BIOL 352 (Winter)*

Vertebrate Evolution: Mammals and Dinosaurs

(Given in alternate years: not offered in 2017-2018)

H. Larsson
Redpath Museum
(514) 398-4086 ext. 089457
3 credits (2-3-4)
BIOL 304 or permission of the instructor.

The main objective is to acquaint the student with the pattern of vertebrate evolution from the Cambrian to the present. The origin, basic anatomy and adaptation of all the major groups of vertebrates will be discussed, together with consideration of the evolutionary processes that underlie their radiation. An underlying theme of comparative anatomy and comparative embryology will thread the course. The laboratory dissections will cover a wide range of vertebrate diversity to introduce the student with major anatomical changes throughout the course of vertebrate evolution.

  • Chordates and vertebrates
  • Origin, development, and anatomy of the skull and vertebral column
  • Jawless fish and the origin of bone
  • Jawed fish and the origin, development, and anatomy of jaws and teeth
  • Evolution, development, and anatomy of fins, limbs, vasculature, and skulls
  • Radiation to land and early tetrapods
  • Amphibians
  • Reptiles
  • Dinosaurs and more dinosaurs
  • Birds
  • Mammals
  • Vertebrates as a model for the study of macroevolution

There is no textbook or course pack. Each lecture may be accompanied by readings available through the course’s myCourses site
Lecture and laboratories.
Mid-term exam, lab exam, presentations and written project and final exam

*Title and content under revision

McGill University values academic integrity. Therefore all students must understand the meaning and consequences of cheating, plagiarism and other academic offences under the Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures (see for more information).
Last update: March 22, 2017