GEOL 335. General Paleontology
Three hours lecture; two hours laboratory (4).
Prerequisite: GEOL 106
Study of fossil plant and animal phyla; emphasis on principles of paleontology as well as the taxonomic classification, principal morphologic characters and general evolutionary development of important fossil groups.
Detailed Description of Content of Course
The purpose of this course is to instill in students an understanding of the study, nature, significance, and use of fossils and of the fossil record.
Topics addressed in this course include:
1. Definition of fossil and of paleontology
2. Natural Selection
3. Paleontological methods and techniques
4. Major invertebrate fossil phyla
5. Major vertebrate fossil phyla
6. Major plant fossil phyla
7. Practical applications of paleontology
8. Principles of paleoecology
Detailed Description of Conduct of Course
The course includes traditional lectures and laboratory exercises supplement by related outside readings.
Goals and Objectives of Course
1. Students will acquire an understanding of the discipline of paleontology.
2. Students will acquire an understanding of the concept of natural selection.
3. Students will become familiar with the methods and techniques used in the study of fossils.
4. Students will become familiar with the evolutionary history, morphology, and classification of the major invertebrate fossil taxa.
5. Students will become familiar with the evolutionary history, morphology, and classification of the major vertebrate fossil taxa.
6. Students will become familiar with the evolutionary history, morphology, and classification of the major plant fossil taxa.
7. Students will understand the practical applications of paleontology.
8. Students will acquire an understanding of the study of paleoecology.
Written lecture examinations are used for assessment of the students understanding of concepts and theories.
Laboratory practical examinations are used for assessment of the students ability to recognize the morphology and classification of fossil organisms.
Other Course Information
1. GEOL 335 is a required course for the General Geology Concentration for a B.S. degree in geology.
- Nield, E.W., and Tucker, V.C.T., 1985, Paleontology, an introduction, Pergamon Press
- Prothero, Donald, R., 2004, Bringing Fossils to Life, An Introduction to Paleobiology (2 nd edition), McGraw-Hill, Hightstown, New Jersey, 512 p.
- Raup, D.M., and Stanley, S.M., 1978, Principles of Paleontology, 2nd ed., W.H. Freeman and Co.
- Stearn, C., and Carroll, R., 1989, Paleontology, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Approval and Subsequent Reviews
Date Action Reviewed By
September 2005 Reviewed and Updated Stephen W. Lenhart, C