Introduction to Skeletons
This lab presents a specimen-based study of the different skeletal systems of animals and plants. The emphasis is on understanding the functional roles mineralized skeletons play in the major skeletonzied phyla comprising the fossil record, how skeletons grow and develop and what biological information they contain. As background for the main topic, students also learn about processes of biomineralization, the coelom as a hydrostatic skeleton and the Cambrian Explosion of skeletal invertebrates at the base of the Cambrian Period..
GLG 430 is a required course for students majoring in geological sciences and an elective course for biology majors. Graduate students can receive credit by doing additional work (research project).
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
The goal of this activity is for students to understand the skeletal systems of animals and the paleobiological information encoded in skeletons.
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
Writing and drawing specimens to create concept sketches. Observation, analysis and test. Working in groups.
Description of the activity/assignment
This is a specimen-based lab exercise that is designed to introduce students to the different types of skeletal systems of animals and the paleobiological information they encode.
Determining whether students have met the goals
Download teaching materials and tips
Activity Description/Assignment:Lab Exercise on Skeletons (Acrobat (PDF) 31kB Jun16 09)
- Instructors Notes:Lecture on Skeletal Systems in Aninmals (Acrobat (PDF) 1.3MB Jun16 09)
- Solution Set: