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Environmental adaptation and homology in the skeleton HTML5


Within the group known as mammals there exists a great diversity of methods of locomotion. Some animals are adapted to a terrestrial environment, others to an aquatic environment and still others to an aerial environment. The anterior lilmb of each species has a particular form, adapted to its environment.

The comparison of skeletal organization in the anterior limbs of four different species shows that mammals display a homology of limbs (inherited from their common tetrapod ancestor).

Check the “Skeleton” box, then the boxes for different bones in order to locate them.

Check the box “Displacement” to visualize the limbs in motion.

Learning goals

  • To approach the notions of species, biodiversity and evolution.
  • To approach the notion of homology by comparing the skeletons of the anterior limbs of different mammals.
  • To identify the points in common among, and the differences between,  the principal modes of animal locomotion.
  • To identify the organs involved in motion and explain in what ways they are adapted to their environment.