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Skidmore College
Biology Department

Outline of Lecture Topics

(last updated Mar. 01, 2013)

Note: Schedule is always provisional & is updated on the web regularly

Quick links 1) web-HUMAN physiology simulation ..

Note: Lecture-Demo (LD) classes, as they occur, will be placed within this schedule under the Topic column.

Lectures always meet in Dana 240. Lecture-Demo classes always meet in Dana 316B.

For further details on how to use this page, see the web section About this course [link].

- Watch for announcements/ updates here ! -

Most recent site updates - 1] 17- Metab Tusco 2] 16_Metab2_HypoxiaHighAltitude [all documents] 2] 15a_Metab2_Physiological Regulation

Date Topic Primary Reading Supplementary Readings & Other Materials
Jan. 23, W 1] Comparative viewpoint, adaptation- systems/regulation- lecture (L) Lecture PDF [link] - a cut down version

5-20, Appendix B SN 284-87, 418-419

H & W 17-27,

In class B/W HO plus in color link (link)

Warning-LARGE File

1] Carey et al.,

2] Bluefin's End

3] Too much Sushi [1]

Jan. 25, F 2] Respiration- Overview/ / Diffusive and Convective Transport - (L)/gas diffusion & bulk transport- Lecture, preliminary version PDF [link], final notes [link] 5-17, Appendix B  
Jan. 28, M  3] Respiration - Gases in Air & H2O- lecture (L) - . Preliminary PDF [link]

17-25, may include in class lecture questions and hand out (HO)

Jan. 30 4] Respiration in water - (L) Preliminary Lecture PDF [link] - , Final Lecture [link], Great class!! Solid prep; fine questions ... keep going!! 17-25/25-41  
Feb. 01 5] Respiration in air I - (L) Preliminary Lecture PDF [link] , Final Lecture [link] 25-41  
Feb. 04 6] Respiration in air II - Transitional (multi-modal) vertebrates, avian, insect -Preliminary Lecture PDF [link] , with in-class notes [link] 41-63  
Feb. 06 7] Circulation - Blood gas transport of O2 - O2 "How to put the steep part of the curve where you need it!" Lecture PDF [link][may be reworked some over the weekend], Prelim Lecture [link] 65-81

Lec. Quest. - O2


Feb. 08  8] Circulation - Blood gas transport of CO2 - CO2 & O2 transport by blood [role of CO2 in pH balance will be discussed in the Control of Respiration lecture]. Lecture Final version PDF [link  3 handouts, 81-89  Lec. Quest.-CO2


Feb. 11  9] LD - O2 & CO2 in Blood Simulation Class
  • 1] Prep materials HO 08 Feb. a] the web_HUMAN simulation is at b]"How To-Introductory Tutorial" is available here [link] .

  • 2] In class Lecture Notes - final version + with extra credit option [link] on last 2 pages (also distributed via email) 

Review SN


Complete 'Teach yourself web-HUMAN' before lab

Feb. 13 10] Comparative Circulation 1- Evolution / pumps, values & circuits Prelim. Lecture PDF [link] - Lecture PDF [link] 91-115  
Feb. 15 11] Comparative Circulation 2 - Evolution, Mechanics concluded/Cardiac Output Lecture PDF [link] 91-115, 104, 509, 514 Bar Head Geese Himalayan migration [link]  
Feb. 18, M 12] Comparative Circulation 3- Cardiac Output/Blood Pressure Lecture Circ. 3 PDF [link] 93-115  
Feb. 20, W 13] Comparative Circulation 4- Blood Pressure, Fluid balance Final Lecture PDF [link] 105-115, Skip invert circ. except figs. 3-25 & 3-26  
Feb. 22, F 14] Examination I (13 lectures) - sample exam & question types have been posted (On Main Page) since 8 Feb.    
Feb. 25, M

15a] Metabolism I / Introduction to Physiological Regulation + prep for regulation during hypoxia- Lecture PDF w/ in-class notes [link] , 

15b] Metabolism I / Metabolic adaptations to hypoxia - high altitude, diving- Lecture PDF w/ in-class notes [link] , you should cover diving on your own; SN is very strong

Diving 178-192 

High Altitude 209-211


John West

Popular Press -Everest

Feb. 27, W 16] Metabolism II / High Altitude Lecture-Demo - Pre & in-class materials 1] Pre-class handout [link], 2] In-Class discussion of results [link] , 3] in-lab work - the price of polycythemia + "exercise tolerance at 3 different altitude locations [link] Setup screens for the "3 altitudes exercise experiment" 1 , 2 Forced Relocation of HiAtlPopulation [link]

Mar. 01, F

17] Metabolism III / Intro to organismal metabolism, metabolic scaling, Tusco! Lecture PDF [link] 169-178, 193-209, App. C  
Mar. 04, M

18] Metabolism III -Adaptive Intermediary metabolism- anaerobic metabolism/a) anaerobiasis - how to use goldfish to make an alcohol still b) activity metabolism 3) O2 limitation 4) diving - review on your own! -, Lecture PDF [link]

Reading - Other Aspects (previously assigned) - limits of human work at high altitude [link]

170-192, Anaerobiasis 175-178  
Warning - Materials & links below here are not yet fully updated
Mar. 06 19] Thermal Physiology I - Heat exchange, heat balance - the "rules" - Quick intro to effects, heat balance & heat flow, Lecture PDF with possible in-class notes [link]



217-225, Appendix D

Mar. 08  20] Thermal Physiology II -Regulation in Warm Environments - Lecture PDF with possible in-class notes [link]  254-269  

 Spring Vacation Mar. 09-17   

Mar. 18 21] Thermal Physiology III - Regulation in Cold Environments - Lecture PDF preliminary [ link ]  217-284  
Lectures below here are not yet rescheduled - Exam dates remains the same   
Mar. xx  21] Thermal Physiology IV - Temperature Regulation - Lecture PDF w/ notes [link]     
Mar. 20  22] Thermal Physiology V - Temperature Effects - Effects, short term 'solutions', (additional req. reading- Km adjustments, more PDF), Lecture PDF [link] - lecture to be continued in Thermal Physiology VI below  225-238, 241-254  
Mar. 22  23]  Thermal Physiology VI - Effects (concluded), more on heterothermy & countercurrent heat exchangers - Temp Effects concluded [link] and Temperature & other biological countercurrents [link]  269--284, 465-470  
Mar. 25, M 24] No lecture    
Mar. 27 25] Water balance & osmoregulation I - Aquatic environments - Overview of H20 & salt balance - Choice of a) Lecture PDF formatted as class note handout with diagrams [link] and b) Lecture PDF [link] - Frog Skin [link]


Appendix E 


Mar. 29 26] Water balance & osmoregulation II - Terrestrial environments - Lecture PDF [link] 324-343, 591-3  
Apr. 01, M 27] Osmoregulation III - Introduction to vertebrate kidney -Terrestrial Water balance - Lecture PDF [link] possible extra kidney histology lab-type reading- first 7 pages [link], plus for Osmo 1-5 note supplementary Osmoregulation reading on right Lecture PDF annotated [link]    
Apr. 03 28] Examination 2 (Cardiorespiratory regulation <-> Osmoregulation 3)/Sample study materials/exam2 link tobe posted (On Main Page or in Resources)

314-321, 378-388, lab kidney reading

Osmoregulation reading
Apr. 05

29] Osmoregulation IV - Vertebrate kidney - Regulation of water balance (ADH system) & Intro to salt balance (JGA & ALDO)

Leccture PDF annotated [link]

314-321, 378-388, 502-505, possible lab-like [histology] kidney reading  
Apr. 08 30] Osmoregulation V - Comparative regulation of salt balance concluded Lecture PDF [link]// N balance in Vertebrates & selected invertebrates - Lecture PDF [link] 314-321, 378-388, 502-505, possible Lecture handouts (4 pgs)  
Apr. 10 31] Muscle 1 - Basic properties I - Force generation/Length-tension - What is the Comparative Viewpoint on muscle /Muscle Mechanics of Muscle myofilaments, contractile proteins, length-tension // frog jumping muscle maximization of force- Lecture as delivered PDF [link] A 395-41
B 430-462
Apr. 12 

32] Muscle 2 - Basic properties II - Basic properties -Ca++ / Excitation-contraction coupling - Ca2+ kinetic

Basic Properties III -Whole muscle properties F-Vel., power & series elastic lag - Lecture PDF [link] 

 Reading supplement [link], Fish swim muscle is optional  SN Ch 5
Apr. 15  33] Muscle 3- 1) Basic Properties concluded 2) Applications - Integrative examples - How to adapt the same muscle to differing tasks - 2 kinds of muscle, Power muscle- frog jumping muscle High Speed sound muscle- toadfish sonic muscle, rattlesnake shaker muscle - Lecture PDF [link]  SN Ch 5, supplement [link] , Fish swim muscle is optional   Note: Fish swim muscle may be optional
Apr. 27  34] Muscle 4 - Use of muscle at organismal level - // , whole animal biomechanics (human, dog, elephant), catch muscle, Other motility mechanisms - hydrostatic skeletons, buoyancy- swim bladders & gas cells - Lecture Notes [link]  SN Ch 5,
Swim bladder 452-458, More insect flight muscle [link]
NS Development HO 163-175 for next lecture- see below 
 Electric fish [link]
Apr. 19 

35] Nervous system I - Developmental neuroanatomy - Lecture #1 of the Nervous System lecture series- we use neural development as our key to basic neural anatomy

 1) Developmental circulation as an example 2) Link to HO color figures of the lecture & reading. 3) possible additional neurohistology

Development HO 163-175 [link]

Also possible Neurohistology reading - Organization of NS 387-96 

Development HO in color [link]  
Apr 22 

36]  Nervous system II - Evolution of the NS - General Trends in Animal & Especially in Vertebrate NS - 1) Lecture Notes Evolution [link] 2) Lecture Notes Neocortex [link] *EC = extensively commented/also consult Revised Assignment handout (right) 

 Evolution Neocortex (W)
 Revised assignment
Apr. 24 

37] Nervous system Iii - Vertebrate Sensory Processing - NS selects information/NS maps the world-

  • mammalian somatic general sensory [lecture notes link]*EC

  • Primate visual [Lecture notes [link]] *EC and 

  • Owl auditory [lecture notes link] mapping - optional/extra credit

  • Lateral inhibition - in the vertebrate retina, see SN Fig. 13.22 - 13.23 as applied to the Limulus eye

- /also consult Revised Assignment handout (right)

[Cat-"Here's lookin' at Ya'" / original cat paper (purely optional) [link]] 

Vision,(esp. 442-453, audition , SN 13.22-13.23, SN565-570,

SN Fig. 13.22 - 13.23

See right for revised assignment

 Revised assignment
Apr. 26 

38] Nervous system IV / - Vertebrate Motor Control systems - reflexes, quadrapedal locomotion, role of the neocortex-

[lecture notes link] *EC + possible substantial preliminary lecture handout - /also consult Revised Assignment handout (right) 

 SN 570 - 574 SN

466 - 469

 Revised assignment
Apr. 29 

39] Nervous system V / - physiological co-evolution in a sample 2 organism system - fish and snake - [lecture notes link] + Mauthner cell reading [link

For extra credit/optional read the distributed snake paper "Function of the appendages in tentacled snakes (Erpeton tentaculatus)"[link] / evaluations 

SN fig. 13.8, 13.9   Fish & Snake

Reading, 2 , 

More Fish & Snake 1 ,3

May 01-05  Study days (May 1 Th -May 5 Sun.)     

May 6-10


Exam III- Registrar scheduled ( covers lectures from (& including) Osmoregulation 3 to NS VI ) Exam in Dana 240 no early exams except for Seniors - please plan accordingly! This exam is scheduled as a "final" by the registrar but counts only as a third hour exam. Note that senior grades are due early [Th 9] & that arrangements may be made for senior grades to be submitted slightly late.


Note that 1 of 2 extra credit options may be available - 1) Owl auditory [lecture notes link] mapping 2) "Function of the appendages in tentacled snakes (Erpeton tentaculatus)"[link]

Warning! Material & links below here not yet fully updated for this year
optional __optional topic [not part of 2013 course__    
optional Nervous system VII - Comparative Sensory reception 7/or Behavior/flex topic TBA  
optional 13] Comparative Circulation 4- Blood Pressure, Fluid balance Notes may be distributed in-paper in lecture Lecture PDF [link]


Skip invert circ. except figs. 3-25 & 3-26

  13?] Circulatory & Respiration- Cardiorespiratory regulation Lecture PDF [ link ] with some post-class notes

465-470, Ch. 1& 2

Feedback Control Homeostasis (HO)

  Not planned yet to be used in Comp Vert 2013 / or for storage  

SN TBA, Withers 329-360

Michael's frog vision [link]

*Other- Visual systems 439-458 [link] , Auditory [link]

For detailed notes on lecture policies, exams, attendance policy and all other course nuts & bolts please see the document About this course [ link ].

Key to some terms above

  • Lectures (L) are sometimes accompanied by in-paper &/or electronic handouts listed as (HO) above; e.g. lec. notes or figures (Fig) used for / during lecture presentation.

  • Lecture Demonstrations (LD) are lectures that have as part or all of their content some hands-on, lab like activity. They 'count' rather simply as if they were another lecture; which they are (!).

  • Lecture Questions (e.g. Lec. Quest. - O2, Lec. Quest. - CO2) are questions keyed to additional important text figures that we did not have time to cover in lecture even though we had originally planned to (they are in the preliminbary lecture on that topic) and are particularly important for an understanding of that topic. They are linked in column 4. The link leads either to a self-standing PDF of questions or to that lecture's final notes, part of which includes that topic's "Lecture Questions."

Instructor Office Telephone Email Office Hours

Roy Meyers

(Bi 251 & Bi 351)

Da 345 ext 5079 Wed. 12:30 - 3:30 (Bi 251, Bi 351)

Note: Any distributed printed outline is a preliminary outline which will be modified on this web site as the course proceeds. The web site's course outline of today is the 'official' current outline. Make a habit of consulting it regularly.