Skeletal and muscular system

Essay by joe1031C+, March 2005

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The single-celled protozoan ancestors of animals had their weight supported by water and were able to move by cilia or other simple organelles. The evolution of large and more complex organisms (animals) necessitated the development of support and locomotion systems. Animals use their muscular and skeletal systems for support, locomotion, and maintaining their shape.

Types of Skeletal Systems Movement is a major characteristic of animals. This movement is a result of contraction of muscles. The skeleton helps transmit that movement. Skeletons are a fluid-filled body cavity, exoskeletons, or internal skeletons.

Hydrostatic skeletons consist of fluid-filled closed chambers. Internal pressures generated by muscle contractions cause movement as well as maintain the shape of the animals, such as the sea anemone and worms. The sea anemone has one set of longitudinal muscles in the outer layer of the body, and a layer of circular muscles in the inner layer of the body.

The anemone can elongate or contract its body by contracting one or the other set of muscles.

Structure and function of a hydrostatic skeleton Exoskeletons are characteristic of the Phylum Arthropoda. Exoskeletons are hard segments that cover the muscles and visceral organs. Muscles for movement attach to the inner surface of the exoskeleton. Exoskeletons restrict the growth of the animal, thus it must shed its exoskeleton (or molt) to form a new one that has room for growth. The bulk and weight of the exoskeleton and associated mechanical problems limits the size animals can attain. Spiders use a combination of an exoskeleton for protection and fluid pressure for movement.

Exoskeleton of an insect and its relation to the muscular system. Vertebrates have developed an internal mineralized (in most cases) endoskeleton composed of bone and/or cartilage. Muscles are on the outside of the endoskeleton. Cartilage and bone...