Sun 27 Sep, 2009 12:55 pm
A new theory about:
Why insects have small bulks?
Before explanation of my new theory, I point out to those theories which have been presented before on this respect.
Insects have exoskeleton and this theory point out that this skeleton isn't able to grow more actually, the insect is imprisoned inside this skeleton and isn't able to get larger.
Defects of this theory: All of arthropod owns exoskeleton, and some of them like crabs are able to own rather large body which is discordant with this theory. On the contrary, there are some insects that own softer exoskeleton, but again aren't able to enlarge. Also in the past (250 million years ago), there were insects that owned big bodies (like dragonfly by length of 75 cm) and this theory can't explain the reason of their existence. Because they owned hard exoskeleton too but they were able to enlarger!
Respiratory system theory:
Insects respiratory system comprise thin and capillary tubes called tracheae that supplies oxygen directly through existent pores on the body, to all insect bodies interior cells. That means, opposite other animals, oxygen isn't been carried by blood. It flows through inside of tracheas by means of propagation phenomenon, and reaches cells. This theory says that the propagation of oxygen inside the cells, is possible only in short intervals and if insects have large body, the length of tracheas will lengthen and oxygen can not reach cells. So insects are forced to own small body.
About existence of large insects in the past, this theory predicts the existence of high percentage oxygen in earth's atmosphere. According to this theory, atmosphere's oxygen amount, 250 million years ago, was higher than the oxygen, would make it possible the propagation of it through the long tracheas of insects. Therefore insects at that time were able to be longer than present insects.
Defects of this theory:
250 million years ago, there were plants from the class of Horsetails and Club moss as the shape of very big trees. But today, the same plants exist only in very small size of some centimeters. Botanists believe that high consistency of atmosphere's carbon de oxide (CO2) is the reason of existence of giant Horsetails and Club moss at that time.
You consider that entomologists predict a high consistency of oxygen and botanists predict a high consistency of CO2 for 250 million years ago. These two have confliction with each other.
This was a brief of theories existing in this respect.
My new theory, in this respect:
Blood circulation system theory:
My theory is based on animals' blood circulation system. The theory compares the power and evolution of blood circulation system for animals and expresses the relation between bulk largeness and power of blood circulation system. According to this theory as much as blood circulation system is stronger and complete, animals' bulk can be larger (bigger). Insect's blood circulation system is too incomplete and there are no blood vessels. Insect's bodies, with lack of blood vessels, aren't able to supply blood consisting nutrition to remote cells, so their body are forced to be small.
In this theory air pressure and gravity, are two physical factors that have impact on function of blood circulation system. The most effort of blood circulation system is used to conquest on gravity. As much blood circulation system is strong, is more able to conquest on gravity and send blood upper into animals' brain. Consequently, animal is able to enlarge more and taller. For example, elephants and giraffes, who own the most evoluted and strongest blood circulation system, are the largest and tallest ones among the animals.
For possibility of existence of insects whit big bodies and other big animals like dinosaurs and mammals in the past, this theory predicts a light gravity at that time. According to this theory, the amount of gravity in the past have been less than the present time, so blood circulatory system of animals was able to conquest better on it and enlarge animals body but along the time, gravity has been increasing and animals are forced to make smaller their body sizes.
As you know, there are some theories such as strike of meteorites or activity of volcanoes for extinction of dinosaurs, which each one has a lot of defects. It has been said ice ages for extinction of mammoths and a lot other theories for other extinctions. My new theory is able to answer all of these questions as a case of a theory and no need to state a different theory for each of these matters. This is my theory's name:
"The relation between gravity and evolution"
This theory is able to answer many questions about animals and plants and their extinction, which haven't been answered yet.
This theory is organized as cast of several articles:
1) Why the insects have so small sizes?
The creatures of the Earth have different sizes. All of vertebrata, mollusk, worms, insects, belong to the animal kingdom. But we see that their individual kinds show extreme variations in size. The largest animals, such as whales and giraffes belong to the class of Mammalia, and the smallest ones, i.e. insects and Acarina belong to Arthropoda. Largeness and smallness are relative qualities. A thing, on its own, cannot be large or small, and only by comparison with other things, becomes large or small. If we only observed the insects of the world, we couldn't tell that they are small creatures, but when we see a fly resting beside a horse, we become surprised at the great difference of their size, and the question occurs to us: Why are insects smaller than other creatures? "Because of the limited weight of hard exoskeleton, the size of no arthropods creature encroaches a determined extent." This has been the answer of zoologists and entomologists to the above question. But the answer isn't satisfying even for themselves. Because the body of many insects is soft, but they yet are very small, and against those are crayfishes whose exoskeleton is very hard, yet are greatly larger than insects! Entomologists compare the body structure of an insect with that of a large animal such as a giraffe. They are searching for factor in bodies of insect, which prevent their getting big. But till now they have had little success. For finding an appropriate answer we must look in another direction. In other words, we must instead of searching for the preventive factor of growth of insect, search within the system in the body of the giraffe, which the insects lack, and which contributes to greater size of the body. The head, which carries the brain, is the most important part of any creature's body. The brain is important and sensitive, and must receive enough water and food all the time. Providing necessary water and materials to the brain is among the primary responsibilities of circulatory system. The heart, like a pump, turns the blood, which carries water, and nutritive substances and the vessels carry the blood to the brain, by use of other organs, which act like tubes. Suppose we want to send water from a tank, which is placed on the lower part of a structure to upper floors for usage of resident of the structure. But if we do not use tubes (plumbing) and simply tried to carry on the job only with a pump, it would be a difficult task. The pump can not carry the water to regarded points of the upper floors without tubes and plumbing, and only to a limited extent can the pump shoot it upwards. In this case, the water not only won't reach to desired points of upper floors of the structure, but also at the lower floors, instead of arriving at its desired points (bath and kitchen) it will flood into all the rooms and walls. Without plumbing tubes, we couldn't make high structures functional, and we would be convinced to construct low ones in order to distribute the water for its residents. Within the body of the giraffe, there is not only a strong pump (heart), but also many "plumbing" tubes (arteries, veins, capillaries), so its body can convey blood to the highest points where the brain is located, and to other organs and systems, easily as well. Any organ of the body of a giraffe can receive as much blood as it needs. When the animal eats food, the blood is succinctly guided to its digestive system, operates as the feeding organ. Any cell of the body of the giraffe can receive necessary amounts of water and other substances from nearest capillary systems and send redundant and unnecessary substances to be discarded, through the same system. But the body structure of an insect possesses an entirely different system. There is no "plumbing" to distribute the "water", but only a pump (heart), which carries the blood from the dorsal and pushes it forward. There isn't any upper floor in this structure, and at the lower rooms, the water, instead of flowing in tubes, fills all the rooms, and the residents are basically flooded in water. Individuals in the lower floors of an insect, not only receive food from the "water", but also pour the unnecessary substances into it. The insects have an open circulatory system. This means that there are no vessels or "plumbing" within their body, and the blood moves openly through it. There, every place is full of blood, and organs and systems of the body are "drowning" in it. They receive water and necessary substances from it, and pour the unnecessary excrement into it. The heart, for the lack of vessels, cannot convey the blood to far distances and high points, so all the systems of the body have to gather around the heart, so as not to suffer the shortage of water and necessary substances. The circulatory systems of insects have little authority on the rate of distributing the blood to different organs, and organs which are near the heart, receive more necessary materials and enjoy preferable conditions. The brain, being the most important, is located in front of the aorta, where the blood first emerges from the heart. The heart always takes the blood from the back of the body and pushes it forward towards the head. If the brain of insect was at a high point, like the giraffe's brain, the heart couldn't send blood to it for lack of vessels, so the brain and other organs of insect have to be near the heart. In other words, the size of the insect must be small. In this manner, it is obvious that any creature wanting to grow in size, must have the necessities of distributing the blood, and because the insects lack such means, they cannot grow in size. In other words, the insects, by lacking the "plumbing" vessels, have small sizes, and the giraffes having so many vessels can then become comparatively large. On the whole it can be said that any creature which has a more complete circulatory system, will become larger than others. To help make the matter more clear, it is noteworthy to compare the circulatory system and size of some other creatures also. There are species in the worm groups which, on the whole, lack the circulatory system and are very small and microscopic, i.e. Nematoda and Bryozoa. Some of worms have a simple circulatory system consisting of some linear vessels and a small heart. These species can make themselves a little larger, such as Phoronidea, Sipunculoidea and Brachiopoda. Among the worms, only the segmented ones have an advanced circulatory system, consisting of linear and partial vessels, some hearts and capillaries. Their blood circulation is closed. The segmented worms, having such a circulatory system are the largest species among worms, i. e. Rhinodrilus Fafneri which reaches 210cm long and 2.5cm diameter, and Eunice Gigantea which is 3m, long. In the Mollusca group, we see a variety of circulatory systems, both open and closed. The individuals belonging to open circulatory system, and having few vessels and a simple heart, such as Amphineura and Gastropoda are smaller. But individuals whose circulatory system is more advanced, such as Bivalves, are of a larger size. Finally, Cephalopoda, who are the most developed ones of Mollusca, and have a closed circulatory system with many vessels and heart chambers, are larger than other Molluscas, such as large Octopuses and Architeuthis, which have a body of 2.5m long and arms as longs 12-18m. All members of the Arthropods group have an open circulatory system, so they can not grow very much. The extent of the evolutionary process, however, is not the same among all individuals of this group. Among the arthropods, Crayfishes are the largest species, because their circulatory system, in addition to their hear,t has many arteries and the heart can guide the blood to relatively far distances within them. But because of lacking capillaries and veins, the blood is distributed in its coelom "body cavity". Also, the circulatory system is open. The Circulatory system of Scorpions and some other Arthropods has fewer arteries, so they are smaller than Crayfishes. All insects lack vessels, and only have a dorsal vessel, which consists of some ventriculites and end in a short aorta. So insects must remain a small relative size. Among insects, those which have longer Dorsal Vessel, such as Cockroaches and Grasshopers are larger than ones whose Dorsal Vessel is shorter, having less ventriculites, i.e. Coccidaes. But these insects are not the smallest Arthropods. Acarina are the smallest ones. Parasite Vegetable Acarias are even smaller that 0.1mm. For observing Acarias of Eryophidae group, magnifying instruments are needed and used. So these small Acarias must have some simpler circulatory system than even insects. Larger Acarias, like insects, have a Vessel Dorsal and heart. But small Acaria lack such organs and their circulation is made only by body muscles and movements of internal organs such as the digestive system. Among Vertebrata, the ones who have a more complete circulatory system are the larger creatures, i.e. Mammalia, whose circulatory system is the most complex and complete, so they become the larger species such as the whale, elephant and giraffe. So as a whole we conclude that any creature living on earth, establishes a direct relationship between its circulatory system and its relative size. No creature on Earth is an exception to this principle.
2. Dose the force of gravity increase?
3. Plants, other witnesses for the increase of gravity
4. Megatherium and the increase of gravity
5. How can the gravity increase?
6. Gravity variation from the equator to poles?
7. The sea animals and the increase of gravity
8. The relationship between the blood system and air pressure
9. The extinction of dinosaurs and the gravity increase
10. The circulatory system in zero gravity
11. Why did the previous mammals have small bodies?
12. Why the body sizes of the mammals are different?
13: Relationship between Pressure & Growth speed
14: If the Earth expanded, where did all the extra mass come from?
15: A physical question
16: New Hearts in the future
18: The new class of animals
Ramin Amir Mardfar
Edit [Moderator]: Link removed
Insect Physiology Online
Edit [Moderator]: Link removed
Your theory taken aside, the upper limit to the size of insects is determined by respiration. Insects don't have a pulmonary system which concentrates the ambient atmosphere to provide oxygen. They rely upon diffusion--taking the available oxygen in its ambient form. This is why, hundreds of millions of years ago, insects were much larger than they are now--at that time, the amount of oxygen in the ambient atmosphere was about 30%, while now it is less than 20%.
It is that which determines the upper size limit of insects.
I just checked, and that would have been in the Carboniferous period, from about 360 million to 300 million years ago. The oxygen content of the atmosphere then is believed to have been about 32.5%, which is more than 50% greater than the current oxygen content of the atmosphere.
This isnt a new theory. The geologists have known that the relationship between extreme body sizes in insecta and the atmospheric concentrations of free oxygen were evident in the Carboniferous. So the fact that everal species of arthropoda (water dwellers) still reach large sizes , even thought their circulatory/repiratory systems are fixed, evidences the oxygen/size relationship. PS Siphunculacea and Brachiopoda arent worms, they are their own sub phylum.
The Geo Time SCale is recalculated every several years as more rad and geomag data is refined. Heres the 2009 version as published by The Geo Society of America. You can blow it up and print it off. e should check into it every few months if theres some new work being done. The latest Carboniferous work was done in 2003 and 2008 when it was discovered that the Pwrmian "end times" were actually closer than first realized, And the Mississippean was actually earlier than first realized.
Ramin mardfar wrote:
For possibility of existence of insects whit big bodies and other big animals like dinosaurs and mammals in the past, this theory predicts a light gravity at that time. According to this theory, the amount of gravity in the past have been less than the present time...
Not possible. The mass of the planet has not changed significantly since it's initial accretion (and stabilization after the formation of the moon). Gravitation is a result of Mass and the Mass hasn't changed.
Oxygen levels on the other hand have a direct effect on insect physiology and are a close match to the fossil record and a number of biological systems at the time. I suggest you re-scrutinize the objections you noted to the oxygen level theory.
Gravity HAS changed through time for any given spot on the planet. The reason, primarily due to plate tectonics and continental accretion. However, as you infer, its never been so significantly different as to effect the sizes and shapes of the residents. That would be more a function of atmospheric gases, temperatures and climates, and available resources for the species involved ).
Mamoths got reaally small on Wrangle Island at the end of the Ice age, mostly due to the extent of the carrying capacity of the environment.
Your link does not provide a contradiction of what Roswell was saying. Whether or not the earth expands, it's mass is a constant. Do you understand what mass means in this context?
There are hundreds of "for profit"journals o "Science" just invading the web. Its amazing how this market has gone from zero to hundreds in a few years.
Self published articles are gathered up by these journals and the writers PAY a hefty fee to get their crap published. No juries, no points of dispute from an Ed Board.
Not that Im saying this guys journal is crap, Id just not want to buy a subscription of a topic so broad that no data seems to be forthcoming.
Gunga would love it.
Saying that you are correct in the “circulatory systems” of insects is a limiting factor in size, it would still be at best a secondary factor at the most critical it is moot.
Free mean path of oxygen is still the ultimate limiting factor (it is thought). It is the difference of diffusion and convection. The bulk flow of a circulatory system can move (at least [almost] 3 orders of magnitude) more oxygen than the trachea of these animals can supply it -- as the oxygen movement is through diffusion in the case of insects. So even if the circulatory “issue” was mitigated it would make no difference in size whatsoever, it is moot.
In the 80’s when I had a physical interest in such things there was very little data on what you are trying to show. For example scaling values had only been worked out for things like the size of the heart relative to animal size and related metabolic values. Virtually all (of even this paucity) of data was related only to mammals to boot.
mber that insects have ACTIVE spiracles and tracheoids. Theres a small series of muscles that suck the ait in and exhale the CO2. Think of the Madagascar Cockroach, it makes noises by sucking air into its spiracles by extending its abdominal segments. ALL insects are like that in lesser degrees, some locusts can vocalize through their spiracles , and cicadas.
When you look at the really big insects of the Carboniferous, you see fossils of those with the segmented abdomens, smaller insects also existed at about the same sizes as today, hymenopterans for one. They were somewhat larger but not like the B-17 sizes that cockroaches and damselflies achieved
Certainly Gunga Dim is a devoté of evidence free journalism.
While the biosciences are not my area at all, the way I recall it is that the insects that “breath” as you describe are a small exception rather than the rule. These tend to be among the largest insects. In most insects I understood that stoma on the body of the insect took in air and then moved it to the interior of the insect by diffusion through capillaries/tracheas.
I know, for example, that Pickard (1974) demonstrated the constant diameters of the smallest insect trachea and of the relationship of that diameter to that of the mean free path of oxygen. This was used to explain the minimum size of insects and sets the mean free path as the limiting factor in how small an insect trachea and so the insect can be, showing it had nothing to do with the characteristics of the insect at all. I know that he assumed diffusion as the calculations were basically for random walk type of paths of the oxygen molecule.
But as I said that was decades ago and I was interested in scaling phenomenon rather than in insect physiology (if there is such a field).
the way I recall it is that the insects that “breath” as you describe are a small exception rather than the rule. These tend to be among the largest insects
Those of the diptera and proto colepterans were the ones that we see in fossil records. The striated muscle tissue about their tracheoles were only visible from very finely preserved tissue in fossils. SO Active respiration (which, as you say occurs in big insects) was a feature that allowed the even bigger insecta groups (NOT ALL) to grow huge in the Carboniferous.
Since chemical gradients over the very small distances within bodies of ants etc, the only muscles exhibit are a form of peristalsis which aids gaeous diffusion. recent Paleo microscopy by (I believeI have the names right but Ill look em up) Whitlock and Johnson (2007) was about the divided active respiratory structures in these mega-bugs.
The hissing cockroach and other forms are actually (they say) "fossil structures" from the days of high atmospheric oxygen content. Fortunately the insecta only have straited muscle tissues so its been easy to id these assisted tracheoles in fossils .
You consider that entomologists predict a high consistency of oxygen and botanists predict a high consistency of CO2 for 250 million years ago. These two have confliction with each other.
No its not. You re thinking that CO2 and O2 are in "solution" and they both can occur at increasing concentrations wrt the entire gaseous content of the atmosphere.
25PPM O2 and 25 PPM CO2 can coexists. SO can 50 PPM O2 and 50 PPM CO2.
We are looking at atmospheric density at the surface.
the free journalism is way ahead differ things.
What does that mean if you say it in English?
I think we are looking at a random array of words. I need to buy a clue please.