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ETD 62: A. What is so strange about the evolutionary path of penguins? B. Why do sponges have different types of cells?
March 21, 2013 at 4:09pm


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Brianna Martin
March 26, 2013 at 10:39pm

I learned that sponges have different kinds of cells that are specialized to a specific function in order to save energy and that they do not have a nervous or circulatory system.. Bri helped me realize that sponges are lazy and have their cells do all the work for them. Also, I learned that penguins are stupid. No, actually they are smart enough to evolve in a cyclical pattern, to fit their environment. ------- When talking with my padre, I realized that the two entry questions were connected in that they both dealt with the preservation of energy. The environment plays a big role in this as well, because for some animals, having the ability to fly is worth the amount of energy it takes to do it, in a given environment. Since the price of flying outweighs the benefits of flying, penguins evolved in a circle, going from water, to land, and then back to water. As for the sponges, I learned that they preserve energy in their cells by specializing them for certain jobs. My dad correlated the sponge to a king and the cells in the sponge to a king's lowly pheasants. It's weird, but it helps me remember.

Adilah M.
May 12, 2013 at 7:17pm

Adilah taught me about why penguins have an unusual evolutionary history.I always thought penguins were birds of unusual circumstances. She also talked to me about how cells are specialized in sponges. I learned that sponges have specialized cells but don't have different types of tissue. ------------------------------------- I taught my mom about the evolutionary path of penguins and she thought it was very interesting. I also told her about the specialization of cells in sponges. Discussing the specialization of cells in sponges helped me learn more about the subject because I had to do additional research to accurately answer all her questions.

Wendy Lundquist
June 09, 2013 at 9:38pm

Well it sounds like humans will never fly, a lesson learned from the evolutionary path of penguins. Brenan explained the importance of saving energy in the development of differentiated cells in the sponges. We discussed how this is the same as the energy principles associated with all chemical reactions. ----------------------- I explained to my mom how evolution favors the saving of energy, and in the penguin's case saving energy cost them the ability to fly(in the air at least). I helped myself to think in depth about the specialization of cells and how this follows the principle of evolving to save energy, and how saving energy allows organisms to increase their survival and potential to reproduce.

Madison Boggan
March 30, 2015 at 4:48pm

Parent: Madison and her brother both loves penguins so this was an interesting topic to discuss. The evolutionary path of penguins is a complete circle which I did not know before. Penguins descended from fish to amphibians to reptiles to dinosaurs to birds to penguins (which are like fish because they swim, don't fly and eat other fish). It is interesting how both the mutations that fish have and all the animals in between leading up to penguins give the animals advantages at different times. 

Student: Mom brought up a good point about the different advantages at different times. It is also interesting how all of the types of animals in the evolutionary line of penguins still exist except dinosaurs (well not officially). We talked about how crazy it is that full evolutionary circles exist and that animal evolution can most nearly go full circle. We also talked about how sponges have different types of cells to perform different jobs like digestion, absorption, structure and defense.

Madison Neyers
April 12, 2015 at 8:35pm

Parent: Madison went throughout the history of vertebrates starting with the lung fish. With lungs and bony appendages, it allowed development of legs to become land walkers like amphibians. Amphibians are also the common ancestor for both mammals and birds. The penguins feathers help keep heat in because the penguins are endothermic. Since they are endothermic they can swim faster than the cold blooded fish which gives them an evolutionary advantage.

Student: It is important to know the main animals of the history of vertebrates because knowing their forms and functions helps explain the path of evolution. Eggs created a double membrane in the tetrapod reptiles because eggs were being laid on land rather than water and needed to be more complex in order to survive and increase the number of offspring that survive.

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