Undergraduate Courses


WFSC 302 – Natural History of the Vertebrates

Introduction to life histories of fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Lecture covers vertebrate groups on a worldwide scale and emphasizes a comparative approach to the study of adaptation to the environment. Lecture topics include behavior, reproduction, feeding specializations, evolutionary history, locomotion, hibernation, migration, endangered species, zoogeography and importance to man. Laboratory emphasizes the recognition of Texas vertebrates. Course is designed for both science and non-science majors.


WFSC 315 – Herpetology

This one semester course reviews the phylogenetic relationships, diversity, and biology of amphibians and reptiles. Herpetology focuses on the evolution of reptile and amphibian lineages and the evolutionary ecology (i.e., diversity of reproductive strategies, foraging modes, life histories) of the major groups. Evolutionary trends among and within the orders and families of amphibians and reptiles are reviewed in conjunction with geological events, anatomy, physiology, behavior, and life history. Labs introduce students to the global diversity of reptiles and amphibians, then concentrate on the herpetofauna of Texas. Labs and field trips may include exercises on ecological topics relevant to the study of amphibians and reptiles, such as a physiological ecology lab, comparative morphological studies, and techniques for monitoring reptile and amphibian populations. Lab must be taken concurrently.

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