By Alan Dale (Auth.)
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Additional resources for An Introduction to Social Biology
It would be more in accord with our ideas concerning the Creator that, if these organs were specially created, different designs should have been selected for them, designs which would better have fitted the organs to perform their diverse functions than do the variations of the one general plan which actually occur. Many organisms possess structures which are of no apparent use to them and which can usually be shown to be homologous 1 with other structures which still perform some useful purpose in related organisms.
The main outlines of the structure of all the groups of plants and animals now existing are well known, and on a basis of resemblances in structure, biologists have been able to construct a classification of living things. In the case of animals there are some seventeen principal patterns or phyla, and all animals fall into one or another of these categories. Thus, in spite of the apparently great diversity of forms found in the animal kingdom, there is only a relatively small number of fundamental patterns ; and it is not difficult to imagine how most of these fundamental patterns have been derived from one another.
Of course, the theory does not assume that the chordates are derived from any living form of Echinoderm, but imagines that they may have been developed from the freeswimming larva of some remote Echinoderm ancestor. A surprising fact which emerges from the study of evolution is that many patMOUTH terns of life which flourished abundantly in past ages no longer exist. Reptiles, for instance, were once much more widespread and imporANUS tant in the " economics " of FIG. 24. Tornaria larva of Balanoglossus, a the world than they are primitive vertebrate.
An Introduction to Social Biology by Alan Dale (Auth.)