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Structure & Function in Marine Animals

Instructor: Dr. Rich Palmer

Overview:  This course is an introduction to principles underlying how the forms of animals are ‘designed’ to function effectively.  Topics to be covered include:  ‘tree thinking’ (how to place animals and their parts into an evolutionary context), scaling (mechanical and physiological consequences of variation in body size), an introduction to fluid dynamics (life at low and high Reynolds number, surface tension, cavitation, particle feeding, waves) and how these principles have profound effects on animal form and function, an introduction to biomechanics (materials, structures, adhesion, cost-benefit analysis, safety factors).  Examples of how animals are ‘designed’, drawn primarily from marine invertebrates, will include:  plastic responses to different flow and feeding conditions, particle feeding, hydrostatic and rigid skeletons, various modes of aquatic locomotion (burrowing, crawling, swimming), vision, bioluminescence and buoyancy.  On-line laboratory exercises, accompanied by preserved specimens that will be shipped to all students, will a) illustrate principles covered in lectures and b) show how to study live marine invertebrates to understand how they actually work.

University of Victoria:
MRNE 415 – Structure & Function in Animals
CRN #13635


University of Calgary:
MRSC 515 – Struc/Function in Animals

You will be registered by your department


University of Alberta:
MA SC 415 – Structure & Function in Animals

You will be registered by your department


University of British Columbia
MRNE 415 – Structure & Function in Marine Animals

You will be registered by your department


Simon Fraser University
MASC 415-3 – Structure & Function in Animals

You will be registered by your department