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comparative vertebrate anatomy course outline
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Course Outline in Bio 3

Prepared by: Maria Eliza P. Cruz


Course Title: Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy

Course Description:


Comparative Anatomy is the study of the body structures of some representative vertebrate animals and of their functional and evolutionary relationships.


Course Objective:

To explore the phylogenic history of the vertebrate body that has undergone structural changes with varied environments and mode of life.

Course Content:

1. Introduction               
phylum chordata, the vertebrate body - general plan and vertebrate characteristics 

2. Protochordates and the Origin of Vertebrates
Protochordates, the origin of vertebrates, the ammocoete and an alternate theory of ammocoete-protochordate relationships.

3. Parade of the Vertebrates
Vertebrate taxa, Agnatha, chondrichthyes, osteichthyes, amphibia, reptilia, aves and mammals.

4. Integument                        
epidermis, the dermis and dermal induction.  The integument from fishes to mammals.

5. An Introduction to the Skeleton
Bone, Cartilage, Tendons, Ligaments and Joints,regional components of the skeleton and Heterotopic Bones.

6. Skull and Visceral Skeleton
neurocranium, the generalized dermatocranium, the neurocranial complex - bony fishes and tetrapods and the visceral skeleton.

7. Vertebrae, Ribs and Sterna               
vertebral column, Ribs and Tetrapod sternum.

8. Girdles, Fins, Limbs and Locomotion                                                                    Pectoral girdles, pelvic girdles, fins and tetrapod limbs.

9. Muscles                    
Muscles, introduction to skeletal muscles. Axial, appendicular, branchiomeric and integumentary muscles

10. Digestive System
Digestive tract, mouth and oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, intestine, liver, pancreas and cloaca.

11. Respiratory System
Gills,  Nares and Nasal canals, Swim bladder, lungs and their ducts.

12. Circulatory System
Blood, the heart of fishes, lung fishes, amphibians and amniotes.  Arterial channels, Venous channels and Lymphatic system.

13. Nervous System                
Spinal cord and spinal nerves and Brain and cranial nerves

14. Sense Organs               
Special somatic receptors and special visceral receptors.

15-Urogenital System    
Kidneys and their ducts, Urinary bladders, Genital organs and the cloaca.


  1. Kent, Carr, Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates, McGraw Hill, 9th Edition, 1998
  2. Kardong, Vertebrates, Comparative Anatomy, Function, Evolution, McGraw Hill, International Editions, 2000



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