Vertebrate Zoology Lab VIII- Archosauria

Be able to bring in information from the lectures and reading into the lab regarding taxonomy, evolution, distribution and anatomy of Archosaurs. This will include birds and their relatives (crocodiles and dinosaurs). Information for this lab is found in Lab 7 of Gergus and Schuett.

Look at the preserved specimens and note the characteristics of the various birds, dinosaurs and crocodiles. What character (s) do you see that unite these as a monophyletic taxon? For the appropriate skulls, be able to identify the two temporal fenestrae that make these organisms diapsids.


For the bird specimens, notice the diversity in morphology. Look at the claws and beaks. What do they tell you about feeding and/or locomotion in these birds? Pictures have been attached, refer to your text for help.

Look at the models of Archaeopteryx   and Pterodactylus. Identify homologous structures. What are similar adaptations that both have for flight? What is different?

Look at the three claws taken from the dinosaurs Tyrannosaurus, Allosaurus  and Deinonychus. Compare and contrast what you see. What was the relative size of each animal. Can you figure out what these claws were used for?


Know Figure 7.1, appropriate bones as shown in Figures 7.10 and 7.15.


Be able to identify the following structures: Coracoid, scapula, humerus, radius, ulna, carpals, phalanges, ribs, vertebrae, femur, tibia, fibula, tarsals, metatarsals, phalanges, ilium, ischium, pubis, dentary bone, quadrate, articular, mandible, temporal fenestrae; maxilla, naris; pygostyle; clavicle (furcula).

Answer questions: Q 30, Q35, Q37,


Skip: Figure 7.9, 7.11, pp. 207-214;