Syllabus

CPSP118G Spring Semester: Earth, Life & Time Colloquium

A brief climb through the Tree of Animal Life

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Animals in the broadest sense

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Major issues:

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"Protostomes" briefly noted:

Protostomia contains the vast majority of animal diversity, including many familiar animals. Among them are two major groups, Ecdysozoa and Lophotrochozoa.

  • There is a trend in these active animals toward the evolution of special sense organs (eyes, antennae) and toward concentrating them at the front end along with an expansion of the nervous system to deal with the information they provide (heads).
  • And yet, these structures originate independently. Consider some close relatives of the major groups: Tardigrades for ecdysozoans, and phoronids for lophotrochozoans.

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    Deuterostomes

    Deuterostome survey: The deuterostomes contain Chordata (us), Echinodermata, and some minor groups. Of all of the major natural groups of animals, echinoderms are our closest relatives, and yet they are our weird relatives.

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    Lobe-fins plus

    Sarcopterygian issues:

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    Land vertebrates

    Amniota issues: