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Your Questions About Discover New Niches

Robert asks…

FOR THOSE WHO HAVE THE TIME…?

My daughter needs to read and understand the following article for school, but neither of us really get it. Let’s just say that I’m no biology major. Could someone please shorten it so that my daughter or I can understand it better? Maybe a paragraph-long summary?

Travelers to the neotropics—the tropical lands of the Americas—might be forgiven for thinking that all of the colorful insects flittering over sunny puddles or among dense forest understory are butterflies. In fact, many are not. Some are moths that have reinvented themselves as butterflies, converging on the daytime niche typically dominated by their less hairy relatives. Now, a new revision of the taxonomic relationships among one such group of insects, the subfamily Dioptinae, sheds light on the diversity of tropical moth species and presents a unique story of parallel evolution.

“These diurnal moths are a microcosm of butterfly evolution,” says James Miller, author of the new Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History and a research associate in the Division of Invertebrate Zoology at the Museum. “There are about 500 spectacular dioptine species, all of which evolved from a common ancestor—a nondescript brown nocturnal moth—into a diversity of butterfly mimics.” Miller qualifies this with a technicality, though, noting that no one is sure whether butterflies or diurnal moths evolved their colors first (and who is really mimicking whom).

The wing pattern diversity within the subfamily is enormous: some species mimic clear-winged butterflies and inhabit the darker parts of the forest understory where their co-mimics fly. The caterpillars of these species feed on palms. Still others have wings that are colored blue and yellow and feed on melastomes. About 100 species feed on Passiflora, the poisonous passion flowers famous for being consumed by the caterpillars of Heliconious butterflies. In fact, although most of the Dioptinae are diurnal, or fly during the day, a few species like those in Xenomigia have re-conquered the night. Although most dioptines are neotropical, ranging from lowland jungles to cloud forests at 4,000 meters in the Andes, Phryganidia californica occurs in the western United States.

The Dioptinae were first recognized as a distinct insect group in 1862 by Francis Walker of the British Museum of Natural History. At the same time, they were pivotal to the writings of Henry Walter Bates after he returned from a decade of exploration and collecting in the Amazon. Bates described moths that fly with and obtain protection from similarly-colored but poisonous butterflies that derive their toxicity from the plants their caterpillars feed on. This system—whereby a harmless species gains protection from its resemblance to a toxic species—is now known as Batesian mimicry.

Miller’s new revision of the Dioptinae is the first systematic look at this group in almost a century. After studying over 16,700 specimens housed at 38 different institutions and private collections around the world, Miller discovered and described 64 new species and seven new genera, bringing the total to 456 species in 43 genera. Some of the new species were found during field work in parts of the tropical Americas poorly explored by lepidopterists: Xenomigia pinasi from Río Chalpi Grande, Ecuador; Erbessa albilinea and Getta tica from Braulio Carrillo, Costa Rica; Phintia broweri from Tambopata, Peru, and Erbessa lamasi from the remote Cosñipata Valley of southeastern Peru. Even so, there is much more work to be done on the Dioptinae. Miller estimates that there are about 100 to 150 species in collections that still need to be described and inserted into the taxonomy, and he thinks that additional fieldwork in under-sampled countries like Bolivia and Colombia will ultimately bring the total number of species to between 700 and 800.

Miller’s first step in shedding light on the Dioptinae was to develop an evolutionary tree, or phylogeny. This tree is based on adult morphology of the moths: using 305 characters among 115 of the species (representing all 43 genera), Miller determined that the group was divided into two tribes, Josiini and Dioptini. The first contains the Passiflora-feeders, while the second includes species with a remarkable range of host plants. It is interesting that in an age dominated by DNA analysis, adult morphological traits provided the structure for a very solid phylogeny for this group of animals.

Other taxonomic changes were also found. The previous classification, published in 1930, had little structure; species whose wing patterns essentially looked the same were lumped together. Miller’s careful analysis has dissected these taxonomic groups, finding that 47 of the previously named species could be included within another existing species. Consequently, the total number of species has not increased substantially since the previous systematic review. Miller also found that clear-winged moths evolved four times w

New Niche Finder answers:

The Dioptinae is a moth that has evolved to look like a butterfly from a ancester that was a brown moth. There is great variety when it comes to how the wings look. Some look like clear-winged butterflies and live in forests where the catterpillars can eat palms, and some are brightly colored and eat melastomes (?). About 100 species of the moth eat Passiflora, the poisonous passion flowers famous for being consumed by the caterpillars of Heliconious butterflies.

Though most of the moths are awake during the day some prefer to fly at night. Most of the dioptines live in neotropical areas (ranging from lowland jungles to cloud forests at 4,000 meters in the Andes), one breed of the moths lives in the US.

Francis Walker in 1862 was the first person to decide that this species of moth was a particular type of moth and not a butterfly or general moth. Henry Walter Bates wrote about this moth group after traveling through the Amazon. He wrote how the moths survived because they looked like the butterflies. The butterflies are poisonous because the caterpillars fed on poisonous plants so animals (like birds) would avoid the butterflies. Because the moths looked so much like the butterflies, the animals avoided the moths too (this is called Batesian mimicry).

Miller has found a bunch of different kinds of the moths all over the world and he has tried to fit them all into a sort of Dioptinae family tree, but he doesn’t think that all the different types have been found that need place on the family tree. The tree is based on what the moths look like as adults and it breaks down further into more branches based on things like what they eat and what their wings look like

Laura asks…

help with biology please 10 POINTS BEST ANSWER?!?!?!?

HOW DO YOU DO THE CALCULATIONS FOR #20?

3. . It was recently discovered that an amoeba (a single celled organism) falls asleep (goes “dormant”) when exposed to valium. Humans also fall asleep when exposed to valium. The amoeba releases a chemical resembling valium that is almost identical to a chemical released by the human brain.

This example best illustrates which theme in biology?
a. Unity within diversity
b. Structure and function
c. Acquiring and using energy
d. Homeostasis

4. Pyrodictium are single-celled organisms, lacking a nucleus. They live near deep-sea active volcanic openings preferring acidic conditions and temperatures above 100 degrees Celsius (i.e., a temperature above boiling if at sea level) and die at temperatures below 82ºC. Their genetic material was unlike any other single-celled organism known to humans before 1980.

In what domain is Pyrodictium?
a. Bacteria
b. Archaea
c. Eukarya
d. Prokarya

15. If an overlap develops between the ranges of two closely related species, and if the species occupy the same niche in the zone of overlap, what will probably happen in the zone of overlap?
a. Both species will coexist.
b. A new species will arise.
c. One species will take over and drive the other species out
d. Mutualism will exist between the two species.

17. All organisms require certain nutrients for survival and reproduction. Suppose a particular bacterial population thrives only in the top five millimeters of lakes. Suppose a microscopic plant population also thrives only in the top five millimeters of lakes. When the bacterial and plant populations are floating together, the bacterial population is reduced to 20% of the number it was when floating in the absence of plants. What does this situation likely illustrate?
a. Species diversity of a community
b. Niches of two species are separate and distinct.
c. One population serving as a resource for another population.
d. Interspecific competition.

18. What conditions might occur in a country displaying zero population growth?
a. Immigration equals emigration.
b. A population pyramid is larger at its base than at its tip.
c. Birth rate is greater than death rate.
d. The demand for new elementary schools is greater than the demand for retirement homes.

19. What would be an example of primary succession?
a. Events following a melting glacier, exposing bare rocky terrain.
b. The colonization of an empty region by long-lived plant species.
c. Community replacement on lands abandoned by a farmer.
d. A forest community that is relatively stable over time.

20. If there are 1000 metric tons of producers in an ecosystem, about how much of the energy in those producers will be available to secondary consumers in this ecosystem?
a. 100%
b. 50%
c. about 10%
d. about 1%
e. about 0.1%
@tweet108 I need help with the other questions as well *laughs* thanks for your help btw I appreciate it :)

New Niche Finder answers:

I believe the answer is C. As you go up in the levels (producer>secondary consumers> tertiary consumers) I am fairly certain that only 10% of energy is transferred to the next level. If level 1 has 1000 metric tons then, Level 2/secondary would have 100 metric tons, and level 3/tertiary would have 10 metric tons =)

1000 x .10= 100
(amnt of metric tons) x .10
to determine amount of energy transferred.

Additional Edit: Oops sorry 😛 Duh, can’t read. XD Here> I think these are right :)
3. A
4. B
15. C
17. D
18. A
19. B
20. C

Betty asks…

Help with biology please 10 POINTS BEST ANSWER?!?!?!?

HOW DO YOU DO THE CALCULATIONS FOR #20?

3. . It was recently discovered that an amoeba (a single celled organism) falls asleep (goes “dormant”) when exposed to valium. Humans also fall asleep when exposed to valium. The amoeba releases a chemical resembling valium that is almost identical to a chemical released by the human brain.

This example best illustrates which theme in biology?
a. Unity within diversity
b. Structure and function
c. Acquiring and using energy
d. Homeostasis

4. Pyrodictium are single-celled organisms, lacking a nucleus. They live near deep-sea active volcanic openings preferring acidic conditions and temperatures above 100 degrees Celsius (i.e., a temperature above boiling if at sea level) and die at temperatures below 82ºC. Their genetic material was unlike any other single-celled organism known to humans before 1980.

In what domain is Pyrodictium?
a. Bacteria
b. Archaea
c. Eukarya
d. Prokarya

15. If an overlap develops between the ranges of two closely related species, and if the species occupy the same niche in the zone of overlap, what will probably happen in the zone of overlap?
a. Both species will coexist.
b. A new species will arise.
c. One species will take over and drive the other species out
d. Mutualism will exist between the two species.

17. All organisms require certain nutrients for survival and reproduction. Suppose a particular bacterial population thrives only in the top five millimeters of lakes. Suppose a microscopic plant population also thrives only in the top five millimeters of lakes. When the bacterial and plant populations are floating together, the bacterial population is reduced to 20% of the number it was when floating in the absence of plants. What does this situation likely illustrate?
a. Species diversity of a community
b. Niches of two species are separate and distinct.
c. One population serving as a resource for another population.
d. Interspecific competition.

18. What conditions might occur in a country displaying zero population growth?
a. Immigration equals emigration.
b. A population pyramid is larger at its base than at its tip.
c. Birth rate is greater than death rate.
d. The demand for new elementary schools is greater than the demand for retirement homes.

19. What would be an example of primary succession?
a. Events following a melting glacier, exposing bare rocky terrain.
b. The colonization of an empty region by long-lived plant species.
c. Community replacement on lands abandoned by a farmer.
d. A forest community that is relatively stable over time.

20. If there are 1000 metric tons of producers in an ecosystem, about how much of the energy in those producers will be available to secondary consumers in this ecosystem?
a. 100%
b. 50%
c. about 10%
d. about 1%
e. about 0.1%

New Niche Finder answers:

In Biology they teach that it’s about 10% of energy transferred to the next level. You don’t calcuate it, it’s done in Scientific experiments.

Lizzie asks…

College essay?

Question: What sets you apart from other applicants?
In my progress in obtaining a higher level of education, I am also looking to fulfill my desire to help other people. It is not a humanitarian niche that I seek, but the process of establishing a life that revolves around helping other people. Most prospective educators have this goal in mind as they work through their studies. The way the future educator will initially achieve this goal is each a unique experience.
Living only twenty miles away from my home has given me an opportunity to grow and change. I just recently became a dormitory student. This new experience and gradual shift from dependence to independence and naivety to wisdom for the next two years will prove to be challenging and a revelation to me. My aspiration for the next two years after earning my bachelors degree leads me only to wonder about the profound opportunity for growth and change the Peace Corps will have on me. The education I will receive and my resolve to achieve my goals will determine if the path I have already chosen will be the initial step to my career of helping people.
My aspiration to join the Peace Corps will allow me to work in a job that is appropriate for my education, but can still allow me to gain a significant amount of experience right out of college, a missing step for many graduate students fresh out of college. Joining will provide a level of experience that will allow me to develop skills in teaching students of different cultures, an increasingly important quality in the diversified United States. It will provide an opportunity to grow as a person as I will see firsthand the realities of life that will challenge me entirely. It will also allow me to discover who I am, as well as my strengths and my weaknesses in both my career and in life. It is certainly not a gradual process from graduating college to living in a foreign nation, but it will also enrich the teaching techniques and experiences I will establish upon graduating.
I have debated for a few years on this decision only to discover the many positive aspects joining would bring. While my certainty on this decision is not absolute, my determination to achieve my goals is a quality I adhere to. It is a learning experience as a person and educator, a temporary way of life and finally a job; it might be the toughest job I will ever love.
Should I add anything? Are there any major grammar errors? Is the essay just horrible as is?

New Niche Finder answers:

JESUS i couldn’t take the time to read that

Steven asks…

Helacyton gartleri, The first known organism to have evolved from humans (creation/evolution)?

Helacyton gartleri, The first known organism to have evolved from humans

What is this organism and how does it fit into the creation/evolution debate?

Wiki:
“Horizontal gene transfer from human papillomavirus 18 (HPV18) to human cervical cells created the HeLa genome which is different from either parent genome in various ways including its number of chromosomes. HeLa cells have a modal chromosome number of 82 , with four copies of chromosome 12 and three copies of chromosomes 6, 8, and 17.
Due to their ability to replicate indefinitely, and their non-human number of chromosomes, HeLa was described by Leigh Van Valen as an example of the contemporary creation of a new species, Helacyton gartleri, named after Stanley M. Gartler, who Van Valen credits with discovering “the remarkable success of this species.” His argument for speciation depends on three points:
• The chromosomal incompatibility of HeLa cells with humans.
• The ecological niche of HeLa cells.
• Their ability to persist and expand well beyond the desires of human cultivators.
As well as proposing a new species for HeLa cells, Van Valen proposes in the same paper the new family Helacytidae and the genus Helacyton.”

Disenchanted dictionary:
“They live independently of the body they came from. They reproduce (faster even than other cancerous cells). They consume, excrete, and do everything an independent living organism usually does. Is this a new species? In 1991 the scientific community decided it was, and blessed HeLa cells with its own genus and species: Helacyton gartleri, named by Van Valen & Maiorana. That would make Helacyton gartleri an example of speciation, which is when a new species is observed developing from another. In this case, the development is from a chordate (homo sapien) to something that’s more like an ameoba (a cross-phylum mutation). Since this event occurred in nature when the papillomavirus transformed Henrietta’s cells, and not in the laboratory, it’s a strong piece of evidence supporting Evolution.”
uh yeah they are independent…
“this would mean recognizing all sorts of cancerous cell lines as new species. I don’t see that happeneing”
-hmm free living independant organisms derived from an ancestor but with mutations that dont allow them to interbreed with the the organism its derived from. thats a new species, isnt it? unless there is some other defination im not aware of.

“how can a certain virus be considered to have evolved from humans or any other organism?”
-that cell line isnt a virus… they are cells…
“What does “live independantly of the body they came from” mean?”
-it means they live outside of the human body and are self suffiecient. they are able to grow and reproduce.

“But even if you took healthy tissue from a person and cultured it in a lab it would continue to live and grow “independant of the organism it came from””
-yep, except it isnt “human” anymore, it has a differnt phenotype, different chromosome number etc.

“besides individual cells in humans don’t reproduce aside from mitosis…Thus not a seperate species”
-so asexual organisms (bacteria) arent species?
“No they are not. I grow them in the lab, and I can tell you that if I didn’t constantly feed the, change their media, etc. they’d rapidly die”
-so you (or any plated culture) arent independant either, becuase if i didnt feed you, you would die?
“And a bacterial culture can survive without human intervention.
That is what “independent” means.”
-wiki:
Because of their adaptation to growth in tissue culture plates, HeLa cells are sometimes difficult to control. For example, they have proven to be a persistent laboratory “weed” and they can contaminate other cell cultures in the same laboratory, interfering with biological research and forcing researchers to declare many research results invalid because the cells used were later found to be contaminated.

it doesnt seem like some frail organims to me when its contaminating other cultures. kinda seems like its neiche
“This is a mutation, not an evidence of evolution”
-yes. one that mutated it straight out of “human” into something else :)

New Niche Finder answers:

HeLa cells are a cancerous cell line (specifically isolated from a cervical cancer).
They are not an independent organism, and are therefore not a new life form.

Quoting from that same wikipedia article you quote from: “It should be noted that this definition [Helacyton gartleri as a new species] has not been followed by others in the scientific community, nor, indeed, has it been widely noted.”
_______________________________________________

Edit:

> “uh yeah they are independent.”

No they are not. I grow them in the lab, and I can tell you that if I didn’t constantly feed the, change their media, etc. They’d rapidly die.
They cannot find food for themselves, they cannot survive outside carefully-regulated conditions of temperature, pH, osmolarity, etc.

They are NOT independent.

> “this would mean recognizing all sorts of cancerous cell lines as new species. I don’t see that happeneing”
-hmm free living independant organisms derived from an ancestor but with mutations that dont allow them to interbreed with the the organism its derived from.”

[1] they are not free-living or independent.
[2] the reason they cannot interbreed with the species they were derived from is because they are single cells, and therefore cannot produce either sperm or eggs (and certainly cannot gestate a growing foetus inside them). This has nothing to do with any mutations they have experienced.
_______________________________________________

Edit II:

> “-so you (or any plated culture) arent independant either, becuase if i didnt feed you, you would die?”

No – but I can feed myself.
And a bacterial culture can survive without human intervention.

That is what “independent” means.

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