Birds (Prehistoric Life) - download pdf or read online

By Megan Lappi

ISBN-10: 1590361113

ISBN-13: 9781590361115

ISBN-10: 1590361709

ISBN-13: 9781590361702

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Extra resources for Birds (Prehistoric Life)

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We can now see that those cells—which to early microscopers appeared as immobile ghosts, fixed in their tissue firmaments—actually crawl about, meet, fuse, divide, and grow. Beneath our skins is a constantly changing world where our body’s cells fashion and refashion our solid-seeming tissues. The mortar that they use to accomplish this is made of chemi­ cals—amino adds, linked together in long chains to form proteins, which in turn form scaffoldings outside and inside the cells. These pro­ teins are made in factories within the cell, factories we can now see with powerful electron microscopes, factories that appear like shelves and budding sacs.

These emotional centers, then, are wired above to incoming signals from the environment and below to motor centers, making us capable of responding to such signals at a moment’s notice. It is the physiological responses programmed by the hypothalamus that prepare our body to run—increasing the blood flow to our skin and muscles, and optimizing our breathing and metabolism for the task at hand. Through such nerve pathways, the emotion we call fear and the emotion we call love get translated into the physical sensations we 36 The Balance Within associate with these feelings.

These great nerve trunks simply end in a gray and white mass of tissue, with many folds of the surface and with islands of lighter and darker color on the inside—shapes that reminded the anatomists of a sea horse (the hippocampus), or a pale globe (the globus pallidus), or a woman’s breasts (the mamillary bod­ ies). The anatomists who discovered these landmarks identified them according to their shapes or with their own names. For it was impos­ sible to tell just by looking at them what many of these parts of the nervous system did.

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Birds (Prehistoric Life) by Megan Lappi


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