My goal for the organismal biology section of the course content is for you to understand the
functions that living things need to accomplish, what types of body organs/structures do them, and
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how these are adapted to different environments. So that I can evaluate your understanding of these
ideas, your final class assignment is to design/invent an animal/plant/microbe/alien that lives in an
extreme habitat. Your organism may be any kind and inhabit any environment, however fanciful. Do not
describe an existing organism. The most points you can get for the assignment if you do so is 10/25. You
may use existing, extinct and/or fantasy/science fiction organisms as inspirations. However, if you copy
and paste text from a source such as a book or web page and I notice it, I will give you a 0 for the
assignment. There are four parts to the assignment. Your work may be hand written or typed. There is
no page min or max but your target is 2-3 pages (if typed), not counting sketches.
a) Describe the environment. Make sure to describe the aspects of the environment that make it
“extreme”. This includes conditions that a human could not survive in, but may be normal for
some existing organisms, such as bacteria. The harsher the environment, the easier it is to
complete the assignment!
b) Include a basic description of the organism (size, shape, major body structures—as appropriate).
c) A sketch of the organism—however modest your artistic skills are, do your best.
d) For FIVE of these body systems/structures–gas exchange, feeding & digestion (or energy intake),
osmoregulation & excretion, circulation/transport, reproduction, endocrine (hormones),
muscular/skeletal system (locomotion), immune/defense or nervous system/sensory organs —
describe what is special/unique/different from a “normal” organism that allows it to survive in
its environment. Make sure to pick the systems that are most important to deal with what is
unusual about the environment you have chosen. Your organism must acquire and use energy.