Sierra College Department of Biological Sciences

Bio. Sci. 36 - Introduction to Mammalogy: Course Detail

(2 units / lect. & lab. combined - does not qualify as a lab. science for general ed.)

Full-Time Faculty Lead: Charles Dailey

Catalog Description: Emphasis on mammals and their significance to humanity. Topics include: identification; local species; behavioral, structural, and physiological adaptations; ecology, and human relationships. Not recommended for Biology majors; recommended for general education students or other majors interested in mammals.

Additional Info.: Bio. Sci. 36 Introduction to Mammalogy is an introduction to the biology of mammals as a group of organisms. It serves as part of a series of special classes to meet the interest and needs of a variety of students. Students study the anatomy, physiology, evolution, ecology, diversity, and identification of mammals. Since humans are included in this group of animals, students are consistently comparing themselves to the other mammals studied. As with the many other classes we offer, students are given practical laboratory experiences working with specimens in the classroom and during field activities. Although not officially recommended for biology majors (whom presumably may continue on to take mammalogy at a four year university), this class goes more in depth on the topic of mammals than any other of our offerings.

Typical class outline might include:

Introduction to Mammalogy, Mammal Characteristics, Basic Biology concepts, Mammal Orders - Classification of each living group (Characteristics, distribution, examples, special adaptations), Evolution of Mesozoic Mammals (fossil forms and current concepts), Diversification of Mammals (Zoogeography, Geologic History/Time), Special Investigation - Ungulates (examples, behaviors, adaptations, special relations with man), Anatomy & Physiology (mammals as a functional and successful "machine"), Ecology Concepts (community, energy utilization, diet, niche, etc.), Mammal Behavior (comparisons, variations of a theme, adaptation), Reproduction (methods, environmental timing, organismal requirements), Parental Care (birth to release of young), Special Investigation - Cetaceans (examples, behaviors, adaptations, special relations with man), Endangered Species - process, problems, progress (local and world-wide), Population Dynamics - Age structure, sampling techniques, sex ratios, Game (Wildlife) Management - Current practices and guidelines, Special Investigations - Primates (examples, behaviors, adaptations, special relations with man), Review of specific local species, characteristics, behaviors, etc., Relationships between mankind & mammals (history of associations)

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(For official course listings, please consult the Sierra College online course catalog.)

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