General Vertebrate Zoology -- Biology 386

Fall 2005

Time and Day: 4:00 – 5:15, M W

Room:  Biology 100

 

 

Instructor:                   Dr. Thomas F. Turner

                                    Office: 227 CERIA

                                    Email:   turnert@unm.edu

Web:    http://biology.unm.edu/Biology/fishes/people/turner.htm

Phone:  277-7541 (voice)

Office Hours: MW 2:30 – 3:30 pm, or by appointment*

*E-mail contact is encouraged

 

Course description: Through a combination of lectures, laboratory exercises, and independent research project, field trips, and readings, this course will provide a general overview of species diversity, natural history, and ecological and evolutionary relationships of vertebrates.  Fundamental concepts of the course are highlighted through comparisons within and among vertebrate groups.  We will emphasize evolutionary relationships among vertebrates as a framework for comparison, and use evolutionary relationships to keep track of morphological, physiological, and ecological innovations that have contributed to the remarkable diversity and abundance of vertebrates.

 

Requirements:

 

1) Textbook:  Pough, F.H., C.M. Janis, and J.B. Heiser. 2005.  Vertebrate Life, 7th Edition. Prentice-Hall, New Jersey.

 

2) Participation in Laboratory -. If you are enrolled in BIOL 386, you are required to enroll in Vertebrate Zoology Laboratory (BIOL 386L). The TAs for GVZ laboratory are Heather Bateman (hbateman@unm.edu) and Hilary Lease (hlease@unm.edu), both are Ph.D. candidates in the Biology Department.

 

3) Participation in Field Trips.  You will be required to attend class trips.

 

4) Come to class, and be ready to learn.  Although not required, regular attendance is probably the best way to succeed in lecture course.  Supplemental readings are given with each lecture topic.  Reading this material prior to class will strongly enhance your understanding and performance in the class. Write questions down ahead of time for discussion in class.

 

Exams and Grading: Your final grade depends on your performance in lecture (60% of final grade) and laboratory (40%).  In lecture, four components designed to permit you to demonstrate your knowledge of vertebrate zoology will be offered.  Of these, your lecture grade will be determined by selecting the three highest grades (total = 500 pts.). Consequently, there are absolutely no make-up exams in this course. A missed exam will result in a score of zero for that exam.

 

1.      First Hour exam                  167 pts.

2.      Second Hour exam:            167 pts.

3.      Third Hour exam:                167 pts.

4.      Research Project                167 pts.

 

 The grading scale (as a percentage of total points) will be:

 

                        A+       = 97 - 100%

                                                            A         = 93 - 96

                                                            A-        = 90 - 92

                                                            B+       = 87 - 89

                                                            B          = 83 - 86

                                                            B-        = 80 - 82

                                                            C+       = 77 - 79

                                                            C         = 73 - 76

                                                            C-        = 70 - 72

                                                            D+       = 67 - 69

                                                            D         = 63 - 66

                                                            D-        = 60 - 62

F          = 59% and below

 

Your grade is earned points as a percentage of the total points possible (= 500).

 

Exams:  Exams will be mixed format, containing all or one of the following: multiple choice, true/false, fill-in-the blank, short essay, and long essay questions.  You may also be asked to provide illustrations on certain questions. 

 

Research Project: Research projects are not to be book reports!   The assignment is to investigate what a characteristic (trait), or set of related characteristics "does" for a vertebrate or group of vertebrates (e.g., enhance survival, reproduction, energy acquisition, etc.).  The full number of points (167) will be awarded projects that either analyze original data (that you collect yourself; use as a study system your fish tank, the zoo, the duck pond, etc.) or analyze data from the primary literature (scientific journals) in a novel way.  For example, you may wish to make comparisons of existing data across groups of vertebrates.  In either case, you should formulate a specific question to be addressed, and gather and analyze data to address the question. Projects that do not involve data analysis will be scored at a maximum of 130 pts.  The final report must be written in the format of a scientific journal of your choice (format requirements can be found in Instructions to Authors section of a given journal) and must be carefully prepared on a word-processor and printed on a high-quality printer.  You must include the Instructions to Authors section of the journal you use as an appendix to your paper. You must work individually on this project.

Grading of research projects will focus on (in order of importance)

 

·        Strength of presentation and interpretation of data

·        Adherence to style

·        Literature cited section

·        Care of preparation (spelling, numbering tables and figures, reference to tables and figures in the manuscript)

 

The research projects progress along a series of steps that must be completed in accordance with the following itinerary.  In order to be awarded credit for the research project, you must complete all steps by the given deadlines.

 

Step One: Define your project and submit the attached "Description of Research Project

           Form".  The deadline is

           Wednesday, October 5th at 4:00 pm

 

Step Two: Submit a progress report, summarizing the data you've collected and

preliminary analysis of the data.  Outline any changes in the project, and include the bibliography of your final report.  Citations should follow the style of the journal you have selected.  The deadline for the progress report is

Monday, October 24th at 4:00 pm

 

Step Three: Submit an abstract (no more than 300 words) of your final report.  This

abstract will state the question, describe and summarize the data you gathered to address your question, summarize your results, and draw a concise conclusion.  The deadline for the abstract is

Wednesday, November 16th at 4:00 pm

 

Step Four: Submit your final report on the research project.  The deadline is

Monday, December 5th at 4:00 pm

 

 

Academic Conduct: “Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, dishonesty in quizzes, tests or assignments; claiming credit for work not done or done by others; hindering the academic work of others…” “The university reserves the right to take disciplinary action, including dismissal, against any student who is found responsible for academic dishonesty…” UNM Catalog

 


Tentative Lecture Schedule (Subject to change with notice)

 

 

Date

Day

Lecture

Topic

Text Readings

Special Event

22-Aug

M

1

Course Details & Introduction

1-15

 

24-Aug

W

2

Origin of Vertebrates, Development

16-42

 

29-Aug

M

3

Evolutionary History and Comparative Physiology of Vertebrates

43 - 71

 

31-Aug

W

4

Early Vertebrates; Fishes I

43 - 71

 

5-Sep

M

 

Labor Day Holiday - No Lecture

 

Labor Day Holiday

7-Sep

W

5

Fishes II -- Chondrichthyes

101 - 117

 

12-Sep

M

6

Guest Lecturer

TBA

 

14-Sep

W

7

Guest Lecturer

TBA

 

19-Sep

M

8

Fishes III--Osteichthyes

124 - 155

 

21-Sep

W

9

Comparative Ecology and Physiology of Fishes

72 - 100

 

26-Sep

M

 

Fish Physiology II and Review

72 - 100

 

28-Sep

W

 

Exam 1

 

 

3-Oct

M

9

Sarcopterygians

119 - 124

 

5-Oct

W

10

Life on land and Early Tetrapods

167 - 212

Description of Research Project Deadline

10-Oct

M

11

Amphibians: Salamanders and Caecilians

220 - 262

 

12-Oct

W

 

No Lecture -- Fall Break

 

 

17-Oct

M

12

Amphibians: Frogs

220 - 262

 

19-Oct

W

13

Amniotes: Introduction, Turtles

265 - 326

 

24-Oct

M

14

Lepidosaurs: Lizards and Snakes

327 - 363

Progress Report for Research Project

26-Oct

W

15

Archosaurs: crocodilians, dinosaurs

388 - 420

 

31-Oct

M

16

Archosaurs: dinosaurs

388 - 420

 

2-Nov

W

 

Dinosaurs III and Review

388 - 420

 

7-Nov

M

 

Exam 2

 

 

9-Nov

W

17

Birds: Origins and Diversity

421 - 434

 

14-Nov

M

18

Birds: Flight and Physiology

435 - 483

 

16-Nov

W

19

Birds: Ecology

435 - 483

Abstract of Research Project Deadline

21-Nov

M

20

Origin & Diversity of Mammals

487 - 508

 

23-Nov

W

21

Morphological Variation of Mammals

519 - 552

 

28-Nov

M

22

Mammalian Specializations

553 - 577

 

30-Nov

W

23

Mammalian Ecology

578 - 628

 

5-Dec

M

24

Vertebrate Conservation Biology

660 - 683

Final Research Project Deadline

7-Dec

W

 

Review

 

 

12-Dec

M

 

Exam 3

 

5:30-7:30 pm


 

 


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Last Update 18 August 2005, by T. Turner; © T. Turner