Biology of the Vertebrates
EEB 2214, Fall 2013
The evolution of form, function,
& diversity of the vertebrates
Meeting Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30-1:45 in BPB130
Textbook: VERTEBRATE LIFE Pough F. H., C. M. Janis, and J. B. Heiser. 2009. Vertebrate Life, 9th Edition.
Dr. Kentwood Wells
Office: Torrey Life Sciences Building 380
Phone: (860) 486-4454
Office hours: by appointment
Susan Z. Herrick
Office: Torrey Life Science Building 470
Phone: (860) 486-5662
Office hours: by appointment
Alejandro Rico (Teaching Assistant)
Office: Biology/Pharmacy 404
Office hours: Tuesdays 2-3 pm and by appointment
Exam 1 = 100 points (25%)
Exam 2 = 100 points (25%)
Exam 3 = 100 points (25%)
Final - Cumulative = 100 points (25%)
There will be two one-hour, non-cumulative, exams scheduled during the lecture hour. During the final exam period, a third one-hour exam will be given covering material from the final third of the course. Additionally a final cumulative exam will be administered at this time.
Any student who does not attend an exam and fails to receive permission in advance will receive a 0 for the exam. Approval of any request to miss an exam requires, but is not guaranteed by, verifiable written documentation of the reason. A student who receives approval to miss an exam will have his or her grade for the missed exam prorated based on his or her performance on the remainder of the exams. We will not give make-up exams. Every student must take the final (Exam 4). Permission to reschedule the final can only be obtained through procedures determined by the Office of Student Services and Advocacy.
Plagiarism and cheating are violations of the student conduct code, and may be punished by failure in the course or, in severe cases, dismissal from the University. For more information, see Section IV of the Student Conduct Code.
If you have a disability for which you may be requesting an accommodation, you should contact a course instructor and the Center for Students with Disabilities (Wilbur Cross Building, Room 201) within the first two weeks of the semester.
The secret of success to this course is to not let yourself fall behind. Be sure to fill gaps in your notes and navigate blocks in your understanding as soon as possible. Should you run into trouble with the material, below we have listed some steps for obtaining assistance. While we welcome any and all questions on the material, before you contact us, please first check the resources below to see if your question has already been answered. If/when you do contact us, please understand that we will respond as quickly as we can, but we do have other obligations that might prevent this from happening as urgently as you may need (like 3:00 am the day of an exam...).
The textbook for this course is Pough F. H., C. M. Janis, and J. B. Heiser. 2009. Vertebrate Life, 9th Edition. Prentice Hall. We strongly encourage you to read the assigned sections before lecture.
Study questions will be posted online after every lecture. These are intended to help you think about and synthesize information. They are not intended to provide a comprehensive study guide.
A review session will be held before each exam. Dates and times will be posted once they are set.
Links to External Resources:
- DigiMorph - Excellent source of 2 & 3D images of internal & external structures of various organisms
- ARKive - a unique collection of thousands of wildlife videos, images and fact-files, with a special focus on the world's threatened species
- iNaturalist - an online database for logging observations of plants and animals. Go to project UConn Vert Bio!
Vertebrates in the News
Lecture Schedule & Materials
|Part I: Aug 27 - Oct 10, Dr. Kentwood Wells|
|Aug 27||Diversity, classification, and origin of vertebrates||Chapters 1, 2|| Lecture 1 Outline|
Lecture 1 (Part 1)
|Aug 29||Vertebrate body plan and organ systems||Chapter 2|| Lecture 2 Outline|
Lecture 2 (Part 1)
|Sept 3||Fossil and living jawless vertebrates||Chapter 3|| Lecture 3 Outline|
Lecture 3 (Part 1)
|Sept 5||Evolution of jaws; biology of Chondrichthyes||Chapters 3, 5|| Lecture 4 Outline|
Lecture 4 (Part 1)
|Sept 10||Evolution of bony fishes; Sarcopterygians||Chapter 6|| Lecture 5 Outline|
Lecture 5 (Part 1)
|Sept 12||Respiration, feeding, schooling of fishes||Chapters 4 and 6|| Lecture 6 Outline|
|Sept 17||Fish reproduction, mating systems, parental care||Chapter 6|
|Sept 19||Origin of tetrapods||Chapters 7, 8, 9|
|Sept 24|| Diversity, morphology, and feeding of amphibians
Review Session TBA
|Sept 26|| EXAM 1
Bring a #2 pencil
|Lectures dating from Aug 27 - Sept 24|
|Oct 1||Reproduction and mating systems of amphibians||Chapter 10|
|Oct 3||Amniote evolution, morphology, and reproduction||Chapter 11|
|Oct 8||Lepidosaur biology||Chapter 13|
|Oct 10||Physiological adaptations of ectotherms||Chapters 4, 13, 14|
|Part II: Oct 15 - Dec 5, Instructor Susan Herrick|
|Oct 15||Turtles and Crocodilians||Chapter 12|
|Oct 17||Dinosaurs and other Mesozoic diaspids||Chapter 16|
|Oct 22||Evolution and structure of birds||Chapter 16|
|Oct 24||Feeding adaptations of birds||Chapter 17|
|Oct 29|| Mating systems of birds
Review Session TBA
|Oct 31||EXAM 2
||Lectures dating from Oct 1 - Oct 29|
|Nov 5||Cooperative breeding of birds||Chapter 17|
|Nov 7||Origin of mammals; monotremes and marsupials||Chapter 18|
|Nov 12||Mammalian diversity||Chapter 20|
|Nov 14||Mammalian feeding adaptations||Chapter 21|
|Nov 19||Mammalian mating systems||Chapter 21|
|Nov 21||Physiology of endotherms||Chapter 21|
|Dec. 3||Migration and torpor in birds and mammals||Chapter 22|
|Dec 5||Primate societies||Chapter 23|