Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy Lab

UTA-BIOL 3452, Fall 2004

Shreyas Krishnan

Announcements : 24-Oct-2004

New notes and announcements here

This is an Anatomy class.

The emphasis is on Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates

I want you to leave this class amazed at the diversity of form and function in the variety of vertebrate organisms. I want you to wonder - how the same skeletal structure serves one purpose in one group of vertebrates and different in other groups. You must be curious how different organisms adapt to different environments and habits. If this does not interest you, you should probably not be in this class at all.

This is an interactive class. Anatomy is like reading a map. Labs are weeks ahead of the lecture, this should help you appreciate you lectures better. Familiarize lecture materials (Campbell's notes) for the lab so that everything you are learning ties in together. Read the text over and over and examining the specimens in detail as much as you can, in addition to asking questions. You should necessarily examine all specimens in the lab, not just your own.

I will test your observation, reading, and curiosity for whatever we have observed. The tests however are out of the lab text unless other wise specified - anything to make anatomy interesting that is on my web-page or in your prescribed text (lecture text) is also good for the lab test. You should make connections and inferences about relationships of anatomical structures (are the mammalian penis and shark clasper homologous or analogous)

Maintain a record of work done in each scheduled lab and open labs. This will be my review to note how you are progressing. I expect you to have sketches here, they are a good memory aid, and I may ask you to draw and label structures on the test.

You are responsible for completing your dissections and observing all structures (on my specimens) regardless of completing dissections

Dissections - Each pair will be assigned one cat, one shark and one salamander. you should be happy to get a whole specimen to yourself - you will learn much better this way.

I will not reduce the course material because of failure to complete or observe all material (labs are open all day during the week if you require - just pick up the key from the biology office in exchange for your MAV-card

I may give some random tests and teasers, to make sure you are reading, dissecting and observing (these may not necessarily be included for your grade- yet to decided this)

And I will reserve a percentage of each test for your dissections and lab participation

My opinion to study for this lab - try not to think about the quantum of information. Rather try to apply it, i.e. compare specimens of different vertebrate groups (that is what I ask you to do on the tests).

Clean up the your mess at the end of the lab

Do not let specimens dry out

Turn off your cell phone or put it in formaldehyde ( I will show you my collection of formaldehyde preserved cell phones when you come in - its an impressive collection)

Your are free to work at your pace, step out for break, etc... but as I have mentioned you are responsible for the amount of work you complete per lab session. Be prepared to stay the full 4 hours and do not take it for granted that the lab will be opened every weekend or after 5 pm every day.


Lab Week


Links and comments


Introduction class - Hemichordates, Protochordates, Lamprey these dates are still tentative;

August 30 should be our first meeting

Lab notes I


6, 15, 24. Skeletal System Shark, Cat and Salamander


6, 15, 24. Skeletal System; 5, 14, 23. Integument Shark, Cat and Salamander


Musculo-skeletal system Shark, Cat and Salamander


Practical 1 topics cover everything to date, except muscles


 Musculo-skeletal system Shark, Cat and Salamander, We should have two people per specimen, that way each person gets a chance to get their hands dirty.

Lab notes II


 Musculo-skeletal system  Shark, Cat and Salamander,


 Musculo-skeletal system Shark, Cat and Salamander,


Practical 2


 Mesenteries, Digestive and Respiratory Urinogenital systems Shark, Cat and Salamander, I will have notes for this done over the weekend, and review all the required matieral next week, and again the week after. Please feel free to come into both Tuesday and Thursday class periods, so you can finish up your observations. 23rd is Thanks Giving, I suggest students of thursday lab, come in on 21 Nov.

Lab notes III


 Circulatory and Lymphatic systems Amphioxus, Lamprey, Shark, Salamander and Cat


 Nervous system and sense organs Amphioxus, Lamprey, Shark, Salamander and Cat   Endocrine systems


Thanks Giving  


Practical 3  

Prescribed text : Comparative Anatomy - Manual of Vertebrate Dissection, 2001,

by Dale W. Fishbeck and Aurora M. Sebastiani, Morton Publishing Company.

and the many good references in the lab - do not take these out of the lab.

the syllabus and instructions will be updated. Please check back.

If you find any errors in the dates please report it to me

Read your material before you come into labs

Lab kits have to be rented from Phi Sigma

A dissection kit is required for each pair of students (2 scissors - straight and curved; 1 scalpel and blades; 1 sharp probe; 1 forceps; 2 hemostats; dissecting pins; disposable gloves). rent it from Phi Sigma @ $10 per semester or assemble/ purchase your own equipment. you will need this by lab 7.

The lab is worth 300 points (37.5%). There will be 3 practicals (tests) for your total grade (100 x 3 = 300; i.e. 37.5%). There will be no test retakes. Teaching Assistants (TA) do not assign the final grades, Dr. Campbell is the final authority on all matters regarding grades in this class. NO CURVES AT ALL

A practical will cover material previously covered in the lab, since the previous practical. No cumulative or comprehensive practical examination will be conducted. I expect to have specimens (slides, sections, mounts, figures, whole specimens) on display. You would have to identify the organs or structure or organism itself. You should know the structure and function, its fate in the higher organisms (specialization etc.), homologies, homplasies, functional differences, embryological differences, classification, affinities, unique characters among others. Tease my brain in class and I'll think of something new to throw in. The best way to learn the material with any appreciation would be to compare specimens of different organisms, write detailed notes and descriptions (don't worry, I don't want to read what you write), have schematic color coded sketches, and stick your hand into the specimens (wear gloves please).

Attendance Policy  You must attend all labs. no make up labs will be allowed. If there is a valid reason, inform your TA.

Open Lab  Labs will be open on weekdays between 9am and 4.30pm. Collect the lab key form Gloria (LS337) after giving her your MAV-ID. You may attend these labs, but  NOT use them to make up missed labs. The objective is to use this time to review material for the practical examinations. Labs will not be open on weekends or at nights. No material or specimens should be taken out of the lab. If this happens open lab will be discontinued.

Lab rules

Turn off your cell phone or put it in formaldehyde

Do not take any specimens, equipment, books, other material out of the lab

Clean up the lab (your mess) at the end of the lab

Return all material to their proper place

Each pair does their own dissection in a timely fashion; not waiting until others are done. I expect all individuals to participate in the Lab exercises (I won't tolerate scavenging on other people's effort)

Do not let specimens dry out

Handle all material, specimens and others with extreme care

Be careful with slides, DO NOT BREAK THEM

DO NOT use/handle others team's specimens in their absence and in open lab

Drop date      TBA Talk  to Dr. Campbell regarding this

Academic Dishonesty

It is the philosophy of The University of Texas at Arlington that academic dishonesty is a completely unacceptable mode of conduct and will not be tolerated in any form. All persons involved in academic dishonesty will be disciplined in accordance with University regulations and procedures. Discipline may include suspension or expulsion from the University.

"Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts." (Regents' Rules and Regulations, Part One, Chapter VI, Section 3, Subsection 3.2. Subdivision 3.22).

Americans with Disabilities Act:

The university of Texas at Arlington is on record as being committed to both the spirit and letter of federal equal opportunity legislation: reference Public Law 93112--The Rehabilitation ''Act of 1973 as amended. With the passage of new federal legislation entitled Americans with Disabilities Act - (ADA), pursuant to section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, there is renewed focus on providing this population with the same opportunities enjoyed by all citizens.

As a faculty member, I am required by law to provide "reasonable accommodation" to students with disabilities, so as not to discriminate on the basis of that disability. Student responsibility primarily rests with informing faculty at the beginning of the semester and in providing authorized documentation through designated administrative channels.

Grade Replacement Policy

Students enrolling in a course with the intention of replacing a previous grade earned in the same course must declare their intention to do so at the registrarsí office by Census Date of the semester in which they are enrolled.

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