Mammal Diversity and Evolution
BIOL 345/445; ANAT 445
(4 credit hours)
|A survey of the major groups of living and
and an introduction to evolutionary trees
Tu/Th, 2:45-4:00 PM, E429A
(East Wing, School of Medicine)
Lab: Wednesdays, 2:00-5:00 PM; most Osteology Labs (OL) meet in Classroom C of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History; Phylogenetics labs (PL) meet in Clapp 304
Darin A. Croft, Ph.D. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Robbins, EG-03; 368-5268
Tara Kelloway (email@example.com)
Prerequisite: BIOL 214
|This course focuses on the anatomical and taxonomic diversity of mammals in an evolutionary context. The emphasis is on living (extant) mammals, but extinct mammals are also discussed. By the end of the course, students will be able to: (1) describe the key anatomical and physiological features of mammals; (2) name all orders and most families of living mammals; (3) identify a mammal skull to order and family; (4) understand how to create and interpret a phylogenetic tree; (5) appreciate major historical patterns in mammal diversity and biogeography as revealed by the fossil record. Two student-led seminars and one lab each week. Most labs will take place at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. One weekend field trip to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. This course satisfies a laboratory requirement for the biology major.|
Syllabus, Fall 2013
Please do assigned readings and watch the video before each lecture.
|Aug. 27||C1: Mammal
characteristics and classification
|| V: Ch. 1-2, 4
|D1: Food for thought (4:2)|
|Aug. 28||L1: Intro. to
|| V: Ch. 25
||V: Ch. 3, 5, 20
|D2: A winning design (1:1)|
Introduction to Cladistics (PL)
||W: Ch. 1-3||Quiz 1:
||C4: Afrosoricida, Macroscelidea, Tubulidentata||V: Ch. 7-8
presentation dates due
|| V: Ch. 14
|D3: Insect hunters (1:2)|
Afrosoricida, Macroscelidea, Soricomorpha,
||Quiz 2: C4-5, D3
|| V: Ch. 10
M: 114-119, 124-127, 476-477
|D4: Life in the trees (3:2)||L2 Report Due
|Sept. 17||C7: Pilosa||V: Ch 10
||L4: Monotremata, Pholidota, Cingulata, Pilosa, Tubulidentata (OL)||Quiz 3: C6-7, D4|
|Sept. 19||C8: Scandentia, Dermoptera, Primates 1||V: Ch. 11-12
||C9: Primates 2||V: Ch. 12
|D5: Social climbers (4:1)|
||L5: Cladistics 2 (PL)||Quiz 4: C8-9, D5|
||C10: Chiroptera 1||V: Ch. 15, 22
guide groups due
||C11: Chiroptera 2||V: Ch. 15, 22
||L6: Scandentia, Dermoptera, Primates, Chiroptera (OL)||Quiz 5: C10-11|
|Oct. 3||C12: Rodentia 1||V: Ch. 13
|L5 Report Due
(through Oct. 2)
| Oct. 10
|Oct. 15||C13: Rodentia 2, Lagomorpha||V: Ch. 13
|Oct. 16||L7: Rodentia,
||Quiz 6: C12-13,
||C14: Carnivora||V: Ch. 16
|D7: Meat eaters (2:2)||
Class: Fall Break)
||D8: Opportunists (2:3)
||Quiz 7: C14,
|Oct. 24||C15: Proboscidea, Sirenia,
|V: Ch. 9
|Oct. 29||(No class: SVP meeting)||
||(No class: SVP meeting)|
||(No class: SVP meeting)|
|Nov. 5||C16: Cetacea||V: Ch. 19, 22
|D9: Return to the water (3:1)||Grad. skull
guide information due
|Nov. 6||L9: Hyracoidea,
Sirenia, Proboscidea, Cetacea (OL)
||Quiz 8: C15-16,
|Nov. 7||C17: Artiodactyla
||V: Ch. 18
M: 676-687, 704-799
|D10: Plant predators (1:3)|
|Nov. 12||C18: Perissodactyla||V: Ch. 17
|Nov. 13||L10: Artiodactyla, Perissodactyla (OL)||Quiz 9:
||V: Ch. 6
|D2: A winning design (1:1)|
||V: Ch. 6
||Quiz 10: C19-20|
|Nov. 21||C21: Extinct
South American orders
South American orders (OL)
|Zoo lab due|
||Quiz 11: C 21|
Final Exam, 12:30-3:30 pm
** Classroom B, CMNH **
|Required Textbooks and
Most classes will be led by two undergraduate or one graduate student. At the beginning of the semester, students will submit their top four choices for classes to lead, and an effort will be made to accommodate such preferences. Students who are not leading class on a particular day are still expected to complete the assigned readings and watch the assigned videos prior to each class (except for the first day of the course) in order to actively participate in the discussions. Each class will have the following format:
Overview Presentation (20 min.). This should be PPT-based with many images and little text. Digital versions of the figures in the Vaughn et al. textbook will be made available, but students are encouraged to use additional resources. The presentation should provide a general overview of the group including: diversity and relevant families; evolutionary relationships; fossil record; recognition characteristics (especially skull and external morphology); geographic range; and Ohio representatives (if applicable). The presentation is an introduction, not a thorough treatment. It will be timed and should adhere to the schedule.
Presentation Discussion (30 min.). This will permit a more detailed treatment of topics presented in the lecture overview. The class leaders for the day will direct the discussion, which should emphasize form-function relationships including: skeletal anatomy, soft tissue anatomy, diet, size and body mass, locomotion, special adaptations, and ecological niche. Images may be projected to help facilitate discussion.
Research Article Discussion (25 min.). One article will be assigned for each class that highlights recent research on one of the groups discussed in class that day. Students should come to class prepared to discuss that day’s article.
Osteology Labs (OL) will focus on osteology of extant mammal groups and will be held at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. These labs will use specimens from the research collections of the CMNH. To prevent damage to these specimens, no touching will be permitted. Activities and observations from osteology labs should be recorded in a lab notebook (see below). Students are free to bring a camera to take photographs of specimens for future reference. Additionally, an online, photographic guide to mammal skulls is available that has been developed for this course.
Phylogenetics labs (PL) will focus on understanding modern phylogenetic techniques and will be computer-based, taking place in Clapp 304. NOTE: You should download Phylip (a free program) for the first phylogenetics lab.
The Zoo Lab can be completed individually or in conjunction with the class field trip to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. The class trip will take place on a Saturday or Sunday during the semester on a date to be determined by consensus.
Quizzes (25% of final grade): Most labs will begin with a short quiz (10-15 points, short answer and/or multiple-choice questions) covering the previous week’s lectures, readings associated with those lectures, and videos. Details of the schedule and content are noted on the syllabus. Each student’s lowest quiz score will be dropped from the final grade.
Lab Reports (15% of final grade): The two phylogenetics labs and the zoo lab will each have an associated lab report. Some aspects of the report will be completed during lab, others will require additional out-of-class time. Phylogenetics lab reports will be due one week later (at the beginning of class on the following Thursday). The zoo lab can be completed at any time during the semester but must be handed in no later than November 26. The three labs will be weighted equally.
Lab Notebook (20% of final grade): Students should maintain a notebook for all osteology labs in order to practice and develop their observational skills. At a minimum, it should include: (1) sketches and anatomical descriptions of lab specimens; and (2) responses to lab guide questions, including justifications. The notebook can be submitted in any format (e.g., lab notebook, 3-ring binder, PDF file), and may include additional information. It will be handed in for an ungraded “check-in” on Sept. 19th to ensure that all students are meeting expectations. The notebook will be due on the day of the final exam and will primarily be graded on completeness and effort put into observations, descriptions, and conclusions.
Midterm and Final Exams (15% and 25% of final grade, respectively): These exams will cover class and lab material and will take place at the CMNH (see syllabus). Each will have three components: (1) identification of osteological specimens (mainly skulls) to order and family; (2) identification of photos of living mammals to family, plus associated short answer questions (e.g., size, diet, habitat, geographic range, order, etc., of that particular animal); and (3) written exam, mostly short answer questions (e.g., definitions, compare/contrast), basic phylogenetic methods, and some multiple choice questions. The midterm exam will cover material through Oct. 2nd. The final will be comprehensive.
Class Engagement: Class presentations and other involvement will be subjectively factored in to each student’s final grade based on the assessment of the instructor and the teaching assistant.
Additional Requirements for Graduate Students (enrolled in ANAT/BIOL 445):
Paleo Presentations: Graduate students will give two short (12-15 minute) presentations on the anatomy and paleobiology of: (1) an extinct mammal species/group; or (2) the fossil record of a group of living mammals. The presentation should be based on at least one paper from the primary literature. Presentations will take place during lab time and must be scheduled by Sept. 5th. Only one presentation can be scheduled per lab. Topics must be approved at least two weeks in advance of the presentation date. A draft of the slides can be presented for review up to two days before the presentation (this is optional).
Skull Guide Data: Graduate students will gather information from the primary literature for 10 families and/or subfamilies for the on-line guide to mammal skulls that has been developed for this course. Families and/or subfamilies must be selected by September 26th, and content (with citations) must be handed in by November 5th
How to Succeed in This Course
Other Recommended Texts (suggestions welcome)