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The Biology of Survival

According to Charles Darwin, the various species and individuals compete for the same territories, and thus organisms that are better adapted to their environment are more likely to survive, reproduce, and transmit their features or traits to the next generation.

Ability to reproduce efficiently

In actuality, there are a few brain structures that give humans the arousal, desire, and necessity to reproduce. However, the Reticular Activating System and the Hypothalamus are particularly responsible for these needs. The Reticular Activating System serves primarily for arousal, while the Hypothalamus produces sexual behaviour and mating desire. This is perhaps the most important factor of human survival, without these instincts and desires there would be no future for the continuation of human life.

Ability to communicate superior to any other animal

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Humans are able to communicate on the highest intelligible level ever known, we are able to communicate with body language, sign language, code and symbol language, and spoken language. The main part of the brain that instils us with this ability is the cerebral cortex. Humans are able to decipher speech (left cortex) and imagery (right cortex) with the cerebrum. Communication is essential to increasing knowledge from generation to generation, thus making humans the most intelligible of all animals. The main difference between human knowledge is that it can be taught, whereas all other animals have to re-learn what their parents learned. Humans are able to take over where the last generation left off because of our ability to communicate.

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Ability to adapt to almost any environment on earth

The hypothalamus limits and controls motivation and body temperature; the cerebrum also gives humans the ability to think, reason, and survive. Both of these structures are necessary for adaptation or migration to survive. Most animals are only capable of surviving in their natural habitat- or another habitat closely related, but humans have the ability to survive just about anywhere. This is so because humans are equipped with enough reasoning that we can decide to protect ourselves from the environment. We are able to make clothing, artificial heat, and houses to keep us warm, we are able to realize if our body temperature is getting too high or low, we are able to make oxygen if there is not a sufficient amount, and we are able to make medicine and antidotes for almost any ailment.

Ability to change diets

Another similar characteristic to our survival is the ability to change our diet. This is also controlled by the hypothalamus and cerebrum. Another function of the hypothalamus is thirst and hunger. It tells us when we need food and when we need water. We are able to use the thinking abilities from our cerebrum to change our diet, if necessary, and the hypothalamus lets us know when we need food and water. Some animals are so dependent on certain foods and water supplies, that when they deplete, the animals die slowly. Humans are able to move on to another food or water source, as the resource depletes. Humans are omnivorous, which means we are capable of gaining essential nutrition from both meats and plants.

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Ability to defend against any predator

Humans have a very strong will to survive, and in that, we are very territorial towards other animals (humans included) that threaten that freedom. The amygdala, hypothalamus, cerebrum, and cerebellum are instrumental in defence against predators. The amygdala and hypothalamus are primarily aggressive response mechanisms within the brain that fuel the cerebrum. The cerebellum is also closely related because it controls the physical aspects of survival, such as coordination and balance. With all of these brain elements combined, humans are able to defend themselves against any animal on the planet; there is nothing that we are inferior to, despite handicaps of size, speed, and strength.

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The Biology of Survival. (2021, Mar 14). Retrieved August 19, 2022, from