Biology of the Vertebrates Study Questions F2012

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Note: These study questions are not comprehensive. They are meant to supplement your lecture notes as you review them, and alert you to the ways in which you should be thinking about the material, and formulate questions to test yourself. Exams will NOT be limited to the material highlighted in these questions, or their formats, so your lecture notes and handouts should be your primary reference.

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Lecture 1 (28 August 2012)

1. What are the reasons for studying a particular group of organisms such as vertebrates?

2. List the basic functions of living organisms. Provide a vertebrate example for each.

3. What is a trade-off? Explain it in terms of one of the two examples (e.g. lizards and salamanders) discussed in lecture.

4. Why weren't the ancestors of lizards subject to the same constraint (trade-off)? How have some lizard relatives escaped from this constraint (e.g. Komodo dragon)?

5. Hydromantes salamanders have a high performance, ballistic tongue. What two trade-offs have allowed for this?

Lecture 2 (30 August 2012)

1. Organize the vertebrate groups (12) from the most to the least diverse (# of spp.).

2. What is a "monophyletic group"? Draw the vertebrate phylogeny and label all major monophyletic groups discussed in lecture.

3. What vertebrates (use common names) belong in the Lepidosauria? Synapsida? Actinopterygii?

5. What are the six major deuterostome groups named in lecture? Describe a representative from each group.

6. Define the term "sister group". What is the sister group of hemichordates? What is the sister group of vertebrates?

*Please refer to the Pdficon small.gifPhylogeny Tutorial and Pdficon small.gifTree Quiz for additional help with phylogenetic trees*

Lecture 3 (4 September 2012)

1. Which is the sister group of Amniota?

2. How do cephalochordates (amphioxus) bring oxygen to every cell on their bodies?

3. List three key traits (features) found in chordates. Why are Urochordates (sea squirts, tunicates) considered to be chordates when they do not possess any of these features as adults?

4. Describe the reproductive strategies of amphioxus (subphylum Cephalochordata), tunicates (subphylum Urochordata), and hagfishes (subphylum Vertebrata, Myxinoidea). Which of these lineages has the ability of reproduce clonally?

5. Describe the circulatory system of amphioxus (subphylum Cephalochordata), and tunicates (subphylum Urochordata). Which of these groups has a heart? An anterior enlargement of the nerve cord?

Lecture 4 (6 September 2012)

1. Name two traits of the feeding apparati that are shared by hagfishes and lampreys, but are different when compared to gnathostomes.

2. Describe the life history and reproductive behavior of the lamprey (Petromyzontoidea). In what ways does it differ from that of the hagfish (Myxinoidea)?

3. Both hagfish and lampreys are similar in overall body size and shape (e.g., elongate, and without paired appendages). What are some key morphological/anatomical features that can be used to differentiate between these two groups?

4. What is a "synapomorphy"? List the chordate traits (4). Which of these are considered synapomorphies?

5. Provide a brief description of the probable morphology of the ancestral chordate, given what is known about its living descendants.

6. List three vertebrate synapomorphies. List three gnathostomes synapomorphies. List two hagfish synapomorphies. List a lamprey synapomorphy.

7. Provide a brief description of the probable morphology of the ancestral vertebrate, given what is known about its living descendants.

Lecture 5 (11 September 2012)

1. Why are the "teeth" of hagfish (Myxinoidea) not homologous (i.e., evolutionarily related structures) to the teeth of other vertebrate lineages, like sharks, bony fishes, and mammals?

2. What key features place the Cambrian fossil Haikouella in the vertebrate lineage? Where would you place it on the vertebrate phylogeny?

3. What are two distinct traits seen in the Cambrian fossil Haikouichthyes (Myllokumingia) that are not seen in Haikouella?

4. What are "conodont fossils"? Why did it take so long to determine what they actually were (i.e., what organism they belonged to)? Where would you place conodont fossils on the vertebrate phylogeny?

5. Which are the three mineralized tissue layers that compose the external skeleton (dermal armor) of jawless armored fishes? What are the hypothesized functions of the external skeleton? List the three major dermal armor derivatives.

6. Describe the mineral composition of each of the three types of fish scales. Provide an example of a type of fish that possesses each of these scale types. What are the advantages of having scales as opposed to body armor?

Lecture 6 (13 September 2012)

1. Be able to answer the who, what, where, when, why, and how questions for vertebrate traits discussed in lecture. For example, the origin of jaws is seen in the ancestor to what lineages? In what environment did jaws evolve? In what geological time period did jaws evolve? What anatomical feature are jaws modified from? What is the ancestral function of jaws? What is the primary function of jaws in most extant gnathostome (jawed vertebrate) lineages?

2. In what groups do we see both paired pectoral and pelvic fins? What is the ancestral function of possessing paired fins? Briefly describe the two theories of fin evolution.

3. In what geological period do researchers think placoderms reached their highest diversity? When do chondrichthyians first show up in the fossil record?

4. Name the two major groups within Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fishes) and give an example of an animal that belongs to each lineage. List some unique features for each group.

5. Which are the chondrichthyian characteristics? Out of those which are considered synapomorphies?

6. Why would it be advantageous to have a mineralized cartilaginous skeleton? What would be a disadvantage for possessing this type of skeleton?

7. Provide a brief description of reproduction in sharks. How can a female shark control parentage?

8. What is viviparity? In what vertebrate lineages do viviparous organisms occur?

Lecture 7 (18 September 2012)

1. Elasmobranchs (sharks and rays) have a large diversity of tooth shapes. Describe two different shapes seen in sharks and rays. What are the functions of each of these different tooth shapes?

2. Briefly describe the jaw movement(s) in sharks.

3. Provide the who (which lineage), why (function), and how of the "Ampullae of Lorenzini"?

4. Why are the Ampullae of Lorenzini thought to be responsible for the unique head shapes in chondrichthyians?

5. Describe two differences between rays and other elasmobranchs.

6. Compare the jaws of elasmobranchs and bony fishes. What are some major ways in which they are similar? What are some ways in which they are different?

7. Describe and name three advantages of jaw protrusion in teleosts. Which traits involved in jaw protrusion are synapomorphies of teleosts?

Lecture 8 (20 September 2012)

1. Define symplesiomorphy. What is the difference with synapomorphy?

2. Which are synapomorphies of osteichthyans (bony fishes)? What two extant lineages belong in Osteichthyes? Which are synapomorphies of Actinopterygians (ray-finned fishes)? Which originated within teleosts?

3. What are pharyngeal jaws? What is their function? What is unique about the pharyngeal jaws of the Moray Eel?

4. Provide the who (which lineage), where (what environment), why (ancestral function), and how (physiological function) of the "swim bladder". Name an extra function of the swim bladder in Toadfish.

5. Name two regions in the world with both high freshwater and marine fish diversity.

6. What are the adaptations that allow icefish to live in the Antartic?

7. What adaptations have allowed fishes such as the Viperfish, Anglerfish, and Sea Devil to live in the deep ocean? In what ways are Whalefish larvae different from adults and females different from males?

8. What are the five groups of Actinopterygii? Which of these lineages is the most diverse and the least diverse? What is thought to be one possible explanation for the great diversity of Teleosts despite being evolutionarily "young" (<150 million years old)? List one Teleost synapomorphy.

Lecture 9 (25 September 2012)

1. Briefly describe the reproductive biology of the Anglerfish. Why this extreme form of sexual dimorphism is so unique to this group?

2. Name the only vertebrate with hermaphrodite organism that are able of self fertilization. Why this extreme form of reproduction is so unique to this species?

3. Describe how a lungfish can facultatively switch between breathing aquatically and aerially? List three synapomorphies for Actinistia.

4. What are the key morphological/anatomical characteristics that differentiate coelacanths (Actinistia) from Actinopterygians and other Sarcopterygians? Describe the reproduction of coelacanths.

5. List the traits that tetrapods gain and lose during the evolutionary water to land transition.

Answer the following "who, what, when, where, why, how" questions for each of the following questions:

What is it?
Who (what lineage) discussed in today's lecture is it seen it?
When (in evolutionary time) is it first seen?
Where (geogaphically, season-wise, and habitat-wise) does it occur?
How does it work?
Why does this lineage aestivate?

What is it?
Who (what lineage) discussed in today's lecture is it seen it?
When (roughly in evolutionary time) is it first seen?
Where (anatomically) does it occur?
How does it work?
Why (what is the function)?

What is it?
When (in evolutionary time)?
Where (geographically, and habitat-wise) was it found?
Why is it considered a transitional fossil between fish and tetrapods. List its fish characteristics and its tetrapod characteristics?

EXAM 1 (27 September 2012)

Lecture 10 (2 October 2012)

Answer the following "who, what, when, where, why, how" questions for each of the following questions:

What is it?
When (in evolutionary time)?
Where (geographically, and habitat-wise) was it found?
Why is it considered a transitional fossil between fish and tetrapods?
List its fish characteristics and its tetrapod characteristics.

What is it?
When (in evolutionary time)?
Where (geographically, and habitat-wise) was it found?
Why is it considered a transitional fossil between fish and tetrapods?
List its fish characteristics and its tetrapod characteristics.

What is it?
When (in evolutionary time do we first observe these)?
Where (anatomically) is it found?
Why (what is its functon)?

4. What key tetrapod trait is first seen in Acanthostega and Ichthyostega?

5. Where on the vertebrate phylogeny do Tiktaalik, Acanthostega, and Ichthyostega map out?

6. When do amphibians first appear in the fossil record?

7. Explain the hotspot of amphibian diversity in the southeast of Northamerica.

Lecture 11 (4 October 2012)

1. What are the adaptations that allow caecilians to successfully live fossorially (underground)? Describe caecilian reproduction. Describe a unique caecilian parental behavior that has only recently observed.

2. What morphological characteristics does Eocaecilia share with extant caecilians. What morphological characteristics differ between the two?

3. What is the geographic distribution of living caudates? In which way are caudates (i.e., salamanders and newts) important to ecosystems?

4. Complete the phrase: "All newts are salamanders but...."

5. Please describe salamander reproduction (as seen in most lineages). Why is this considered indirect internal fertilization?

6. In which two extreme environments anurans are not found?

7. List the skeletal features of a frog that allows it to be a great jumper. How does the skeleton of Triadobatrachus differ from that of a modern frog? In what ways is it similar? What time period does Triadobatrachus date back to? When in geologic time was the split between anurans and their sister group, the caudates (from Lecture 10)?

8. Why are amphibians (specifically anurans and caudates) so important in the proper functioning of an ecosystem?

9. What are the anatomical, physiological, and ecological changes a tadpole undergoes as it metamorphoses into a frog? Why is this transition considered more drastic in a tadpole, as opposed to a larval salamander?

Lecture 12 (9 October 2012)

Lecture 13 (11 October 2012)

Lecture 14 (16 October 2012)

Lecture 15 (18 October 2012)

Lecture 16 (23 October 2012)

Lecture 17 (25 October 2012)

EXAM 2 (30 October 2012)

Lecture 18 (1 November 2012)

Lecture 19 (6 November 2012)

Lecture 20 (8 November 2012)

Lecture 21 (13 November 2012)

Lecture 22 (15 November 2012)

Lecture 23 (27 November 2012)

Lecture 24 (29 November 2012)

Lecture 25 (December 4, 2012)

Lecture 26 (December 6, 2012)

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