The Skull (3) Survey of the mammalian skull from many perspectives including evolution, development, anatomy, function, and variability of the skull.
ANTH 466 The Skull (3)
This course will provide a survey of what is known about the Mamallian skull from many perspectives including evolution, development, anatomy, function, and variability of the skull. The course will consist of lectures and a laboratory component. Students will learn about the basic skull architecture and be introduced to various specializations of extinct and extant species. The section on evolution will cover the evolution of the skull from the earliest jawless vertebrates through human evolution. During the section on development, we will discuss the nature of the formation of bone embryologically. Other topics include the ways in which bone changes shape and size during prenatal and postnatal growth, how changes in growth can result in evolutionary change in morphology. The section on the function of bone will focus on biomechanical interpretations of the morphology of the skull. The lectures will focus on human anatomy but provide contrasts with other mammals (e.g., horse, dog, mouse). The last section on variability will survey the major groups of mammals highlighting similarities and differences in bony architecture and skull morphology. This portion of the course will be more laboratory-based with students examining specimens, taking measurements and leading discussions on hypotheses regarding why skull architecture is so different among mammals. The objective of this course is to provide the student with a broad survey of information relating to the mammalian skull. Through assigned readings and lectures the student will become familiar with salient anatomical and osteological features, obvious differences in skull architecture and the various biological processes responsible for these differences. During the final laboratory part of the course the students will bring their knowledge to an assigned problem and specimen in order to apply what they have learned to a scientific question. Students will be required to attend all lectures and laboratories. Periodic quizzes will be administered as well as an exam at midterm. A paper that focuses on the student's laboratory experience will be required at the completion of the course.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.