Saturday, 9 December 2006

S103: Block 4 - Unit within Diversity

Block 4 and its time to get into some biology.

Book 4 is called Unit within Diversity and covers a fair bit of biology in not much depth, but goes into a fair depth in the ecology and evolutionary aspects.

It starts out discussing what is life, and some of the historic moments in the science of biology. There is a brief chapter about cells and genetic material, then its into the main topic which is the diversity of life.

There is quite a lot of DVD work in this book, several hours in total, where you get to explore the Galapagos islands and make inferences about adaption and speciation. The dvd ahs a lot of question and answers coupled with film clips from various experts discussing the finch population and the marine iguanas. I can still here the learned doctor on the DVD saying "Correct" and "No" even after the course has finished, he has quite a distinctive style.

There is also a big section on ecology, building up food chains, and looking at the energy used in a food web, what depends on what etc. We get to find out how many oak trees are required to raise one bird of prey, through caterpillar and blue tit intermediaries.

There is no TMA specifically about this block, but the next block will be included. So its onwards and upwards.

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