ZOO 3713C

Fall Semester, 2003




Franklin F. Snelson, Jr. (AKA Uncle Buck)

Office BL 111B


Web Site Home Page:


Frank Logiudice, Lab instructor

Office BL 301C



Brian Thompson, Lab assistant

Office BL 106



Class Times:


Lecture:  Tu, Th 3:00-4:15 PM in BL 209

Lab 11: Tu, Th 7:30 – 10:20 AM in BL 105

Lab 12: Tu, Th 10:30 AM - 1:20 PM in BL 105


Office Hours:


Office hours will be announced and posted on the web site as soon as the semester schedule has been settled. The lab instructors will also announce and post their office hours.    Please understand that we have lots of demands on our time and we do not necessarily sit in our offices throughout our office hours unless we expect to have a visitor.  If you want to see any of us during our office hours, please make a prior appointment.  If you can’t come during office hours, we will try to make an appointment to see you at some other time


Web Site:


Web Site URL:  There will be a series of links on this home page for materials related to this course.  I will use this to post a course outline, a copy of the syllabus, announce exam dates, etc.  Please check the site on a daily basis.  You can send me e-mails through my home page link.




Lecture:  G. C. Kent and Robert K. Carr.  2001.  Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates, 9th ed.   Wm. C. Brown Publ.


Lab:  S. Wischnitzer.  1993.  Atlas and Dissection Guide for Comparative Anatomy, 5th. Ed.  W. H. Freeman. 


Course Supplements:


In lecture, I often use overheads of figures and plates that are taken from sources other than your text book.  I have prepared a package that consists of copies of such illustrations and it is on electronic reserve in the library.  You can access these materials through the library Web LUIS system by course number.  There you can view, download, and print copies of overheads from any computer on campus or from home.  These are PDF files, so you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.    


Other Requisites:


Dissecting kit suitable for fine dissection.  This should include, as a minimum,  fine-point dissection scissors, tissue forceps, mallar probe, teasing needle, and a  # 3 scalpel handle and 30-40 disposable scalpel blades.  Blades # 10 or # 11 are preferable.  We will review this matter in lab.




Lab coat, old towel, latex gloves.  Note: The preservative used on the specimens is phenol;  it is harmless to most students. However, certain individuals are sensitive to phenol and it may be an irritant. In such circumstances, the use of gloves is mandatory.  The laboratory room is equipped with a fume exhaust system.  However, if you note any unusual symptoms that you think might be caused by the preservative, consult your doctor.  The preservative has an unpleasant odor that will linger on your hands.  One of the best ways to remove most of the odor from your hands is to scrub them with toothpaste.   



You must be concurrently enrolled in both the lecture and laboratory components of this course.  If you do not enroll in both during the same semester, you will be given an automatic "F" in the course regardless of your performance.  Your final grade will be based 50% on laboratory performance and 50% on lecture performance.  Laboratory evaluation will be based on exams, lab participation, and dissection proficiency and quality.  There will be three scheduled lab exams worth 100 points each and two dissection proficiency evaluations worth 10 points each.  For lecture, there will be three scheduled exams worth 100 points each plus 3-5 unannounced pop quizzes worth 5 points each.  Attendance will be taken unannounced and irregularly in both lecture and lab.  Poor attendance will be taken into consideration in calculation of your final grade. The grading scale for exams and for the final term average will be 90-100 = A, 80-89 = B, 70-79 = C, 60-69 = D, < 60 = F.  I will not use a +/- grading system.




You are expected to take all exams during their regularly scheduled times.  Makeup lecture exams will be given only under extenuating circumstances that are legitimate and well documented.  All makeup exams are given on the same day as the final lecture exam and will be in discussion question format.  Laboratory examinations cannot be made up under any circumstances.  Pop quizzes cannot be made up under any circumstances.




Don't!  We will not tolerate any form of cheating in this class! The guidelines of the "Golden Rule" will apply.




Every student will be required to participate in dissection exercises in the laboratory of this course.  You will dissect a cat, a shark, and a mudpuppy (salamander).  These animals were alive at one time.  They come to us from one of several national companies that specialize in biological materials.  As far as I know, they were euthanized in a humane manner before being prepared for dissection.  I do not know where they came from before they reached the biological supply company.  If you have any moral, ethical, religious, or other objections to dissecting real animal specimens, drop this course.  This is not a required class and you are free to choose other courses where dissection is not a requirement.  




You should have certain minimal expectations of your instructors.  Among other things, you probably expect us to (1) show up for class, (2) be punctual, (3) be prepared for class, (4) not waste your time, (5) answer your questions to the best of our ability, (6) do our best to present a thorough, modern perspective on the subject matter, (7) be fair in our evaluation of your performance, and (8) respect you as an individual.  Likewise, we have expectations of you.  Most of these should be obvious, but they are stated here so that there is no misunderstanding.  We expect you to (1) show up for class, (2) not come in late or leave early, (3) sit near the front of the room to facilitate effective communication, (4) not talk in class or otherwise disrupt the learning environment for others, (5) come to class prepared by reading the designated materials and completing assignments, (6) ask questions as appropriate and relevant to the material under discussion, and (7) give us your “best shot” at doing well in the course.  Finally, PLEASE, turn off cell phones or beepers during class!


In lab, students will work in pairs and each pair will be assigned specimens. You are personally responsible for your specimens and must to follow instructions as to their care and dissection.  The anatomy lab is a heavily utilized classroom. As a result, maintaining the room will be a difficult task. To facilitate this, each student will be required to clean up his or her area at the close of each session.  A special receptacle will be provided in the lab for disposal of any tissue of animal origin.  DO NOT put animal tissue in the sink or ordinary trash can.  You will be given detailed instructions in lab. 




The deadline for withdrawal without penalty is published in the schedule.  You will need to decide whether or not to stick with the course by that date.  I do not give grades of Incomplete for any reason.




Scalpel blades are very sharp and are a safety hazard.  Every semester some students slice themselves by improperly handling blades.  If you are unsure about how to replace a scalpel blade, ask your lab instructor for directions.  Dispose of used blades only in the "sharps" receptacle provided.


This is a "hard" course.  There is a great deal of material to cover, both in lecture and laboratory, and you will have to master lots of new terminology.  The pace will be fast.  It will require your utmost in concentration and organization, regular class attendance, and wise time management to do well.



Tentative Lecture Outline, Assignments, and Exam Dates


Week 1:  Introduction;  philosophy and operation of the course.


Week 2.:  Introduction to comparative anatomy and evolution;  definition of basic terms;  review of chordate phylogeny and classification;  Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4.


Week 3:  Basic principles of embryology;  embryonic germ layers and their derivatives.  Chapter 5.


Week 4:  Skeletal system;  structure and growth of tissue types;  types of joints;  skeletal topography;  structure and evolution of the axial skeleton.  Chapters 7, 8. 


Week 5:  Appendicular skeleton and paired appendages;  origin of unpaired appendages;  the visceral skeleton and its derivatives;  origin of vertebrate jaws and jaw suspensorium.  Chapters 9, 10.


Week 6:  Basic design and evolution of the vertebrate skull.  Chapter 9.


Week 7:  Skeletal system continued. Exam 1, Day and Time TBA.


Week 8:  Muscular system; embryonic derivation of muscle;  muscle types;  muscle structure.  Major muscle groupings and their derivatives.  Chapter 11.


Week 9:  Integumentary system;  introduction;  dermal armor in vertebrates;  scales;  the epidermis and its derivatives.  Chapter 6.


Week 10:  The coelom;  the digestive-respiratory system; the structure, form, replacement of teeth;  buccal glands;  anatomy of the gastro-intestinal tract.  Chapter 12.  


Week 11:  Olfactory organs and organs of aquatic respiration;  structure and evolution of gills;  air bladder and lungs;  respiration in vertebrates.  Chapter 13.


Week 12:  Urogenital system;  anatomy and evolution of kidneys;  urogenital ducts;  oviduct evolution and specialization;  gonad evolution;  structure and homologies of the genitalia.  Chapter 15.  Exam 2, Day and Time TBA.


Week 13:  Circulatory system;  blood as a tissue;  structure of vessels;  the primitive blood vascular system; the structure and evolution of the heart.  Chapter 14.


Week 14:  Evolution of aortic arches;  evolution of the venous plan.


Week 15:  Nervous system;  structure of neurons;  cranial nerves;  spinal nerves;  structure and evolution of the brain;  the autonomic nervous system.  Chapter 16.


Week 16:  Nervous system continued.


Final Exam Week.  Exam 3, Day and Time TBA.  Don’t you dare schedule to leave town early for home, Tahoe, or anywhere else until you know when the final exam is scheduled.  I will not give the final exam at any other time than its scheduled time.



Laboratory Outline, Assignments, and Exam Dates


Preparation :  You are expected to be prepared for every class.  That  includes reading all assigned materials before each lab session and bringing the proper equipment to the lab session.



Unit 1: Osteology

             Topic -The osteology of the shark (Ch. 2, p. 37-43), mudpuppy (Ch. 2, p. 107-112), and cat (Ch. 2, p. 157-170).

                    Study Dates -28 August through 9 September

                    Notable dates -

                           Labs will not be held on 26 August

                  Lab Practical 1 is on 11 September


Unit 2: Myology

             Topic -The myology of the shark (Ch. 3, p. 45-48), mudpuppy (Ch. 3, p. 113-120), and cat (Ch. 3, p. 171-190).

                    Study Dates -16 September through 16 October

                    Notable dates -

                           Dissection Proficiency Evaluations will be held on 21 October  (Dissections should be completed by 16 October.)

                  Lab Practical 2 is on 23 October


Unit 2: Circulatory System and Visceral Organ Systems

             Topic -The circulatory system and visceral organ systems of the shark (Ch. 4-6, p. 49-68), mudpuppy (Ch. 4-6, p. 121-1134), and cat (Ch. 4-6, p. 191-230).

                    Study Dates -28 October through 25 November

                    Notable dates -

                           Labs will not be held on 11 November (Veteran’s Day) and 27 November (Thanksgiving)

                           Dissection Proficiency Evaluations will be held on 2 December  (Dissections should be completed by 25 November.)

                  Lab Practical 3 is on 4 December


Note:  The dates for lab exams may need to be changed as the semester progresses.  If such becomes necessary, you will be notified at the earliest possible time.