We can move on, at last, from Cellular Respiration. Today we welcome a virtual respite from the intricacies of the cell. We’ve covered many things that account for what cells–the basic unit of life–are. Nevertheless, we cannot talk about biology without actually seeing the result of the pathways and structures we’ve discussed in the past months. These pathways, tissues, and biochemical structures, have many wonderful arrangements–organizations that give rise to organisms of elegant simplicity (sponges), and impressive complexity (humans).
This respite comes in the form of a new chapter: Chapter 32: Introduction to Animals. Why do we study animals? Imagine an architect that only knows about materials, but has never seen an actual building; he or she does not know that marble, a material studied in detail, can be used to build structures like roman columns, or art pieces like Michelangelo’s Moses. Right now, at this stage of your Bio course, you are an architect that knows (or should know) all about marble, but has never seen a marble creation; you have heard everything there is to know about the cell–its stuctures, behaviors, biochemical pathways, etc.–but know nothing about one of the most impressive results of what cells can do.
Animals are the result of very complex arrangement of cells–forming tissues, organs, systems, etc. Also, they have been a very significant part of global human culture for millennia; another reason why animals should be studied. The following picture, taken from this source, shows a very dramatic and impressive example of an animal: