Lecture Schedule

Caveat: Titles given below link to on-line lecture notes. These are intended for educational use as lecture notes by GEOL331 students, are in no sense "publications" and do not conform to the citation standards of academic papers. In some cases we have linked to external web material, but have, in all cases, sought to credit original sources. Any questions regarding the origin, use, or provenance of included text, or media should be directed to the instructors.

Aug. 29 Introduction: Why Study Fossils?
Reading: Chap. 1

Aug. 31 Taphonomy I: Properties and Habitats of Good Fossil Makers
Suppl. Online Reading: Knoll 2003

Sept. 1 LAB: Fossilization and Taphonomy

Sept. 2 Taphonomy II: Fossils as Sedimentary Particles & Taphonomic Filters
Reading: Chap. 1


Sept. 7 Taphonomy III: Modes of Fossilization & Lagerstätten
Reading: Chap. 3

Sept. 8 LAB: Micropaleontology

Sept. 9 Biostratigraphy I
Reading: Chap. 10

Sept. 12 Biostratigraphy II
Reading: Chap. 10
PaleoDB Homework Due

Sept. 14 Trace Fossils I
Reading: Chap. 19

Sept. 15 LAB: Sponges and Cnidaria

Sept. 16 Trace Fossils II
Reading: Chap. 19

Sept. 19 Variation and Fossil Individuals
Reading: Chap. 2
Biostratigraphy Homework Due

Sept. 21 Fossil Species and Species Criteria
Reading: Chap. 3

Sept. 22 LAB: Bryozoans

Sept. 23 Alpha Taxonomy & Identifying Fossils
Reading: Prothero Chap. 4

Sept. 26 Macroevolution and the Fossil Record
Reading: Prothero Chap. 5
Alpha Taxonomy Homework Due

Sept. 28 Cladistics I: Phylogenetic Systematics
Online Reading: Cladistics for Palaeontologists from the Paleontological Association: Introduction, Cladistic Characters, Tree-Building, Optimization

Sept. 29 LAB: Brachiopods

Sept. 30 Cladistics II: Phylogenetic Inferences
Reading: Prothero Chap. 4
Online Reading: Cladistics for Palaeontologists from the Paleontological Association: Consensus & Support, Missing Information and Stratigraphy

Oct. 3 Exam I

Oct. 5 The Oldest Fossils & Prokaryote Fossil History
Reading: Chap. 11

Oct. 6 LAB: Gastropods and Cephalopods

Oct. 7 Fossil Unicellular Eukaryotes
Reading: Chap. 12

Oct. 10 Metazoa and Porifera
Reading: Prothero Chap. 13
Phylogenetic Analysis Homework due

Oct. 12 Eumetazoa and Cnidaria
Reading: Chap. 13

Oct. 13 LAB: Bivalves

Oct. 14 The Origin of Bilateria

Oct. 17 Precambrian Macrofossils: the Garden of Ediacara and the Long Fuse of the Cambrian Explosion

Oct. 19 Ecdysozoa I: Panarthropoda
Reading: Chap. 15

Oct. 20 LAB: Arthropoda

Oct. 21 Ecdysozoa II: Chelicerata and Introduction to Mandibulata
Reading: Chap. 15

Oct. 24 Ecdysozoa III: Myriopoda and Pancrustacea
Reading: Chap. 15

Oct. 26 WATCH ONLINE ON ELMS: Animals with Lophophores: Bryozoans, Brachiopods
Reading: Chap. 14


Oct. 28 WATCH ONLINE ON ELMS: Mollusks I: Basal Forms through Gastropods
Reading: Chap. 16

Oct. 31 Mollusks II: Cephalopods & Bivalves
Reading: Chap. 16
Phylogenetic Inferences Homework Due

Nov. 2 Exam II

Nov. 3 LAB: Stalked Echinoderms

Nov. 4 Deuterostomia I: Origins and Ambulacraria
Reading: Chap. 17

Nov. 7 Deuterostomia II: Crown-Group Echinoderms
Reading: Chap. 17

Nov. 9 Origins and Diversification of Chordata
Reading: Chap. 18

Nov. 10 LAB: Eleutherozoa, Hemichordata, and Graptolithina

Nov. 11 Vertebrate Paleontology I: Paleoichthyology
Reading: Chap. 18

Nov. 14 Vertebrate Paleontology II: Tetrapoda
Reading: Chap. 18
Paleoecology Homework Due

Nov. 16 Paleobotany I: Embryophyta - land plants
Reading: Chap. 20

Nov. 17 LAB: Vertebrate Paleontology

Nov. 18 Paleobotany II: Anthophyta - flowering plants
Reading: Chap. 20

Nov. 21 Biomechanics and functional anatomy
Reading: Prothero Chap. 7

Nov. 23-25 Thanksgiving Recess: enjoy your roasted dinosaur

Nov. 28 Morphometrics

Nov. 30 Paleoecology, the Fundamental Niche, and Extinction
Reading: Chaps. 6, 8
Paleobehavior Homework Due

Dec. 1 LAB 11: Paleobotany

Dec. 2 Paleoenvironmental Analysis & Biochemical Paleontology

Dec. 5 Extinctions and Mass Extinctions

Dec. 7 Macroecological Patterns: Large-Scale Phenomena of the Fossil Record

Dec. 8 LAB Practical

Dec. 9 Chemical Paleontology

Dec. 12 The future of paleontology

Dec. 15 (Thursday!) FINAL EXAM, PLS 1172, 1:30-3:30 pm

For a formatted printable copy of the complete syllabus, click here.

Class Location & Time, Policies, Textbooks, etc.

Last modified: 8 September 2016