EEB 3265/5265 Herpetology
Lecture Meeting Time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 11:00 - 11:50 in TLS 181
Lab Meeting Time: Mondays 1:00 - 5:00 in TLS181
Textbook: Pough F. H., et al. 2004. Herpetology 3rd Edition. Pearson Prentice Hall.
Additional readings will be assigned from the primary journal literature.
Open lab for Study. March 30th, 2013 (1 - 5 pm).
Dr. Kentwood Wells
Office: Torrey Life Sciences Building 312
Phone: (860) 486-4319
Office hours: by appointment
Johana Goyes Vallejos (Teaching Assistant)
Office: Torrey Life Sciences Building 379
Phone: (860) 486-6215
Office hours: by appointment
Course Procedures and Policies
The lecture portion of this course will deal with various aspects of the biology of amphibians and reptiles, including physiological ecology, communication, social behavior, reproduction, parental care, and community ecology. The laboratories will focus on the classification and distribution of the major families of amphibians and reptiles of the world, as well as identification of Connecticut species. There will be some evening field trips toward the end of the semester to see breeding of local amphibians and daytime field trips to see other species. Students are expected to attend the field trips.
There will be a scheduled field trip to the Yale Forest during lab time Monday, April 29th. There will be additional evening field trips once the weather is warm enough. We will begin evening field trips as soon as the first amphibians start breeding, which could be as early as late March. Many of these will be arranged on short notice. We will try to do enough of these so that everyone has a chance to get out in the field a few times.
The emphasis in this course in on readings from original literature. I will be handing out detailed reference bibliographies with each lecture; assigned readings will be marked with * on each bibliography. Those marked with † are available online and will not be supplied in hard copy. Xeroxed copies of papers not available online will be in the green filing cabinet in my outer office (TLS 380) and can be signed out. Please do not monopolize these readings for long periods of time, since it is impossible for me to make enough copies for the entire class. The course textbook is Herpetology (3rd ed.) by F. H. Pough, R. M. Andrews, J. E. Cadle, M. L. Crump, A. H. Savitzky, and K. D. Wells (Prentice Hall, 2004). An illustrated guide, Amphibians and Reptiles in Connecticut: A Checklist with Notes on Conservation Status, Identification, and Distribution by Michael Klemens (Connecticut DEP, 2000), may be useful as an additional reference for local species and can be ordered if students are interested.
There will be two lecture exams. The midterm will be given sometime in March, perhaps as a take-home exam. The final exam will be essay format, given on May 8. For the final, I will hand out ten questions two weeks in advance, which you can prepare using class notes and readings. Several of these questions will appear on the final exam given during the scheduled exam period. You will not be able to bring any reference materials or notes to the exam. There will be two lab practicals covering taxonomy, distribution, and natural history of amphibians and reptiles.
Grades will be determined approximately as follows:
Lab Practicals: 20% each
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 Appendix A 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.
Lecture and Lab Schedule & Materials
|Date||Lecture Topic||Readings||Lab||Supplemental Materials|
|Jan 23||Amphibians: Diversity and Morphological Evolution||Ch. 2, 3, 10|
|Jan 28||Reptiles: Diversity and Morphological Evolution||Ch. 4, 10, 11||Caecilian and Salamander Taxonomy||Salamanders of CT.pdf|
Amphibians of CT website
|Jan 30||Amphibian Skin and Water Relations||Ch. 6|
|Feb 4||Amphibian Excretion and Osmoregulation||Ch. 6||Salamander Taxonomy; Video: Amphibians||Connecticut Salamanders|
|Feb 6||Reptile Water Relations||Ch. 6|
|Feb 13||Behavioral Thermoregulation in Reptiles||Ch. 6|
|Feb 18||Amphibian Thermoregulation and Freeze Tolerance||Ch. 6||Frog Taxonomy||Anuran Families of the World|
|Feb 20||Physiological Temperature Adjustments||Ch. 6|
|Feb 22||Make-up Lab (Thanks Nemo!)||Frog Taxonomy; Video: Cane Toads||Anura Practice Quiz|
|Feb 25||Gas Transport and Metabolism in Amphibians||Ch. 7|| Turtles and Crocodilians; Amphibian Review; Video: Crocodiles & Alligators, Turtles
||Turtle Families of the World|
|Feb 27||Activity Metabolism of Amphibians||Ch. 7|
|Mar 4||Reptile Metabolism, Energetics, and Diet||Ch. 7||FIRST LAB PRACTICAL (Amphibians)|
|Mar 6||Energy Budgets and Energy Allocation||Ch. 7|
|Mar 11||Amphibian Reproductive Modes||Ch. 8||Lizard Taxonomy||List of Lizard Families of the World|
|Mar 13||Biology of Amphibian Larvae||Ch. 8, 11|
|Mar 18||SPRING BREAK (Go somewhere warm!)||-----||-----|
|Mar 20||SPRING BREAK (Go somewhere warm!)||-----||-----|
|Mar 25||Ecological Aspects of Amphibian Metamorphosis||Ch. 8||Lizard Taxonomy; Video: Lizards||Lizard Study Guide|
|Mar 27||Reptile Eggs and the Evolution of Viviparity||Ch. 9|
|Apr 1||Reptile Life History Strategies||Ch. 9||Snake Taxonomy||Snake Families of the World|
|Apr 3||Communication and Mating Systems of Salamanders||Ch. 13, 14|
|Apr 8||Frog Vocal Communication: Behavioral Aspects||Ch. 13||Snake Taxonomy; Evolution of Snake Dentition||Snake Dentition|
|Apr 10||Frog Vocal Communication: Call Production and Reception||Ch. 13|
|Apr 15||Mating Systems and Sexual Selection in Anurans||Ch. 14||Reptile Review Video: Snakes|
|Apr 17||Modes of Communication in Squamate Reptiles||Ch. 13|
|Apr 22||Mating Systems and Sexual Selection in Squamates||Ch. 14||SECOND LAB PRACTICAL (Reptiles)|
|Apr 24||Social Behavior and Communication in other Reptiles||Ch. 13, 14|
|Apr 29||Ecology of Terrestrial Amphibian and Reptile Communities||Ch. 15, 16||AFTERNOON FIELD TRIP (Yale Forest)|
|May 1||Competition and Predation in Aquatic Amphibian Communities||Ch. 15, 16|
|May 8||FINAL EXAM|
Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles
American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
The Herpetologists' League
The Center for North American Herpetology
Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation
New England Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation
EMYSystem Online Turtle Resource
eNature Online Field Guides
Herps in the News (and other fun Stuff!)
March 18, 2013: Extinct frog hops back into the gene pool
March 12, 2013: Giant Salamanders are Supersuckers (Thanks Lyndsay)
Feb 18, 2013: What the Frog!? The Namaqua Rain Frog (Family Brevicipitidae)
Feb 7, 2013: The Amazing Amphibians and Reptiles of the Philippine Island Luzon
Jan 31, 2013: Genetic Matchmaking Saves Endangered Frogs
Jan 25, 2013: The Tiktaalik Song! so you don't forget the first tetrapod
Jan 23, 2013: UConn Biologist Honored for Seminal Paper on Social Behavior of Frogs