Biology 472


Next offered: Spring 2010


"These foul and loathsome animals are abhorrent because of their cold body, pale color, cartilaginous skeleton, filthy skin, fierce aspect, calculating eye, offensive smell, harsh voice, squalid habitation, and terrible venom; wherefore their Creator has not exerted his powers to make many of them." -- Linnaeus; 1797


pituophis crytptothyl feylinia small caiman



Herpetology is the study of amphibians and reptiles. In this course, taxonomy, life history, behavior, physiology, ecology, etc. of frogs, salamander, turtles, lizards, snakes, crocodiles, and others will be presented in the context of the evolutionary history of this diverse assemblage of vertebrates. Labs will focus on study of preserved specimens, and identification of species from all over the world. Students will also learn to identify all local species in preparation for a field trip in the spring. In the course of the semester, students will prepare an essay on a herpetological topic of their choice.

Three lectures and one three-hour lab per week. Pre-requisites: Biology 112 required, other organismic level courses desirable.


Course syllabus and schedule Spring 2009


field trip

Bio 472 class, May 2008, with a western rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis), at Palouse Falls, WA

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