Laboratory Notes for BIO 1003

© 30 August 1999, John H. Wahlert & Mary Jean Holland


These notes are a written guide to the laboratory exercises in BIO 1003, Survey of the Living World. They do not, however, contain any illustrations and must be supplemented with one of the several published photo atlases for introductory biology. All introductory biology textbooks contain many chapters on the diversity of life in which basic biological information is given and illustrated with charts of life cycles.

The initial section on CLASSIFICATION is not a laboratory exercise. Organisms and the larger groups to which they belong will be referred to by their scientific names in lectures and laboratories. This classification is an overview of all the groups we will study. Students are responsible for learning it. The genus and species names of kinds of organisms will be given in the individual laboratory exercises. Correct spelling of all these names is expected and required.

Throughout this guide we have attempted to specify singular (s) and plural (pl) forms of scientific terms wherever they are based on Latin or Greek and not made simply by adding s. Description of organisms requires a vocabulary that specifies the position of structures. The following terms are used often in this guide:

radial symmetry—designed with the symmetry of a wheel or cylinder.

oral end—the end with the mouth in a radially symmetrical organism.

aboral end—the end opposite the mouth in a radially symmetrical organism.

bilateral symmetry—the left side is the mirror image of the right side. Left and right always refer to the organism's left and right, not the observer's (yours).

rostral or anterior—the head end of a bilaterally symmetrical organism, the end that first explores a new environment (also: rostral, the nose end), e.g., the brain is anterior to the spinal cord.

caudal or posterior—the tail end of a bilaterally symmetrical organism (also caudal, the tail end).

medial—in or toward the middle of the body.

lateral—toward or at the outside of the body.

proximal—near the body or midline. The humerus is proximal to the ulna.

distal—farther from the body or midline. The ulna is distal to the humerus.

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Last updated 29 August 1999 (JHW)