Biological Adaptation Assignment

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Chad Walker 1/25/12 Bio 151 MW 4:00-5:15 Biological Adaptation Assignment Biological adaptation is necessary for a species to increase their fitness in an environment. As organisms face different environmental challenges they must be able to develop different phenotypic traits over time to respond to the conditions. One example of an organism that can adapt to different extreme environments would be the bull shark. Bull sharks may seem like a typical shark because they are most often seen in marine habitats, but they can survive elsewhere. What I find peculiar about the bull shark is its ability to live in both marine habitats and freshwater habitats. In general, being able to survive in both habitats is very uncommon for sharks. Aquatic organisms rely heavily on a process called osmoregulation that allows them to achieve homeostasis of water content within their body. Without going into too much detail on the specifics of osmosis and osmotic pressure, this process allows the organism to keep their internal fluids from getting too diluted or too concentrated. So you may be asking yourself, how does this apply to the bull shark? The answer is that the bull shark over time has adapted its body to be able to control the amount of salt that its body gets rid of allowing it to live in waters of different salinities. Marine organisms have a high level of salt in their body so that the sea doesn’t dehydrate them because it is a hypertonic solution. Due to the fact that sharks can increase or decrease the content of salt in their blood allows them not to take in too much water when they migrate into freshwaters. Sharks are known to be fierce predators of the sea, and with the capability to venture into freshwater it makes their hunting grounds very vast. While other sharks could have difficulty finding food at sea, the bull shark may roam into rivers

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