Objectives-1, BIO 3220, Introduction to Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy and Taxonomy


1. Define comparative vertebrate anatomy, morphology, phylogeny, paleontology and embryology.

2. Contrast homology and analogy. Give an example of homoplasy.

3. Discuss adaptation and preadaptation. Briefly, discuss Darwin’s theory of natural selection.

4. Compare and contrast divergent, convergent, parallel, and organic evolution.

5. What is a vestigial structure? A rudimentary structure?

6. Define ontogeny.

7. Describe heterochrony – specifically paedogenesis, neoteny, and paedomorphosis.


1. Review the vertebrate taxonomy from your zoology course.

2. Name four main chordate features.

3. Theorize the origin of the vertebrates.

4. Discuss vertebrate characteristics.

5. Review Vertebrate Classification Handout.

6. Define tetrapod, fish, agnathostome, and gnathostome.

7. Define and give an example of endothermic/homeothermic and ectothermic/poikilothermic animals.

8. Examine the relative time periods of vertebrate classes. (i.e. when did they originate/dominate) Review geologic period handout.

9. What is an amniote and anamniote?

Click here to see answers to these objectives.