Biology of the Vertebrates Study Questions F2014

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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 (26 August 2014)

1. Dr. Jockusch mentioned that holistic, integrative studies have largely gone by the wayside, in lieu of increased research specialization on levels of organization rather than organisms. What is the purpose of studying "the biology of the vertebrates?"

2. What is the most basic function of an individual vertebrate? Name two of the other functions mentioned in class, and explain how they influence this most basic function. Give a specific example of each.

3. How do iguanas breathe differently than humans, and how does this affect an iguana's ability to capture food?

​4. Explain what a "trade-off" is, using the Hydromantes salamander's ballistic tongue as an example.

Lecture 2 (28 August 2014)

1. Are sharks more closely related to birds or hagfish?

2. When Dr. Jockusch says, "We [humans] are all bony fish," what does she mean?

3. Define "synapomorphy," and name one for echinoderms and chordates.

4. What is a "sister group?"

5. On a phylogenetic tree, which conveys more information, the order of the taxa listed on the tips, or the arrangement of the branches? Why?

6. Is the ancestral state for the Testudines, aquatic or terrestrial?

7. Which of the 12 extant vertebrate lineages don't occur in a marine environment? And of those, which have never lived in a marine environment?

Lecture 3 (2 Sept 2014)

1. What does it mean that Urochordates have an open circulatory system? How is that different than a closed circulatory system and what is the function of the circulatory system?

2. Hagfish are often called "living fossils." Why?

3. What is the difference between an atriopore and an anus?

4. What is a novel characteristic of the lancet's gut, and what is its significance?

5. How do Urochordates and Cephalochordates filter water?

6. Draw a simple phylogenetic tree with vertebrates, Urochordates, and Cephalochordates, in addition to the Deuterostome phyla.

7. Which traits of Urochordates and Cephalochordates are synapomorphies for vertebrates?