PREREQUISITE: BIOL-UA 63 OR BIOL-UA 21 OR BIOL-UA 100 AND BIOL-UA 11 AND BIOL-UA 12.
Animals are one of life’s most successful lineages, occupying nearly every environment. This course provides an introduction to the diversity of animal form and function in the context of phylogeny and evolution, with a focus on the invertebrates, the majority of animals. Lectures will be devoted alternately to individual branches of the tree of animals and to common themes in the ways animals have evolved to fit and shape their environments. We will discuss morphology, physiology, reproduction, development, and ecology. We will discuss the unique genomic and molecular characteristics of each branch of animal life, with attention to the ways that nonmodel organisms can provide insights into core cellular and molecular processes, including cell-cell communication and biomineralization. We will also discuss the intersection of these animals with human interests, including economic zoology, ecosystem services, and medicine. In laboratory and field exercises, students will learn to collect and identify invertebrate animals and to form and test hypotheses about their attributes.