Biology 351

BIOL 351

Catalog Entry

Biology 351. Comparative Animal Physiology
Three hours lecture; three hours laboratory

Prerequisites: A grade of "C" or better in  BIOL 131, BIOL 132, BIOL 231, and BIOL 232.

A comparative approach to animal physiology:  physical and chemical properties of animal systems, respiration, circulation, osmoregulation, neural and endocrine functions.  Emphasis on homeostatic mechanisms.

A comparative study of animal physiological mechanisms and processes including regulatory systems, homeostasis and environmental influences.


Detailed Description of Content of the Course



1. Respiration


a. Oxygen transport
b. Environmental supply of oxygen


2. Osmoregulation


a. Marine
b. Fresh water
c. Invertebrates
d. Vertebrates


3. Metabolic Rate


a. Feeding types
b. Temperature regulation
c. Hibernation
d. Torpidity


4. Circulation


a. Open systems
b. Closed systems
c. Blood


5. Sensory Systems


a. Comparative nervous systems
b. Nerve impulses
c. Special senses


6. Reproduction


a. Invertebrate systems
b. Vertebrate systems
c. Hormonal regulation



Laboratory Topics:

  • Osmosis (physical parameters)
  • Osmotic Selection (experimental)
  • Osmoregulators and Osmoconformers (experimental)
  • Blood (descriptive)
  • Computers and Statistics (descriptive)
  • Acid Tolerance (experimental)
  • Acid Selection (experimental)
  • Radioisotope Techniques and Safety (descriptive)
  • Hormonal Regulation (experimental)
  • Amphibian Growth (experimental)
  • Temperature Selection (experimental)


Detailed Description of Content of Course

The course emphasizes critical think and problem solving through analysis of empirical data. Lecture involves presentation of factual knowledge about primary physiological parameters. Several assignments are made that require application of factual knowledge to understand and solve both hypothetical and actual physiological problems. Most laboratory exercises will involve student experiments. The students will be required to collect data, statistically analyze the data, and draw appropriate conclusions from the data. Extensive use of computers will be required to accomplish the laboratory assignments.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

1. The students should be able to understand and discuss the fundamental principles of physiology and comprehend the diversity and unity of physiological processes in different groups of animals
2. The students should be able to utilize the scientific method as a problem solving technique and to draw appropriate conclusions from empirical data.


Assessment Measures

Assessment of the students success in the course is based on grades for two lecture tests, a final exam, and laboratory reports. Assessment measures will reflect the goals of the course.


Other Course Information

By accepting admission to Radford University, each student makes a commitment to understand, support, and abide by the University Honor Code without compromise or exception. Violations of academic integrity will not be tolerated. This class will be conducted in strict observance of the Honor Code.


Review and Approval

September 2001 Dr. Charles M. Neal, Chair