [panzajpanal.pl] [wiki.hicksvilleschools.org]

21 Characteristic height and good eyesight are also key to survival 21 [Fore, Himes, Thomas] RightLeft Both

22 The giraffe is very capable of survival, thanks to evolutionary designs 22 [commons.wikimedia.org]

23 References Not Projected During Slideshow Badlangana, N. L., Sathar, F., & Manger, P. R. (2010). Variations in the thickness and composition of the skin of the giraffe. The Anatomical Record, 293, doi: /ar Bourton, J. (2009). 'Supercharged' heart pumps blood up a giraffe's neck. BBC Earth News. Retrieved from Estes, Kingdon, & MacClintock. (2003). Giraffe, Giraffa camelopardalis. In San Diego Zoo Global (Physical characteristics). Retrieved from Fennessy, S. (2014). Giraffes - the facts. Giraffe Conservation Foundation. Retrieved from Fore, R., Himes, J., Thomas, C. (2013). How the giraffe survives the African savanna [PowerPoint slides]. Holdrege, C. (2003). The giraffe's short neck. In Context, 10, Retrieved from Maisano, S. (2006). Giraffa camelopardalis. University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. Retrieved from Mitchell, G., & Skinner, J. D. (2009). An allometric analysis of the giraffe cardiovascular system. Molecular & Integrative Physiology, 154, doi: /j.cbpa Zoos South Australia. (2014). Giraffe. In Monarto Zoo (Threats & conservation). Retrieved from

24 Reflection on the delivery of this section’s speakers

25 [en.wikipedia.org] 25 Cheetahs have evolved into excellent hunters [commons.wikimedia.org]

26 [wildencounters.net] [flickr.com] [pixabay.com] A cheetah is a great hunter because of its speed, keen senses, and clever strategies [flickr.com] Speed [kreatifdinz.blogspot.com] Senses [wildencounters.net] [luxurytravelblog. net] 26 [pixabay.com] Strategies

27 A cheetah has an extremely flexible spine, powering its long stride [youtube.com] 27 [flickr.com]

28 The long tails of cheetahs allow them to make quick turns, while their claws provide traction [art.com] 28

29 A cheetah relies on both its eyesight and its hearing to locate and stalk prey 29 [philtulga.com] [flickr.com]

30 The cheetah uses strategy to complement its physical advantages during hunting 30 [worldnomads.com]

31 There are drawbacks to being the fastest land animal [www.wildencounters.net] 31

32 Even with the drawbacks, the cheetah is a unique predator because of its evolutionary design 32 [flickr.com]

33 In summary, evolutionary designs have allowed elephants, giraffes, and cheetahs to survive in extreme conditions African Elephant Giraffe 33 Cheetah

34 However, man poses challenges to these species that evolutionary change might not be able to overcome 34 [Pringle] [U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service]

35 References Not Projected During Slideshow Bunting, M.R., Hoffman, H., Lewis, M. A., & Salemi, B. (2011). Toward ultra high speed locomotors: Design and test of a cheetah robot hind limb. Presented at IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Animation. Retrieved from Cheetah Conservation Fund. (2014). About the cheetah. Retrieved from Garman, A. (2000). The cat as predator. Retrieved from Greenly, C., Milligan, B., Sahd, P., & Vulih, M. (2011). The physical characteristics that make the cheetah a great hunter [PowerPoint slides]. The Pennsylvania State University, College of Engineering. Hess, B. J. M. (2011). Vestibular response. In The Oxford Handbook of Eye Movements (The eye movement repertoire). Retrieved from Layton, J. (2008). What makes a cheetah run so fast? Retrieved from National Geographic. (2012). Cheetahs, cheetah pictures, cheetah facts. Retrieved from Reeder, D.M., & Wilson, D.E., eds. (2005). Species Acinonyx jubatus. In Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Retrieved from Smith, R. (2008). Cheetah facts. Retrieved from

36 Reflection on the delivery of this section’s speakers

37 References Not Projected During Slideshow Benders-Hyde, E. (2003). African savanna. Retrieved from Benders-Hyde, E. (2010). Savanna biomes. Retrieved from Endler, J. A Some general comments on the evolution and design of animal communication systems. In Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 341, doi: /rstb McGinley, M Biodiversity in Africa. Retrived from Wildscreen. (2011). Predator-prey relationships in the African savannah. Retrieved from


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