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Biology 464

BIOL 464
Vertebrate Zoology

Catalog Entry

BIOL 464
Vertebrate Zoology
Three hours lecture, three hours laboratory.

Prerequisite: BIOL 103, or permission of instructor.

An introduction to vertebrate zoology including an examination of origin; class characteristics; evolution; and adaptations of body form, locomotion, feeding, protective, spacing, social, reproductive, activity cycles, and special adaptations for various types of habitats. Emphasis on collection, preservation, and identification of vertebrates.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Topics covered may include, but are not limited to the following:
1. Species concept
2. Origin of chordates
3. Class characteristics
4. Vertebrate adaptations
    a. Body form and locomotion
    b. Feeding adaptations
    c. Protective adaptations
    d. Spacing adaptations
    e. Social behavior
    f. Reproduction
    g. Activity cycles
    h. Adaptations for avoiding extreme conditions
5. Zoogeography


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The lectures will present information regarding the classification, evolution, and adaptations of vertebrates. The laboratory will provide an opportunity for the students to learn how to use taxonomic keys and to be able to identify local vertebrates. The students will also have an opportunity to learn how to capture and preserve vertebrates for museum collections. The students will also carry out a research project. These projects may involve independent field research or library research.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

On completing this course students should be able to:

1. Use taxonomic keys for vertebrates.
2. Identify local vertebrates.
3. Find sources of information and resources in vertebrate zoology.
4. Collect, preserve and use museum specimens.


Assessment Measures
Assessment measures may include traditional examinations, laboratory practical examinations, research reports, specimen collections, and field journals.


Other Course Information


Review and Approval


01/2011