A Proposal for the Anatomy of Mermaids

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Betancourt, Bethany
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University Honors College Middle Tennessee State University
Mermaids are creatures featured in mythologies around the world. They are typically depicted as having a human torso (usually that of a female) and the tail of a fish. My objective was to craft a depiction of their anatomy and physiology through the lens of evolutionary biology, a task which was accomplished by researching the biology of existing marine mammals and of humans. My research suggests that a mermaid-like animal would likely have evolved a streamlined body form and adaptations that optimize their ability to thermoregulate in cold ocean waters. Such adaptations might include a thick layer of fat and shortened limbs. My hypothesis, of course, assumes that the necessary conditions for the evolution of a mermaid-like species existed in ancient ancestral populations.
Basic and Applied Science, mermaids, anatomy, evolutionary biology, mythology