BIOL 417- Invertebrate Zoology

Overview and objectives: This course will introduce you to the world of invertebrates! We will study at least 10-12 different invertebrate ‘groups’, their life histories, their evolutionary relationships, their body plans, the adaptive significance of certain evolved traits, the complexity of even the ‘simplest’ multicellular animals, and the overall importance of invertebrates to our ecosystem. This hands-on course will be taught in both a standard lecture format, as well as an active lab where we will head outside almost every week to search for invertebrates (please come prepared for inclement weather).

Objectives: By the end of this course, you should be able to:

*Compare and contrast the ‘body plans’ of 10-12 different invertebrate ‘groups’.

*Discuss the evolutionary history and relationships of these ‘groups’, including their life histories.

*Identify the major Orders of insects and 30 different mollusc species.

*Discuss the importance of invertebrates to our lives.

*Highlight the importance of certain disease vectors, including their life cycles and how they can be controlled to limit disease spread.

*Discuss current scientific literature addressing: importance of protists to the marine food web; global warming and coral reefs; immune systems of invertebrates; invertebrates as invasive species; infections of humans by cnidarians; feeding mechanisms of echinoderms; manipulation of crustaceans by acanthocephalans and other assigned papers.

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