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ZOO 4910 - Integrative Vertebrate Biology F (3-0) [0.50]

This course examines the proximate and historical causes of diversity in morphology, physiology and behaviour among major groups of vertebrates (fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals). First, topics such as vertebrate origins, zoogeography, taxonomy and comparative methods will be developed as a foundation for inquiry. The remainder of the course will be organized around specific contemporary problems in vertebrate biology such as the evolution of endothermy; feeding strategies and metabolism; locomotion and migration; trends in vertebrate reproduction; evolution of brain size and complexity in relation to cognition and communication. Each problem will be explored through analyses of taxonomic diversity, historical and phylogenetic constraints, physiological and developmental causes, and functional effects.