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  • EXPLORING

    The World of BiologyFirst printing: November 2008

    Copyright 2008 by John Hudson Tiner. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. For information write: Master Books, P.O. Box 726, Green Forest, AR 72638.

    ISBN-13: 978-0-89051-552-5ISBN-10: 0-89051-552-2

    Library of Congress Catalog Number: 2008940597

    Interior Design and Layout: Bryan MillerCover Design: Diana Bogardus and Terry White

    Printed in the United States of America

    For information regarding author interviews, please contact the publicity department at (870) 438-5288.

    Please visit our Web site for other great titles:www.masterbooks.net

    All Scripture is from the New International Version of the Bible, unless otherwise noted.

    This book is dedicated to Megan Elizabeth Stephens.

    Photo CreditsShutterstock: 6, 8, 19, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, 35, 37, 38, 39, 40, 45, 46, 47, 48, 50, 51, 55, 56, 64, 66, 71, 74, 75, 78, 79, 80, 83, 87, 88, 89, 91, 92, 93, 94, 96, 97, 100, 101, 103, 105, 106, 107, 116, 118, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 131, 133, 134, 136, 144, 145, 146, 146, 147, 148I-Stock: 6, 10, 11, 19, 34, 40, 42, 43, 44, 47, 53, 57, 94, 96, 104, 107, 121, 128, 129, 130, 132 Bryan Miller: 8, 20, 23, 25, 34, 43, 59, 61, 62, 65, 68, 75, 77, 86, 102, 117, 138, 139Science Photo Library: 10, 52Wikipedia: 17, 114National: 70NASA: 58

  • How to Use Exploring the World of Biology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

    Biological Classification and Nomenclature. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

    Chapter 1: The Hidden Kingdom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

    Chapter 2: The Invisible Kingdom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

    Chapter 3: Exploring Biological Names . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

    Chapter 4: Growing a Green World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

    Chapter 5: Food for Energy and Growth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

    Chapter 6: Digestion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

    Chapter 7: Plant Inventors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

    Chapter 8: Insects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74

    Chapter 9: Spiders and Other Arachnids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84

    Chapter 10: Life in Water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92

    Chapter 11: Reptiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100

    Chapter 12: Birds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110

    Chapter 13: Mammals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120

    Chapter 14: Frauds, Hoaxes, and Wishful Thinking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132

    Answers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142

    References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149

    Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150

    Table of Contents

  • Note to Parents and Teachers: How to Use Exploring the World of Biology

    Students of several different ages and skill levels can use Exploring the World of Biology. Children in elementary grades can grasp many of the concepts, especially if given parental help. Middle school students can enjoy the book independently and quickly test their understanding and comprehension by the challenge of answering questions at the end of each chapter. Junior high and high school students can revisit the book as a refresher course.

    In addition, sections marked Explore More can be a springboard for additional study. Explore More offers questions, discussion ideas, and research for students to develop a greater understanding of biology.

  • Biological Classification and Nomenclature

    For most of history, biologists used the visible appearance of plants or animals to classify them. They grouped plants or animals with similar-looking features in the same family. Starting in the 1990s, biologists have extracted DNA and RNA from cells as a guide to how plants or animals should be grouped. Like visual structures, DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid) reveal the underlying design of creation. Because of the recent switch to DNA and RNA, biological classification is the subject of ongoing debate and proposed changes. Classification is in a state of flux and will remain so for many years. The discussion in this book follows the most settled form of classification, the five-kingdom system, proposed in 1968, which has become a popular standard and is still used by many biologists. The nomenclature uses the English equivalent of Latin terms whenever they are similar.

  • Progress6

    Explore 1. What were the first two categories of living things?

    2. Why were mushrooms difficult to classify as plants?

    3. What classification did scientists give to mushrooms?

    Chapter

    The Hidden KingdomClassification is the process of grouping objects based on their similari-

    ties. For most of history, biologists organized the living world into two kingdoms of plants and animals. Grouping living things into either plant kingdom or the animal kingdom made their work easier. Biologists could easily grasp the broad design of living organisms.

    Biologists put into the plant kingdom life that can make food from non-living material. Chlorophyll (KLOR-uh-fil) is a chemical that gives plants their green color. Plants use chlorophyll and the energy of sunlight to combine water and carbon dioxide to make simple sugars. The process is called photo-synthesis (foh-toh-SIN-thuh-siss). Plants use the sugar for growth and to supply energy for building other chemicals, such as cellulose, which makes their cell walls.

    1

  • 7

    Biologists put into the animal kingdom forms of life that have sense organs to detect what is around them. Most animals can see and hear. They have a nervous system to interpret what they sense and react to the presence of food or danger. They can move about. Animals can-not make food directly from nonliving minerals. Instead, they must eat plants or other animals.

    Biological classification is a system devel-oped by biologists based on their studies and opinions. Once an idea has been accepted for a long time, scientists are reluctant to make changes. From the time of the ancient Greeks about 400 B.C. the entire living world was considered made of either plants or ani-mals. But some forms of life, such as mush-rooms, did not easily fall into either category.

    Although mushrooms looked like plants in some ways, they differ from plants in other ways. The greatest difference was that mush-rooms did not have chlorophyll. Mushrooms did not need light. They could live quite well in dark caves, provided they had a source of dead plant or animal matter.

    To preserve the two-kingdom classifica-tion system, most biologists stubbornly kept mushrooms in the plant kingdom. They insisted upon describing mushrooms as plants without chlorophyll.

    The word mushroom comes from a French word meaning moss or foam. It is a good

    choice, because mushrooms are light and airy. Since ancient times, mushrooms have been added to foods to give them a distinctive texture or pleasing taste.

    However, scientists did not study mush-rooms in detail until the 1700s. They knew that plants had cell walls made of strong cellulose. This gave the cell strength and allowed plants, such as trees, to grow tall despite their immense weight. But study showed mushrooms did not have cellulose.

    Biologists discovered that mushroom cell walls were more like those of animals than plants. In addition, mushrooms, like animals, absorbed nutrients from other plants and animals. But biologists could not group mush-rooms with animals. Mushrooms had no sense organs, no nervous systems, and no way to move about.

    Mushrooms were members of a larger group of similar organisms known as fungi (FUHNG-gye). The singular of fungi is fungus (FUHN-guhss). As biologists learned more about mushrooms, they realized that mushrooms and other fungi did not fit well in either the plant or animal kingdoms.

    By the 1960s, biologists agreed that fungi needed a kingdom of their own. They created kingdom Fungi. Into the fungi kingdom they put mushrooms, puffballs, yeasts, molds, mil-dews