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ETD 61: A. What are some of the major structural + physiological adaptations that increase O2 absorption in fish? B. How do these compare to humans?
March 19, 2013 at 11:35am


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Dylan and Pamela Shephard
May 12, 2013 at 10:35pm

I never really realized the similarities between fish and humans. I found it quite interesting that fish have 2 chambers in their hearts and the blood travels in only one loop. I did know that we had 4 chambers in our hearts however was unaware that it went through two different loops. I thought I knew about the similaritie with the gills and lungs however i did not know what Alveoli was and that it was in my lungs. ------------------ It was interesting to teach my mother about this topic because of the huge importance it had in relation to her. I say that because I felt as oppose to choosing a topic completely unknown to her, teaching her about the counter current exchange and the systemic/pulmonary loops in our hearts and the one loop in a fish's would allow her to not be completely lost in the entire process. Overall I felt it went pretty well and that she came away with something from it.

Adilah M
June 04, 2013 at 7:33pm

Adilah taught me how the heart of a fish differs from that of a mammal. She also told me about their gills and how they are feathery to increase surface area to absorb more oxygen. Additionally, she taught me about the how the oxygen goes to alveoli in the lungs. She also talked to me about how fish have two chambered hearts and in comparison humans have four chambers. She also told me that fish only have one circulatory loop, whereas humans have two. ---------------------------------------------- I taught my mother about the structural and physiological adaptations that increase O2 absorption in fish and how these compare to humans. She found the topic interesting. She asked me if different species of fish have different variations of circulatory systems with two chambered hearts.I attempted to find the answer to this question via the internet but was unsuccessful. However, while researching this question I learned other interesting information. For example that fish have a relatively small brain in comparison to body size. It is, on average, 1/15 the brain mass of that of a similarly sized bird or mammal.

Madison Boggan
March 28, 2015 at 2:44pm

Parent: It was fascinating learning about the specific fish structures because I love to fish. For one topic, I felt like I could almost catch up with her. We talked about how the gills in fish are similar to humans, how they have half the heart we do (2 chambers vs. 4) and how they have red blood cells that are slightly different from ours.  

Student: I liked talking to my mom about the fish vs. human structure because she was able to explain and clarify some things for me. We talked about their blood and how similar it looks to ours when you hook them or slice them open. I was able to explain to her how they are missing a nuclei but our red blood cells have them. We talked about and wondered what it would be like if fish had the same size hearts as humans-4 chambers and 2 circuits vs their 2 chambers and 1 circuit. 

Kyler VandenBosch
March 23, 2017 at 9:45pm

Parent: Very interesting to learn about the differences and similarities between the fish and human systems and the evolutionary improvements. Particularly interesting was the evolution from the shark system to fish system in which sharks must constantly swim to stay alive while fish can propel the water through their systems without having to swim. 

Student: Explaining the similarities and differences between fish and humans helped me to build a stronger understanding on this topic not only by being able to review back over the information, but to find gaps in my knowledge that I couldn't explain to my parents.  When my parents asked more about ram ventilation in sharks, I didn't have the answers, so by researching more about this concept, I was able to fill in the gaps.  Now I know not only know more about ram ventilation, but I have learned about buccal pumping and how many modern day sharks can use it instead of ram ventilation when they slow down and cannot effectively use RV to breath.

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