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Taxonomy of Tropical Marine Invertebrates

Course Number OCMB - 6085

Course Description

This is a field course that includes lecture, field and laboratory components. Lectures introduce the structure, classification, terminology, natural history, and collection, preparation and curation techniques for the major groups of local shallow-water marine invertebrates: Porifera (sponges), Cnidaria (corals, medusae and allies), worms (Annelida, Sipuncula, etc.), Mollusca, Crustacea, Echinodermata and Urochordata. The field component includes shore- and boat-based excursions to local habitats as well as those in the Florida Keys and Gulf Coast for collecting and observing specimens. The laboratory component uses specimens collected during the course as well as the extensive holdings of the invertebrate teaching collection to teach students how to identify these organisms. The grade is based on a combination of field and lab notebook and practical exam.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the course, students will have a clear understanding of:

  • how to identify a wide diversity of local marine invertebrates belonging to several major phyla including Porifera, Cnidaria, Annelida, Mollusca, Arthropoda, Echinodermata and Urochordata
  • the natural history, ecology and basic patterns of development of common local marine invertebrates
  • collection, preparation and curation techniques for these organisms
  • terminology associated with the taxonomy and classification of each group

Abbott RT. 1968. Seashells of North America. Golden Press, NY.

Humann P, Deloach N, Wilk L. 2013. Reef Creature Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas. 3rd ed. New World Publ.,           
      Jacksonville, FL.

Humann P, Deloach N. 2002. Reef Coral Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas. 2nd ed. New World Publ., Jacksonville, FL.

Ruppert EE, Fox RS. 1988. Seashore Animals of the Southeast. University of South Carolina Press. Columbia, SC.

Summer 2015 Syllabus

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