Vertebrate Paleontology

Vertebrate Paleontology
Paleobiology, osteology, and phylogeny of the vertebrates. Field trips required. Lab studies.
GEOL
586
 Hours4.0 Credit, 3.0 Lecture, 2.0 Lab
 PrerequisitesInstructor's consent.
 TaughtFall Contact Department, Winter Contact Department
Course Outcomes

Evolution of Vertebrate Paleontology

Demonstrate your understanding of how science works by writing a four page history of paleontological methodologies, including contributions of significant scientists, and how the methods evolved from the early 1800’s to present.

Until death do us part - Taphonomy

Understand (1) the goals of taphonomy, (2) the basics elements of how to conduct a taphonomic analysis of a vertebrate site, and (3) the process of perminerization.

The Leg Bone is Connected to the....

Be able to identify (1) the bones in an amniote skeleton, and(2) the major histologic components of bone.

The Vertebrate Tree

(1) Understand core principles of phylogenetic systematics, (2) be able to interpret and construct cladograms, and (3), be able to explain to a peer the derived diagnostic osteologic characters for major vertebrate clades, (i.e., Craniata, Tetrapoda, Amniota, Sauropsida, Diapsida, and so on).

Field & Museum Methods

Be able to locate, collect, document, and interpret fossils in the field and curate specimens once in a repository with a level of competence equal to that of an entry-level field technician.

Relationship between Plate Tectonics and Evolution

Be able to explain to a biology graduate the impact of plate tectonics on biodiversity though deep time using examples from the fossil record and extant mammals.

Science and Religion

Be able participate in meaningful discussions on the relationships of science and religion.