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Evolutionary Designs

of African Animals
Danielle Lesso
College of Engineering
Pennsylvania State University

[mwanasimba]

During the dry season in the African


grasslands, fierce
competition exists among the animals for
water

[cnx.org]

On the African savannah, predators of


different sizes
and strategies compete for large herd
animals

This talk presents evolutionary designs of


the largest, tallest, and fastest land
animals on the planet

African Elephant

Cheetah
4

Giraffe

Modern elephants are the only remaining


species
of a vast order of animals

[www.nationalelephantcenter
.org]

[www.defenders.or
g]

Elephants have changed size and shape


over time

[www.smallkidshomework.c
om]
6

Using infrasonic sounds, elephants can


communicate
up to several kilometers apart
infraso
nic

Huma
n
heari
ng
range
[www.birds.cornell.e
du]
7

Infrasonic communication is made possible


by the elephants unique hyoid and trunk

[www.sciencdirect.com]

time

[www.birds.cornell.e

Elephants can communicate long distances


by using seismic vibrations

Elephants can also physically generate


seismic vibrations

[physiologyonline.physiology
.org]

10

Seismic signals are picked up in the


elephants wide feet

Fatty Cushion

11

[physiologyonline.physiolog

Elephants are masters of communication,


thanks to key evolutionary designs

12

[www.pixabay.com]

Reflection on the delivery


of this sections speakers

Giraffes are truly unique African mammals

[zoo.org]

[flickr.com]
15

[commons.wikimedia.org]

Evolutionary designs help giraffes survive


in the dangerous African savannah

16

[Fore, Himes, Thomas; Dr. Eric

The coat of the giraffe aids in camouflage


and parasite protection

benzen
e

p-cresol

17

[commons.wikimedia.
org]

[Fore, Himes,
Thomas]

Giraffes coats also play a role in


thermoregulation

[universalhealthcarela.com]

Sites of
thermoregul
ation
18

[commons.wikimedia
.org]

The circulatory system of giraffes


overcomes the challenges posed by the
animals height

[panzajpanal.pl]
19

Valves in the neck arteries keep giraffes


from passing out when they have to live
their lift heads quickly

[wiki.hicksvilleschools.
org]

[panzajpanal.pl]
20

Characteristic height and good eyesight


are also key to survival

Lef
t

21

Rig
ht

Bot
h

[Fore, Himes,

The giraffe is very capable of survival,


thanks to evolutionary designs

22

[commons.wikimedia.o

Reflection on the delivery


of this sections speakers

Cheetahs have evolved into


excellent hunters

[commons.wikimedia.org]

25

[en.wikipedia.org]

A cheetah is a great hunter because


of its speed, keen senses, and clever
strategies
Spee
d

Sense
s

[flickr.com]

[wildencounters.net
[wildencounters.net]

Strateg
ies

[pixabay.com]
26

A cheetah has an extremely flexible


spine, powering its long stride

[flickr.com]

[youtube.com]

27

The long tails of cheetahs allow them to


make quick turns, while their claws
provide traction

[art.com]

28

A cheetah relies on both its eyesight


and its hearing to locate and stalk
prey

[flickr.com]

29

[philtulga.com]

The cheetah uses strategy to


complement
its physical advantages during
hunting

[worldnomads.com]
30

There are drawbacks to being the


fastest
land animal

31

[www.wildencounters.n
et]

Even with the drawbacks, the


cheetah is a unique predator
because of its evolutionary design

32

[flickr.com]

In summary, evolutionary designs have


allowed elephants, giraffes, and cheetahs
to survive in extreme conditions

African Elephant

Cheetah
33

Giraffe

However, man poses challenges to these


species that evolutionary change might not
be able to overcome

[Pringle]

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[U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service]

Reflection on the delivery


of this sections speakers