Vertebrate Zoology Lab VII- Chelonia & Lepidosauria

Be able to bring in information from the lectures and reading into the lab regarding taxonomy, evolution, distribution and anatomy of "reptiles" (not used in the cladistic sense, I’ve got turtles in with lepidosaurs; we will look at alligators & birds next week). We will be using part of Lab 7 in Gergus and Schuett.

1) Look at the preserved specimens and note the characteristics of the class and order and suborders. Notice the diversity in morphology.

2) From lab 1, use the diagrams of the cat and identify the major bones in these animals. No not worry about the skull bones, especially in the snake (they are too small to be easily observed). Look at the tuatara skull and identify the temporal fenestrae.


3) How do the teeth compare with those in the mammals? For example, are they HETERODONT or and HOMODONT? What methods of prey capture are utilized by lizards and snakes?


4) Be able to identify poisonous snakes from the US. Be able to identify the characteristics of the family Crotalidae, the "Pit Vipers". Notice the pit above the lip which are used to detect infrared, the vertical pupils and the general "diamond" shaped head. This group includes the rattlesnakes, copperhead and water moccasin. The Coral snake is also poisonous, but belongs to a different family (Elapidae) and does not have these characteristics.


5) Identify the following structures: Carapace, Plastron, Ribs, Pectoral and Pelvic Girdles; Coracoid, scapula, humerus, radius, ulna, carpals, phalanges, ribs, vertebrae, femur, tibia, fibula, tarsals, metatarsals, phalanges, ilium, ischium, pubis, dentary bone, quadrate, articular, mandible, fangs, temporal fenestrae; maxilla, naris;


Know Figures 7.1, 7.3, 7.4, and appropriate parts of 7.8


Answer questions: Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, Q10, Q11, Q29

Read the appropriate information about the families of the specimens we have available. You are not responsible for the phylogenetic relationships of lizard and snake families.


Skip: Figure 7.5, 7.6, snake dissection (pp. 193-196).