Dressed to Live: Wildlife Styles

The skin functions as a thermal insulator, as protection against potentially harmful agents, as a warning, as camouflage, as a means of communication between members of the same species, or as a sexual signal. Thanks to its variety and adaptation, life is extended throughout the planet. Fish are one of the most sensitive animal types on the planet. Most of them possess an extremely sensitive skin throughout their body since many of them live in turbulent and murky waters in which visibility is a problem. One of evolution’s solutions to aid sight is to provide their skin with sensors, which receive information from the exterior. Their skin is a true suit of sensations. The line on the side, present on many species is a group of epidermal cells distributed linearly on both sides of the body. These specialized cells are capable of informing the animal of changes in pressure and movement of objects close by. Fish are capable of interpreting them and knowing if it’s a fellow species member or maybe a potential predator on the prowl. In this case, the skin has become the most refined and effective sense for the continuation of life. However, aquatic mammals have developed a skin that is not necessarily sensitive but quite the contrary, an almost perfect insulator against the cold exterior. Walruses have an insulating wetsuit made up of various layers, which add up to almost 4 cm in thickness. Their wrinkled skin possesses a fine texture with soft and short hairs, which are almost absent along the neck and shoulders of the male. It is precisely there where the skin is at its thickest in order to resist the impact of its rival fangs. Underneath the hair, which is very dense, it has a sub dermal layer of fat, which is 7 to 10 cm thick. This layer exists throughout the body and because it is such a poor conductor of heat, it isolates muscles and organs from the exterior. These arctic animals always live in areas in which the highest temperatures are never more than three or four degrees Celsius. The Walrus’ finest sense of touch is in its whiskers, which have become a very sensitive tool capable of finding and distinguishing mollusks in the dark waters of the ocean where sunlight can barely make its way.

0 kommentarer: