Biol 315, Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
Thomas C. LaDuke
Hours: Mon: 1-3
Office: Moore 128 Wed: 1-3
Phone: 422-3520 Thu: 2-3
Description: This class
explores the anatomical similarities and differences among
vertebrate classes, while explaining the evolutionary development of current anatomical diversity.
Biomechanics and functional design of vertebrates are also considered. In the laboratory,
a series of representative vertebrates is dissected in order to familiarize students with the specific
components of the various systems and to provide experience in dissection.
1) Students will learn basic concepts of evolution and classification as applied to vertebrates.
2) Students will examine theories about the evolutionary origins and relationships of chordates.
3) Students will learn about the basic stages involved in vertebrate development.
4) Students will learn the components of, and diversity of form of the following systems:
a) integument, b) skeletal, c) muscular, d) digestive, e) respiratory, f) circulatory, g) urinary,
h) reproductive, I) endocrine, j) nervous, and k) sensory
5) Students will learn about the functional morphology of locomotion and feeding in
will have opportunities to ask
questions in class, but extensive
questions about course material, grades, or exams should be brought to office
Exams must be taken on the scheduled date. Write these dates on your
calendar. Makeup exams will only be given to students who provide documented
evidence of a family or health emergency, and may be of a different format from
the regularly scheduled exam. Makeup exams will be given at a time of the
If you have a documented learning disability, you may be entitled to certain considerations, such as extra time during the exams. You must see me prior to the exam date to make the appropriate arrangements.
Changes coming soon.
||What is comparative anatomy? Evolution, homology||Ch.
||Systematics and paleontology||Ch.
||The diversity of vertebrates||Ch. 3
||Development||Ch. 5: 159-170, 187-205|
||The integument||Ch. 6: 208-223|
||Ch. 6: 223-230|
||Bone, structure, development. Begin Skull||Ch. 7
||The visceral skeleton||Ch. 7
||Postcranial axial skeleton||Ch. 8
||Appendicular skeleton||Ch. 9
||Biomechanics and allometry
||Locomotion: adaptations to fossoriality|
||Locomotion: swimming and flight|
||Digestive system: mouth and pharynx||Ch.
||Digestive system: visceral||Ch.
||Respiratory system: aquatic respiration||Ch.
||Respiratory system: aerial resp.||Ch.
||Circulatory system: the Blood and blood vessels||Ch.
||Circulatory system: the heart||Ch.
||Circulatory system: circulatory specializations||Ch.
||The urinary system||Ch. 14:511-528|
||Reproductive system (Male)
||Ch. 14:529-530, 537-546|
||Reproductive system (Female)||Ch. 14:532-537, 553-554|
||The endocrine system (endocrine
||The nervous system
||The mechanoreceptors and electroreceptors||Ch. 17:675-695|
||The ear continued||Ch. 17:675-695|
||The eye and other radiation receptors||Ch. 17:664-675|
||The eye continued||Ch. 17:664-675|
||Final Exam, 11AM to 1 PM|
The laboratory is
an integral part of the comparative anatomy
class. Its importance is reflected in
relative contribution to your final grade. In this portion of the class, students will learn the parts
of the various systems through observation of specimens and through dissection. A dissection kit
will be required beginning on the fifth week. A lab coat is recommended.
Required laboratory text: Fishbeck and
Sebastiani, 2001. Comparative Anatomy:
Manual of Vertebrate Dissection. Morton Publishing Company, Englewood, CO. 358 pp.
diversity, Integument, begin skull
||Chapters 5, 14, & 23|
||Ch. 6:55-61, 15:143 -147, & 24:209-216|
||Postcranial skeleton||Ch. 6:62-66, 15:147 -150, & 24:216-226|
||Muscles of the shark||Ch. 7
||Muscles of the mudpuppy. Begin cat dissection||Ch.
of the cat (continued)
of the cat (continued)
||Practical Exam II|
||Digestive, respiratory and urogenital systems||Ch. 8-10, 17-19, 26-28|
||Circulatory system (Shark & cat)||Chapters 11 and 29|
system (Shark & cat)
||Chapters 12 and 30|
||Practical Exam III|
responsible for lab bench cleanup and proper care and maintenance of
specimens and equipment. Dissection specimens are preserved in varying combinations of formalin,
phenol, and other noxious compounds. Avoid directly inhaling fumes and do not allow concentrated
fumes to contact your eyes, especially if you wear contact lenses. Contact lens wearers are
advised to wear glasses on laboratory days. Dissection gloves will be provided. Safe use of dissection
tools will be demonstrated and is thereafter the responsibility of the student.
|Lecture Exam I….20%||Lab Practical I…..10%|
|Lecture Exam II..20%||Lab Practical II….10%|
|Final Exam…….….20%||Lab Practical III…10%|
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