Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large

Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large

In search of oxygen

Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large reserves of oxygen, although many frequently stock it in small amounts.

Although it takes the blood only two seconds to pass through the capillaries of the alveoli, this is sufficient for an oxygen balance to be set up between the air in the alveoli and the blood. However, the amount of oxygen, which can dissolve in the blood during this period, is Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large infinitesimal (0,003 cubic centimeter per cubic centimeter of blood plasma). For an animal to obtain sufficient oxygen using this method, the volume of the lungs and the amount of blood running through them would have to be increased almost a hundred-fold. This would obviously be very difficult to do.

Nature has chosen another method by supplying the blood with a substance which can easily react with oxygen and thus retain it in much larger amounts than would be possible in a simple solution. For the tissues to be able to make use of me stored oxygen this substance must readily Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large release the oxygen when necessary. This substance is haemoglobin. It possesses two properties, which are indispensable for breathing. When the blood is in the lungs, where there is a great deal of oxygen, the haemoglobin immediately makes contact with the oxygen. Owing to this one cubic centimeter of blood carries with it 0,2 cubic centimeter of oxygen, i. е., 20 per cent of the blood volume, and then gives it up to the body tissues.

Larger amounts of oxygen are required for some organs, mainly muscles, many of which work rhythmically for several hours on end. These are the muscles Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large in the legs and wings, and the masticatory muscles, while the respiratory and cardiac muscles never cease working. It has been proved that they cannot be supplied with oxygen while they are working for, when a muscle contracts making the vessels constrict, blood cannot flow through them.

The tissues use the oxygen stored for them in the muscle haemoglobin. It is very similar to blood haemoglobin, the essential difference being that the muscle haemoglobin is much better at trapping and retaining oxygen, releasing it only when the oxygen level in the environmental medium is very low. The cardiac muscle of Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large a warm-blooded animal contains 0,5 per cent muscle haemoglobin, which allows two cubic centimeters of oxygen to be stored for each gram of muscle tissue. This is quite sufficient to ensure normal functioning of the muscle for the time the blood flow is arrested.

Water mammals and waterfowl, which have to stay under water for long periods of time, have converted their muscles, primarily the most important ones, to take larger stores of oxygen by saturating / them with large amounts of muscle haemoglobin. This is how the sperm-whale can remain submerged for V thirty to fifty minutes and Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large swim long distances during that time. An alligator can stay in water for even longer, one and a half to two hours.

Our atmosphere contains a great deal of oxygen and its loss is constantly made good by green plants. It would seem that man would never have to face a shortage of oxygen.

A few years ago the Japanese were forced to make reserves of oxygen available in ordinary, -everyday conditions. The streets of Tokyo and other large cities in Japan are always packed with cars whose fumes poison the air with carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large. Such air is unsuitable for breathing, although it still contains sufficient oxygen. Now they have started to install oxygen machines in the streets of Tokyo for passers-by, too, similar to the aerated water machines that are to be found in many cities the world over. This means that everybody can put a coin in the machine and refresh his lungs with oxygen.

There are many places on Earth that have little or no oxygen. In most cases, living creatures themselves are responsible for this, bacteria being especially heavy consumers of oxygen. One milligram of bacteria is able to Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large consume 200 cubic millimetres of oxygen per hour. It should be pointed out that a working muscle of comparable weight will, during the same period, use only twenty cubic millimeters of oxygen and only two and a half cubic millimetres when relaxed. Due to the activities of bacteria and the larger microorganisms many nooks on our planet are becoming quite unsuitable for life, and so animals have to be more inventive to settle in such ecological niches.



One such niche is successfully inhabited electric eels. These large fishes live in the swamps and small rivers of South America. During the rainy season the Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large rivers become turbulent, and the swamps are flooded with streams of muddy water. These streams are rich in oxygen and the dwellers of the underwater kingdom can breathe easily. But, during the drought, which follows the rainy season, the rivers quickly become shallow, forming small lakes with narrow stretches of water between them and the marshes begin to dry out. In the shallow pools heated by the tropical sun the plants rot and the micro-organisms multiply rapidly, consuming oxygen at a greater rate than it diffuses from the air. Thus, breathing becomes more and more Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large difficult for all the water dwellers.

But the electric eel feels fine and does not seem to suffer from the lack of oxygen. What is more, food is plentiful. All the inhabitants of the disappearing pools are attracted to the place where the eels have settled. The electric eels do not hunt for their prey. Liquid mud is brown like coffee dregs in which you cannot even see the tip of your nose. It is obvious that one could not catch anything there, except quite by chance. The eels kill their prey with powerful electric shocks, without even looking or trying to Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large see what kind of creature it is.

What is the reason for the eels' attraction? Do they occupy the best places in the pool? Not at all. It is simply because these terrible fish enrich the water around them with oxygen. An electric discharge of 600 volts can break down water into its constituents, oxygen and hydrogen, and this life-giving stream attracts the oxygen-starved fish from all directions.

With the electric discharge the water in the eel's body also decomposes. The oxygen so formed is immediately transported by the blood all over the body, but Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large the hydrogen has to be expelled. It is eliminated through the gills and rises to the surface in long jets of tiny bubbles. The bubbles show the Indian hunters where this dangerous fish is and they lose no time in killing it so that they may have fish for their own table.

Besides the eels, another rather interesting fish, the lepidosiren, also lives in the swamps of South America. It can survive even in completely dried-up swamps where there is very little oxygen even in the rainy seasons. The adult fish manage with very little oxygen because their swim bladder Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large has become a paired respiratory organ. They breathe air, but the problem is how to preserve the spawn in such water. The lepidosiren has developed a unique way of caring for its offspring, a method of supplying the spawn with oxygen. The male is responsible for this. As soon as the rainy season comes, he either finds a small but sufficiently deep hole on the bottom or, else, a burrow and takes his female there. When the spawn is laid and fertilized, the female swims quietly away leaving the spawn to the father's care.

With the Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large onset of the breeding season the male lepidosiren dons his wedding outfit: extremely long thread-like shoots grow from his abdominal fins. The male in fancy dress is an interesting sight courting the female or guarding the nest, his fins lowered completely onto the spawn. This wedding outfit serves not only to attract the female; the fins serve as hoses to supply oxygen to the spawn. The temporary shoots of the lepidosiren males are filled with tiny blood vessels and this enables the oxygen to pass from their blood into the surrounding water.

Given a good spot — a small hole or Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large a burrow in a shallow place, completely cut off from the main pool — it is simple to obtain oxygen supply for the spawn. In such conditions the male can readily take oxygen from the surface and, while remaining in position over the spawn, thus enrich his own blood, passing the oxygen at a greater rate into the surrounding water. This is easily accomplished in the stagnant water of the pool provided that the hole or burrow used for the nest is small.

Pools have yet another source of oxygen — green plants. If there are few green plants and the Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large oxygen they liberate is not sufficient to saturate the water, the only thing to do, as large numbers of insects do, is to settle on the plants themselves as the concentration of oxygen will be greatest there.

Tiny oxygen bubbles can often be observed on plants. The macroplea beetles pick up these bubbles with their tiny legs and carry them to their antennae. After some time, the bubble disappears which makes us think that the beetles breathe with their antennae. If there are no gas bubbles of oxygen the beetles cut the plant and wait for air Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large to escape from its air channels. The same method is used by water weevils.

The larvae of macroplea and donicia beetles make incisions in plants and attach their spiracles to them. Other insects stick their stylets into the plants and suck oxygen out from the intercellular space. These oxygen-rich intercellular spaces are places favored for pupation.

However, the caterpillars of the Brazilian paraponyx are even more ingenious. They build themselves a house from bits of green plants and, when these wither away, they replace them. Consequently, during the hours of daylight, there is always plenty of oxygen Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large in their nests, but at night, so as not to be choked by the carbon dioxide liberated by the plants, the caterpillars have to climb outside.

The amount of oxygen found in the stomach and intestines of vertebrates is negligible. But certain living organisms, which could find no place under the sun, have learnt how to obtain oxygen. Not the least among them is the bot (the larva of the botfly) that lives in the alimentary tract of horses. Like all other insects, the bot has a tracheal system for respiration which is stronger and more ramified than that of larva living Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large in the open. It also has red organs which are a conjugate formation consisting of many large red cells. A tracheal stem enters each cell and then branches out into numerous tracheoles in its protoplasm.

As yet we do not know how the red organs function, but it is clear that they play a major role in supplying the larva of the botfly with oxygen. This is proved by the presence of a large amount of haemoglobin which accounts for the red color of the cells and whose affinity to oxygen, i. е., the ability to combine Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large with oxygen even when small amounts of the gas are present, is hundreds of times higher than in mammals.

Ascarids are intestine dwellers often found in mammals. Even quite recently it was maintained that they could manage without oxygen. However, scientists were astonished to find two kinds of haemoglobin in the body of the pig ascaris (Ascaris suis). This haemoglobin was concentrated at two pints, in the wall of the body and in the parenteral liquid that fills the cavity of the body. The outer haemoglobin retains oxygen 2,500 times longer, and the inner haemoglobin 10,000 times longer, than the pig's Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large own haemoglobin.

Now why does the ascarid need haemoglobin if it can manage without oxygen? Theoretical calculations show that a system of two haemoglobins with a growing thirst for oxygen may serve as the ideal carrier specially where there is a considerable oxygen deficiency.

Still more primitive animals, primarily bacteria, have no haemoglobin and are therefore unable to actively extract oxygen from the surroundings. However, they are often doomed to environments where there is little or no oxygen at all. Nevertheless, these crearures are quite happy to reconcile themselves to an absence of oxygen. This has led Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large to their being named anaerobes, which means "one who lives without air".

How do anaerobes manage to live without air? Not so long ago this seemed to be a puzzle that could not be solved. Now we know^ that they do need oxygen all the same. Instead of extracting oxygen from the atmosphere the anaerobes simply take it from organic substances. Some bacteria even extract oxygen from inorganic substance, using nitrites and sulphites for the purpose.

Anaerobes breathe by oxidizing the products of metabolism without using additional oxygen and are quite content with the amount already present in the substances being Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large oxidized.* For, when a substance is oxidized it makes no difference whatsoever whether oxygen is added to, or hydrogen removed from it. Oxidation by abstraction of hydrogen is termed fermentation; it results in the splitting of organic substances to form oxidized and reduced products and the liberation of the energy required by the organism.

The best known form of fermentation found in single-celled organisms is the breakdown of a glucose molecule into two molecules of ethyl alcohol (the reduced substance) and two molecules of carbon dioxide (the oxidized substance).

In many-celled organisms, the most common form of Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large fermentation is lactic fermentation that involves the decomposition of carbohydrates, as, for instance, when a sugar molecule breaks down into two molecules of lactic acid, which have less energy than the initial substance. The breakdown of carbohydrates is a gradual process consisting of a series of reactions. As a result, the oxygen in the molecule of sugar near to the inner carbon atom is transferred to the external carbon atom. Energy is thereby liberated.

The question arises why living organisms use atmospheric oxygen if energy can be obtained by mere fermentation. There are many important reasons for this. Fermentation never Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large results in complete oxidation of a substance and, therefore, little energy is released. If one gram-molecule of glucose is completely oxidized to carbon dioxide and water, 673 large calories will be obtained. But with fermentation, which results in the formation of ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide, only as little as 25 large calories will be released. This means that anaerobes have to use 27 times as much glucose as aerobes to obtain the same amount of energy. The difference is, of course, appreciable and Nature cannot tolerate such wastefulness.

Another important reason is that substances such as ethyl Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large and butyl alcohol, lactic acid and butyric acid, acetone, etc., which are bad for the organism, are formed as a result of fermentation. It is not easy to dispose of these harmful substances.

Respiration frequently produces combustible gases. Microorganisms often release hydrogen. This is how microbes living in the intestines of termites breathe. Of the many-celled creatures, the larvae of some flies, in particular, release a great deal of hydrogen. Some organisms liberate not only hydrogen, but also methane and other gases, some of which are still not known, including spontaneously inflammable gases. It is a particularly beautiful sight Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large when the gases, which have collected in the silt at the bottom of a pool, rise to the surface of the water and burn with a mysterious bluish наше.

How then have animals managed to change their way of breathing to such an extent and adapt themselves to absence of oxygen? This did not prove difficult. At the dawn of life on the Earth there was little free oxygen and the earliest living creatures had to become anaerobes. It was not until the atmosphere became rich in oxygen that animals learnt to burn energy-forming products completely. At the same Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large time, the anaerobic method of breathing did not disappear but was passed on and finally came down to us. As mentioned at the beginning, in ail animals without exception the first stages of energy release proceed without oxygen. When aerobic animals felt like returning to the places where no oxygen could be obtained, they again had to restrict themselves to partial utilization of the energy contained in nutrient substances. To do this they had to remember how to render partially oxidized products harmless.

Animal life emerged on our planet when the atmosphere was still poor in oxygen Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large. It is no wonder that 'living organisms had to adapt themselves to an environment where oxygen was in short supply. However, we usually fail to notice another much more puzzling phenomenon, namely, that animals living in the presence of excessive oxygen have managed to restrain the intensity of the oxidation process taking place in their bodies as if they were always ready to extinguish a constantly threatening fire.

The amount of environmental oxygen is constant and, if it does alter, it decreases. This explains why animals have different means of combating oxygen shortages but no means of protection against excess oxygen.

Bert Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large was the first to discover that breathing pure oxygen can be poisonous around a hundred years ago. This was such an unexpected discovery that scientists did not believe him and a suspicion arouse that the oxygen used by Bert contained various poisonous admixtures. The experiments were repeated many times, but no matter how thoroughly the oxygen was purified, the animals which breathed it for prolonged periods inevitably perished.

There was a good reason for the scientists' interest in oxygen poisoning. The problem had to facilitate the work of divers. A man can survive in an atmosphere of Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large pure oxygen for about 24 hours? If he breathes oxygen for longer than that, pneumonia ensues and, strange as it may seem, death due to asphyxia, which is a shortage of oxygen in the most important organs and tissues. A man can endure a pressure of two to three atmospheres for not longer than one and a half to two hours. Then he becomes intoxicated with oxygen, loses coordination of movement and suffers from mental distraction and loss of memory. If the oxygen pressure exceeds three atmospheres convulsions will soon follow causing death.

Oxygen proves even more poisonous for animals which Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large live where there is a critical lack of oxygen. This is how ascarids living in human intestines are combated. Oxygen is fed into the intestines, causing no danger to the man himself but surely killing the parasites.

An excess of oxygen is not only detrimental to animals but also to plants. It is interesting that, although plants saturate the atmosphere of our planet with oxygen, the Earth's atmosphere is not good for them. They are rather short of carbon dioxide and, strange as it may seem, there is too much oxygen for them. 'According to recent investigations Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large not only the usual concentration of oxygen but even as little as two percent, that is one tenth of what is to be found in the atmosphere, considerably retards photosynthesis. This means that plants have created an atmosphere quite unsuitable for themselves. Had there been less oxygen they would have grown and developed more rapidly.

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Документ Our planet is very rich in oxygen, and this evidently explains why animals have not learnt to store it in large amounts. Only very few Earth-dwellers are able to provide themselves with large