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7 Cards in this Set

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What is the most important innovation of the arthropod body plan? Explain.
The most important innovation of the arthropod body was the assembly of repetitive, basic body units. The success of this comes from the flexibility of the segments to perform different functions such as forming the head, thorax and abdomen. This design also allows for segments to develop into accessory structures such as appendages, antennae, eyes and wings.
Explain the mechanism arthropods use to protect their bodies.
Arthropods have invented an exoskeleton that they wear outside their body. This is composed of a specialized polysaccharide called chitin. Chitin provides support and points of attachment for muscles and tendons. The ability of the arthropods to join together multiple plates of their exoskeleton offers flexibility and protection. This exoskeleton acts as a suit of armor allowing the arthropod to become the first animal to conquer land.
What are the 3 segments that make up an insect body plan and what does each contain?
Head – Contains the brain, antennae and compound eyes.

Thorax – Contains 3 pairs of legs and 2 pairs of wings (some have no wings).

Abdomen – 11 segments containing excretory and reproductive organs
What are the different parts of the flower reproductive organs?
Flowers are both male and female. The female reproductive organs include the ovule (egg) in the center of the flower surrounded by petals. The ovule is connected to the style which extends upward to form the stigma (landing platform). The male reproductive organ is the stamen. This is composed of a stem (filament) and a structure (anther) that rests on top of it. The anther contains the pollen grains which are the sperm equivalent in animals.
What is the generalist strategy of pollination? Where does this strategy occur most and what are the characteristics of a generalist plant?
The generalist pollination strategy is used by plants whose flowers can be pollinated by a wide variety of insects. This occurs most in the temperate zones where flowers bloom for only a short period of time. These plants produce flowers with highly visible colors such as white, yellow, pink and purple that can be easily detected by pollinating insects. These flowers only bloom at certain times of the year and not all at the same time. This small number of blooms at a time increases the likelihood of cross fertilization of plants in the same species.
How is the bumblebee orchid an example of a plant that uses the specialist pollination strategy?
The members of the bumblebee orchid family have flowers that resemble the abdomen of female bees. Some have iridescent color patterns while some have hairs to resemble those found on a female abdomen and some produce pheromones similar to those used by females to attract males. A male bee will try to mate with the orchid flower bumping its head against the pollinia in the process. The pollinia sticks to the head of the bee like a pair of horns and when the bee attempts to mate with another orchid it unwittingly delivers pollen. Each species mimics only one species of bee or wasp to ensure the pollinia are transferred to the correct flower.
What is co-evolution and how does this relate to plants and insects? What is the difference between the generalist and specialist strategies used for pollination?Give one example of a generalist plant and one example of a specialist plant and explain what makes it generalist or specialist.
Co-evolution is the mutual evolutionary influence between 2 species that have become dependent on each other. The existence of many insects relies entirely on the plants they pollinate and, similarly, plants rely entirely on specific insects for their reproductive cycle. The extinction of one would inevitably lead to the extinction of the other species. This has produced a mutual relationship which is a form of co-evolution.

A generalist plant is one whose flowers can be pollinated by a wide variety of insects where as a specialist plant uses flowers to attract only a specific species of insects, birds or other animals.

An example of a generalist plant is the balsam plant. This plant produces flowers with highly visible colors easily detected by most pollinating insects. This plant has bell-shaped flowers that produce nectar to attract all types of pollinators and in return deposits and receives pollen from the pollinator.

An example of a specialist plant would be:

Bumblebee orchid – flowers that resemble the abdomen of female bees, iridescent color patterns and some with hairs, produce pheromones identical to those produced by females to attract males, males will attempt to mate with the flower bumping its head in the process. This will cause the pollinia to stick to its head and the bee will transfer the pollen to the next flower it visits.

Gentian flowers – This flower has large, yellow anthers that produce edible pollen. The pollen is only accessible by a bumblebee. The bumblebee must perch over the anther and vibrate its wings at a particular frequency. This will cause the pollen to be spit out from the anther. The pollen is collected and delivered to other gentian flowers.

Dead horse arum – This flower attracts insects by imitating the scents of rotten flesh. The opening of the flower resembles the hair and color of rotten flesh as well. This attracts blow flies who believe the flower is a rotting corpse ripe with nutrients. The fly enters the flower and is prevented from leaving by a barbed barricade. In the middle of the night the anthers release pollen and the flies leave the flower carrying pollen to the next.