Animal Physiology’s Legacy in Our Human Experience
MOVEMENT, THE LINE DIMENSION, AND ANIMAL NEUROPHYSIOLOGY
Animals are organisms which move. Movement is perhaps the single largest evolutionary leap and required the development of specialized tissues for both movement (muscle tissue/Mesoderm) and tissues to figure out the most primitive cognition – the how/where/why of action (nerve tissue/Ectoderm). These tissues overlay and are supported by the core endoderm, which is the origin cellular form most closely related to All Living Things. These specialized tissue types, in turn, support the endoderm by enabling access to new sources of energy and novel tactics for reproduction.
Originally movement was extension and contraction(e.g.: how a snail moves), but rather quickly developed into a free-swimming movement. Dimensionally this type of movement is restricted to movement along a line. Jellies are an example of these early experiments in movement. Fish, amphibians, and reptiles are examples of much more advanced vertebrate physiology that continued to explore evolutionary potentials within this constraint of linear movement and are discussed in the following section.
Here is a fun article from Science Magazine that talks about what it was like for our ancestors at the beginning of the era of animals:
SAVING FOSSIL HILL
line dimension. Time not sensed. Exaptation.
For organisms limited to a fixed point in space, protective responses are based largely of sensing vibration or sudden changes in light. The point archetypical response to a sensed threat is a contraction. We usually label this protective response as freeze, which we experience as either a locking of our physiology or as panic (ARMOR). The most efficient means to sense vibration is using hairs (cat whiskers are an excellent example). Humans still have a direct neurological connection to and from our hair follicles to the deepest layers of our core neurophysiology (Enteric Nervous System). If you have experienced your hair standing on end when frightened, you have experienced this neurophysiological response both perceiving a threat and priming to become more sensitive (a notable quality of this response is its immediacy – it unfolds much more quickly than our conscious awareness can track). This connection between our skin and our core neurophysiology is why tactile protocols often can help us to down-regulate our protective responses effectively aiding in the treatment of a post-traumatic stress response.
NEXT EVOLUTIONARY LEAP IN OUR HUMAN JOURNEY