Eyewitness: Life Essay
In the movie Eyewitness Life, I had many factual observations. First, I noted that cockroaches can survive very low temperatures up until -40c. This has been a very efficient method for their survival. They are among the few creatures that have survived from the prehistoric era. During the change of times and periods such as the ice age, most prehistoric creatures have become extinct. It is this adaptation of the cockroaches that has allowed them to withstand change and be around until today. Second, it showed that humans need to eat as much as they weigh every 50 days.
This shows the balance of intake and output with respect to the usage of food we eat for survival. It shows that an adequate amount of nutrition is important to maintain one’s self. It’s amazing how every 50 days, a 70kg man actually should be taking in 70 kg worth of food which is a large quantity, much more than we’d actually notice day by day. Third, primitive life can multiply very fast at breakneck speeds. The significance of this is yet another method of survival. In the wild, there are many predators which can devour the young.
Being able to quickly multiply allows nature to continually keep species alive and in good numbers despite the dangers that abound. Fourth, early giraffes may have started with short necks but as they stretched their necks for food they passed on the genes to next generation. This shows us how each specie can adapt to its environment. This allowed giraffes to adapt in order to provide for its needs. Through time, the lengthening of the neck of a giraffe is proof of an animal’s capability to adjust to its environment for survival. Fifth, some male birds catch fish to attract females.
The laws of attraction are indeed as real in nature as they are among us men. Sixth, oxygen isn’t always a requirement for life. Bacteria found in deep oceans do not require oxygen. This shows us diversity in nature. Although we humans use oxygen, other creatures are capable of utilizing the other gases for their survival. Those that don’t have access to oxygen, like the bacteria, can adapt and utilize other means. Seventh, when a live sponge is shredded it will replace itself exactly the same way. Once more we see how one can adapt to its environment and survive. This method of regeneration is how the sponge protects itself from extinction.
The same goes for starfish and other similar creatures. They can re-grow a lost appendage or part to replace what may have been damaged by a predator. Eighth, tortoises on the Galapagos Island have a notch in their neck, a mutated trait that is passed on to adapt to their environment. Once more, like the giraffe, nature shows how a specie can adapt through time. Ninth, birds are incredible breathing machines. Some can sing without taking another breath. This is an interesting fact. It shows a similarity of birds to us humans, where professional opera singers can mimic this birdlike quality and sing for extended periods on one breath.
Lastly, snails move 0. 0013 km per hour. Indeed, they are among the slowest creatures on earth. Hence, nature for adaptation has provided them with a shell for protection, as although speed may not be used for defense, at least the hard covering may pose some resistance in order to survive. Eyewitness: trees In the second movie, the first fact I learned was that trees once covered 4/5 of Earth’s land mass. Secondly, I also noted that trees still cover half of planet area today. This tells me two things.
First, trees apparently through time have been an essential part of wildlife and the balance of nature, as since they covered 4/5th of the earth before, they were very much integrated in nature. Second, it shows me how much we have already lost. To have only a half left shows how much more should be done to preserve these trees before even more are destroyed. The third fact is learned is that the oak tree offers habitat for many living things and is one of 30 thousand kinds of trees. Again, this further shows that trees are essential for animals and other wildlife, and the preservation of them is important to protect many aspects of nature.
Frogs, salamanders, insects and many more depend on these trees and protecting these creatures means protecting their trees. Fourth, trees can grow almost anywhere, but occasional nature is inhospitable such as in the North and South poles. This shows us that apart from these obscure places, our protection of the forest may not only consist of preventing destruction, but of rebuilding forests as well. Industry over the years has destroyed much of them. As these trees are very capable of growing in almost anywhere, then there is even greater reason to set forth and begin the restoration of these lost forests.
Fifth, I learned that from aspirin to the latest cancer drugs, we find treatment from trees. This is a major contribution of trees to our own survival. As these trees show much promise to the world of medicine, then all the more people must be made aware that they must be preserved. For each time some are taken for study, then new ones should be planted. How is the world to progress if we keep taking and taking, and one day there is no more? Another fact I learned was that it takes 4000 mature trees are needed to build a ship.
Given the way industry today has taken over, this shows that thousands of trees have been taken to fill our harbors for cargo and trade. The question is: how many of them were actually replaced? It enlightens us regarding the sheer amount of trees that are being taken. In light of their many uses, such as the medicinal use, then much care should be implemented in maintaining a balance between harvest of these trees and restoration of them. Imagine this, the seventh fact I learned was that one tree provides full year oxygen for 8 people. This means that the 4000 trees taken for one ship is oxygen for 32000 people lost.
These trees very much provide for us so much, and such, much more concern should be placed on their survival. Eighth fact I learned was that tropical trees grow all year, and for each year, trees grow by just adding rings around their trunk. They add up a new coat each year. I found this interesting as it shows how nature found a way to account for age just the way we do. Ninth, trees are homes for variety of animals. For example, leopards store their prey on trees. Again, not only do trees provide a way of life for the small creatures like frogs and snakes, but for the larger animals as well.
A whole environment and diverse balance of life revolves around one tree, from oxygen production, to shelter, to food, and all these are deprived from creatures by their loss. Thus, by destroying trees, we are contributing to the loss of nature itself. The last fact I learned was an interesting one about the giant sequoia. This apparently is the biggest tree and can grow up until 34-storeys tall. In a tree so great and so large, imagine how much it can provide to all life around it. Amazing. Eyewitness: Mammals I learned many things from this movie as well. The first fact I learned was that elephants never stop growing.
Apparently, they can live up until 80 years, however in the wild, only until 30 years. I found it interesting that the elephants can actually live as long as we do. Also interesting was how much shorter they live in the wild, precisely 50 years shorter. This shows us the role of care and resources to life. In the wild, they have to provide food for themselves and in the event of a drought and such, when food is scarce, survival time is shorter. Secondly, in the wild, they are exposed to the elements, such as wind, heat and rain, which bear wear and tear on them also decreasing life.
Of course, as an additional factor, they are targets as prey for carnivores and this also can decrease their life span. When in care, they are exempt from many of these, thus they live longer lives. I’d say the same for us humans, and any other creature, who can expect longer lives when in good care and nurturing environment. The second fact I learned was that bats are only mammals that can truly fly. They have great navigation skills, can see pray without using their eyes, and have enough stealth to attack their prey without being heard.
This primarily shows that bats are in fact not birds, and belong to our group of species: the mammals. It’s interesting how they have managed to adapt by garnering the ability to approach in stealth. This ensures them adequate food resource needed to survive. It also helps with their habitat, as their flight skills allow them to navigate in the dark caves where the dwell. Third, polar bear have black skin and white fur. This was interesting as it shows camouflage. Polar bears live in icy regions. Their white fur allows them to blend in the surroundings to aid in the hunt for food. Fourth, a duck that lay eggs is a mammal.
As ducks are birds, there are some mammals that may look like a duck because they possess a similar foot webbing or beak, such as a platypus. Fifth, some anteaters eat 30000 ants per day. This was another interesting fact as 30000 ants a day, would mean 210000 ants a week, and millions more a month. Sixth, rabbits communicate with tail talk. Communication is one similarity between us and animals only in different form. It interesting to see how just like we do, animals have learned to coordinate by other forms of communication. As whales can use their sonar, rabbits use their tails.
Seventh fact is that camels are able to detect water more than few days away. These creatures live in the deserts where water is scarce. This ability is an amazing adaptation as it allows them to survival resources in the harshest conditions. Their hump is also another adaptation is it stores energy and fat needed in the event that water and food are miles away through the desert. Eighth, a dominant male seal can mate 100 times in one season. This is a survival method. By having the capability to do so, one males can impregnate more than a hundred females thus ensuring a lot of newborn seals to increase their number by next season.
It keeps them in survival despite being prey to the polar bears and killer whales. Ninth, a mouse is only pregnant 6 weeks and a cat 9 weeks. The short gestation period allows room for multiple births a year, against ensuring survival of a species through regular reproduction. The last fact was that if a hedgehog falls down from height, it bounces. This was so interesting, as it apparently has a ball like quality. This helps it survive a fall as it covering allows the bounce to reduce the pressure of impact, and helping it survive.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 27 December 2016
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