Chapter Outline

Vertebrates: An Introduction

Domain – Eukarya, Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum – Chordata; subphylum Vertebrata

Types of Fishes

Jawless Fishes (Class: Agnatha)

Cartilaginous Fishes (Class: Chondrichthyes)


Rays and Skates


Bony Fishes (Class: Osteichthyses)

Biology of Fishes

            Lobe vs. Ray-Finned Fishes

Body Shape, Locomotion, Feeding


Structure of the Gills

Regulation of the Internal Environment

Nervous System and Sensory Organs


Territoriality, Schooling, Migrations

Reproduction and Life History

Reproductive System

Reproductive Behavior

Early Development

            Deep Ocean Adaptations of (some) fishes

Note: Osmoregulation starts here (in Chondrichthyes and beyond…)

Chapter Summary

Chapter 8 surveys the major groups of marine fishes and summarizes the most important aspects of their biology. The first half of the chapter introduces students to the various groups of marine fishes by outlining their most important morphological features, general distribution, and economic importance. A general classification scheme of fishes is given at the beginning of the chapter. The second half deals with various aspects of the biology of marine fishes, from morphological adaptations to swimming and feeding to behavior and reproduction.





Domain: Eukarya, Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Chordata, Subphylum: Vertebrata

Marine Reptiles (Class: Reptilia)

Sea Turtles

Sea Snakes

Other Marine Reptiles (Iguana, Crocodile)

Seabirds (Class: Aves)


Pelicans and Related Birds

Gulls and Related Birds

Shorebirds (vs. seabirds)

Marine Mammals (multiple classes, subclasses & orders – see ppt summary)

Types of Marine Mammals

Seals, Sea Lions, and Walruses

Sea Otters and Polar Bears

Manatees and Dugongs

Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises

Biology of Marine Mammals

Swimming and Diving





We will also discuss WHERE a lot of these organisms live & HOW they adapt (i.e. Actic vs. Antarctic, migration changes etc.)

Chapter Summary

Chapter 9 discusses the marine tetrapods. Marine reptiles and birds are covered by providing information about their morphological characteristics, general distribution, and the most outstanding features of their biology, particularly feeding and behavior.

The chapter emphasizes the marine mammals, particularly the cetaceans, as a favorite group for students. The various groups of marine mammals are introduced by discussing general morphology, distribution, and feeding.




Final Sections/Material:


CHAPTER 17-19: Our impacts and “Special Report”


Important material we will cover: Coral Bleaching (& anthropogenic effects on increased ocean water temperature), Carbon “sinks” in the ocean & what effects the increased carbon (increased acidity) has on carbonate (shelled/ hard bodied) animals, loss of coastal habitats & increased run-off & lowered water quality, sustainability, osmoregulation issues for marine organisms, global climate change, pollution sources (various) waste, the Pacific Garbage Patch (….to name just a few…)