Mammal skull lab activity name: Background




Дата канвертавання19.04.2016
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MAMMAL SKULL LAB ACTIVITY

Name: _____________________________



Background

Mammals are one of the more diverse groups of vertebrates in terms of their life style or roles in the ecosystem. Much of this diversity derives from the fact that mammals are endothermic (warm blooded). The differences in mammalian life style are readily apparent in the skulls of mammals. Being consumers that are highly cephalized this is one part of the mammalian body plan that has been adapted to meet the particular need of that group of mammals. In the following activity, you will observe a variety of mammal skulls in order to learn about the diversity of mammal life styles.



Objective

1. You should be familiar with the adaptations that distinguish mammalian skulls and teeth from their reptilian ancestors, as well as specific difference in skull and teeth adaptation that distinguish some of the major orders of mammals.



Procedure

1. With a partner or two proceed to a lab station where a mammal skull is located and answer the pre-lab questions 1-3. While doing so, look at the skull provided to see if you can identify some of the features associated with the questions.


2. Next, rotate through each of the lab stations and observe the skulls associated with each infraclass or order of mammals. Next to each taxonomic grouping you will see a number. This number identifies the number of individual skulls from that grouping that you need to sketch. To help in identification, a list of all the species represented is posted. Determine what a dental formula is and record one of the skulls (identify which one if there are more than one skull in the group). Finally, use your textbook and the University of Michigan’s Animal Diversity Web to describe important characteristics for each group of mammals.
3. Answer the remaining questions.


Questions




Pre-Lab Questions

1. How is the mammalian skull distinguished from their reptilian ancestors? How has this difference been important to the evolution of sensing in mammals?

2. How are the teeth (and their relation to the jaw) of mammals distinguished from their reptilian ancestors? What is different about their development?

3. Identify and define the function of the various types of teeth found in mammals.





Infraclass Ornithodelphia - Monotreme (1)

  • Dental Formula ______________________

  • Description



Infraclass Metatheria - Marsupial (1)

  • Dental Formula ______________________

  • Description



Infraclass Eutheria – Order Insectivora (2)

  • Dental Formula ______________________

  • Description




Infraclass Eutheria – Order Chiroptera (1)

  • Dental Formula ______________________

  • Description



Infraclass Eutheria – Order Edentata (1)

  • Dental Formula ______________________

  • Description




Infraclass Eutheria – Order Lagomorpha (1)

  • Dental Formula ______________________

  • Description


Infraclass Eutheria – Order Rodentia (3)

  • Dental Formula ______________________

  • Description



Infraclass Eutheria – Order Carnivora (4)

  • Dental Formula ______________________

  • Description



Infraclass Eutheria – Order Artiodactyla (2)

  • Dental Formula ______________________

  • Description



4. Identify the remaining mammal orders in the infraclass eutheria, and briefly describe each.
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__________________ -

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5. Compare and contrast horns and antlers.

6. Compare and contrast the skulls of the rodentia and the carnivore.

Order Rodentia
American Beaver, Chipmunk, Prairie dog, Tree squirrel, Vole, Mouse, American Porcupine
Order Carnivore

Red fox, Coyote, Raccoon, Bobcat, Black footed ferret, American badger, Striped skunk


Order Artiodactyla

Javelina, White tailed deer, Pronghorn, Cow, Bighorn sheep


Other - unidentified groups because most are single representatives
Duck-billed Platypus, American Opposum, Mole, Shrew, Bat, Armadillo, Cottontail rabbit


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