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Dinosaur Paleobiology

SYLLABUS - Spring 2002


Office: Nierman 106 -- Telephone: 361 593-3580 -- e-mail: kfjab02

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  Office Hours: 9-11  MWF; 8 -10 Th; or by appointment. University duties, such as committee meetings, may prevent me from being in my office.  If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to me before or after class or phone me at the office for an appointment.

BIOLOGY 4355   Dinosaur Paleobiology 3(3-0)

COURSE DESCRIPTION -  This course uses the internet to examine the biology, ecology, and evolution of major dinosaur groups and other significant groups of Mesozoic vertebrates.

The life and times of the dinosaurs: their kinds, ecology, evolution, life habits, and eventual extinction. The course also examines concepts of systematics, earth history, and paleontology needed to understand dinosaurs and the other animals and plants that populated the Mesozoic world.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: After completing the course, a student should understand what defines a dinosaur, the classification and biology of dinosaurs, why birds are dinosaurs, and the scientific methods needed to investigate the mass extinction that occurred at the end of the Mesozoic. Additionally, this course uses the internet to examine the evolution of dinosaurs and other significant groups of Mesozoic vertebrates

BIOLOGY 5302  Dinosaur Paleobiology   3(3-0)

COURSE DESCRIPTION - The paleobiology of the dinosaurs. Topics include classification, anatomy, functional morphology, ecology, physiology, extinction, and the relationship of dinosaurs to birds. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and at least one course in invertebrate or vertebrate zoology or paleontology.

WEB PAGE: This class (BIOL 4355 [undergraduate] and 5302 [graduate] has a Web Site containing all important information pertinent to this class (syllabus, schedule, lecture outlines, links to other sites, and exam dates).
WEB SITE ADDRESS:  http://users.tamuk.edu/kfjab02/dinos/dinogate.htm

GRADING: There will be five one hour exams including the final exam. Homework assignments will also be given.  Graduate students will be required to write a research paper on a subject approved by the instructor. Graduate students will prepare a web page based on their research. 

Biology 4355

Exam 1        100 points
Exam 2        100 points
Exam 3        100 points
Exam 4        100 points
Exam 5        100 points
        Homework     50 points

Biology 5302

Exam 1        100 points
Exam 2        100 points
Exam 3        100 points
Exam 4        100 points
Exam 5        100 points
        Homework     50 points
Paper          100 points

Grades will be assigned based on the total points out of 500 BIOL 4355 and 666 for BIOL 5302.. 100-90% = A; 89-80% = B; 79-70% = C; 69-60% = D; < 60% = F

PAPER for BIOL 5310:  Graduate students must turn in an original paper on a topic of your choice approved by the instructor relating to dinosaurs. The paper will be at least 15 pages long (exclusive of figures), double spaced, 10 cpi typeface.  A web page highlighting and illustrating this research will also be prepared.

Required Book

INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF DINOSAURS, A. Martin, Blackwell Science Inc., 2001, 440 pages
ISBN: 0632044365

book website

It is recommended that graduate students use THE COMPLETE DINOSAUR. Farlow J. O. and Brett-Surman, M. K., 1997. Indiana University Press. 752 pp.
Graduate students will also be assigned journal articles.

Recommended books and CD Rom

Talking or other disruptive behavior during lecture will not be tolerated.

Academic dishonesty includes giving, receiving, or using unauthorized aid on any academic work. This includes a person who has taken a test discussing what was on a test with a person who has not taken the test. Any student guilty of cheating or plagiarism will receive a grade of F.

Students with disabilities, including learning disabilities, who wish to request accommodations in this class should notify the Services for Students with Disabilities Office early in the semester so that appropriate arrangements can be made.




1   Why study dinosaurs?   Geological time, Fossils
2   Plate Tectonics, A history of dinosaur studies
3   Reconstructing relationships
4   The Osteology of the Dinosaurs.
5   Dinosaur Paleoecology, Trackways
6    Dinosaur Reproduction and Feeding
7   Introduction to Dinosaur Evolution
8   Saurischian dinosaurs and Theropoda
9   Sauropodomorpha.
10   Ornithopoda  
11   Stegosauria  Ankylosauria
12   Pachycephalosauria  Ceratopsia 
13  Dinosaurs and Birds
14   Dinosaurs and Extinctions
15   Other Mesozoic Vertebrates
16   Final Exam


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