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Vocabulary Word

Word: physiological

Definition: pertaining to the science of the function of living organisms; N. physiology


Sentences Containing 'physiological'

``Yes, sir,''replied the count;``I have sought to make of the human race, taken in the mass, what you practice every day on individuals a physiological study.
But the number and diversity of inheritable deviations of structure, both those of slight and those of considerable physiological importance, are endless.
These individual differences generally affect what naturalists consider unimportant parts; but I could show, by a long catalogue of facts, that parts which must be called important, whether viewed under a physiological or classificatory point of view, sometimes vary in the individuals of the same species.
No naturalist doubts the advantage of what has been called the "physiological division of labour;" hence we may believe that it would be advantageous to a plant to produce stamens alone in one flower or on one whole plant, and pistils alone in another flower or on another plant.
Von Baer's standard seems the most widely applicable and the best, namely, the amount of differentiation of the parts of the same organic being, in the adult state, as I should be inclined to add, and their specialisation for different functions; or, as Milne Edwards would express it, the completeness of the division of physiological labour.
I have chosen this example because the explanation which most naturalists would advance is not here applicable, namely, that specific characters are more variable than generic, because they are taken from parts of less physiological importance than those commonly used for classing genera.
And this fact shows that a character, which is generally of generic value, when it sinks in value and becomes only of specific value, often becomes variable, though its physiological importance may remain the same.
These positions seem at first purely morphological, or of no physiological signification; but Dr. Hooker informs me that within the same ovarium the upper ovules alone in some cases, and in others the lower ones alone are fertilised; and he suggests that this probably depends on the direction in which the pollen-tubes enter the ovarium.
To give an example among insects: in one great division of the Hymenoptera, the antennae, as Westwood has remarked, are most constant in structure; in another division they differ much, and the differences are of quite subordinate value in classification; yet no one will say that the antennae in these two divisions of the same order are of unequal physiological importance.
Hence, as has often been remarked, a species may depart from its allies in several characters, both of high physiological importance, and of almost universal prevalence, and yet leave us in no doubt where it should be ranked.
As we find organs of high physiological importance--those which serve to preserve life under the most diverse conditions of existence--are generally the most constant, we attach especial value to them; but if these same organs, in another group or section of a group, are found to differ much, we at once value them less in our classification.
We can understand why we value certain resemblances far more than others; why we use rudimentary and useless organs, or others of trifling physiological importance; why, in finding the relations between one group and another, we summarily reject analogical or adaptive characters, and yet use these same characters within the limits of the same group.
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