Summer 2008
Fully Enrolled

SCIE 618
Biology of Amphibians and Reptiles

Hammerson,Geoffrey

08/04/2008 - 08/08/2008
Monday-Friday 08:00 AM - 04:00 PM

Science Tower 137

Special Schedule: One-week immersion, August 12-16 (Monday-Friday) 9:00 am to 5:00 pm



Amphibians and reptiles are two different groups of vertebrates, as different from each other as birds are from mammals. Nevertheless, for historical and practical reasons they are often studied together. Early naturalists did not see the difference between amphibians and reptiles as particularly important and treated them as a single group. Modern biologists recognize the fundamental differences between these groups but often continue to study them together because research methods are quite similar. The assertion that amphibians and reptiles are two different groups is actually an oversimplification. Recent interpretations of vertebrate evolution have led some systematists to classify birds as reptiles or to separate turtles and crocodilians as distinct from reptiles. For the purposes of this course we will adopt the traditional taxonomy and classify salamanders, frogs, and caecilians as amphibians and include turtles, crocodilians, lizards, worm lizards, and snakes as reptiles.

This course reviews the evolution, diversity, basic anatomy, physiological ecology, reproduction, life history, feeding ecology, spatial biology, and conservation of amphibians and reptiles. Our studies will involve morning field trips that allow hands-on study of local species and afternoon classroom sessions (illustrated lectures and discussion).

Course requirements include field trip reports, a take-home exam, and a short research paper or individual project.

A syllabus for this course is available at:
Course Syllabus


Geoffrey Hammerson (B.S. University of California, Berkeley; Ph.D. University of Colorado, Boulder) is a research zoologist at NatureServe and is author of more than 70 reports and publications, most recently, The conservation status of the world's reptiles (Biological Conservation, 2013, with M. Bohm et al.) and Rapid assessment of plant and animal vulnerability to climate change (in Wildlife Conservation in a Changing Climate (University of Chicago Press, 2012, with Young et al.) Click here to read an article about Geoff and his GLS courses.


ENROLLMENT INFORMATION

Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
James Gibbs, AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES OF NEW YORK STATE: IDENTIFICATION, NATURAL HISTORY, AND CONSERVATION (Oxford University Press), Paperback

Michael Klemens, AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES IN CONNECTICUT: A CHECKLIST WITH NOTES ON STATUS, IDENTIFICATION, AND DISTRIBUTION (National Resources Center), Paperback

READING MATERIALS ARE AVAILABLE AT BROAD STREET BOOKS, 45 BROAD STREET, MIDDLETOWN, 860-685-7323 Order your books online

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