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Chapter 19: From Fish to Birds

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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From Fish to Birds


Lesson 19.1: Overview of Vertebrates

19.1.1 Characteristics of Vertebrates

  • Vertebrate Endoskeleton
  • Other Vertebrate Traits

19.1.2 Vertebrate Reproduction

19.1.3 Vertebrate Classification

19.1.4 Vertebrate Evolution

  • Evolution of Fish
  • Evolution of Other Vertebrate Classes
  • Evolution of Endothermy

Lesson 19.2: Fish

19.2.1 Structure and Function in Fish

  • Adaptations for Water
  • Fish Organ Systems

19.2.2 Fish Reproduction and Development

  • Spawning
  • Fish Larvae

19.2.3 Classification of Fish

  • Hagfish
  • Lampreys
  • Cartilaginous Fish
  • Ray-Finned Fish
  • Lobe-Finned Fish

19.2.4 Evolution of Fish

  • Timing of Fish Evolution
  • The Bony Fish

19.2.5 Ecology of Fish

  • Fish Food
  • Fish at Risk

Lesson 19.3: Amphibians

19.3.1 Structure and Function in Amphibians

  • Amphibian Ectothermy
  • Amphibian Organ Systems

19.3.2 Amphibian Reproduction and Development

  • Amphibian Eggs
  • Amphibian Larvae

19.3.3 Classification of Amphibians

  • Frogs and Toads
  • Salamanders and Newts
  • Caecilians

19.3.4 Evolution of Amphibians

19.3.5 Ecology of Amphibians

  • Amphibians as Prey and Predators
  • The Threat of Amphibian Extinction

Lesson 19.4: Reptiles

19.4.1 Structure and Function in Reptiles

  • Reptile Respiration
  • Ectothermy in Reptiles
  • Other Reptile Structures

19.4.2 Reptile Reproduction

  • Amniotic Eggs
  • Reptile Young

19.4.3 Classification of Reptiles

19.4.4 Evolution of Reptiles

  • Synapsids and Sauropsids
  • Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs
  • Evolution of Modern Reptile Orders

19.4.5 Ecology of Reptiles

  • Reptile Diets
  • Reptiles at Risk

Lesson 19.5: Birds

19.5.1 Structure and Function in Birds

  • Wings and Feathers
  • Organ Systems Adapted for Flight
  • Nervous System and Sense Organs

19.5.2 Bird Reproduction

  • Courtship and Mating
  • Nesting and Incubation
  • Hatchlings

19.5.3 Classification of Birds

  • Flightless Birds
  • Flying Birds

19.5.4 Evolution of Birds

  • What was Deinonychus?
  • Evolution of Flight

19.5.5 Ecology of Birds

  • Bird Diets
  • Birds at Risk
  • KQED: The Golden Eagle
  • KQED: The Great Horned Owl
  • KQED: The Turkey Vulture

Pacing the Lessons

Use the Class Periods per Lesson table below as a guide for the time required to teach the lessons of this chapter.

Lesson Number of Class Periods
19.1 Overview of Vertebrates 2.0
19.2 Fish 1.0
19.3 Amphibians 1.0
19.4 Reptiles 1.5
19.5 Birds 1.5
  • Class periods are assumed to be 60 minutes long.

Online Resources

See the following Web sites for appropriate laboratory activities:

1. A bony fish (perch) dissection lab is available at this URL. (Lesson 19.2)

2. This URL provides a virtual frog dissection lab. (Lesson 19.3)

3. In this lab, students will determine the relationships between leg length, stride length, and speed in humans. Then they will apply the relationships to fossil dinosaur data to determine the possible speed of bipedal dinosaurs. (Lesson 19.4)

4. This URL has a chicken wing dissection lab. Students will observe the tissues that make up a bird's wing and relate wing structure to function. (Lesson 19.5)

5. In this AP-level lab, students will simulate birds with different types of beaks and try to gather various kinds of seeds. After completing the simulation activity, students will relate their results to natural selection for beak type. (Lesson 19.5)

These Web sites may also be helpful:

1. The URLs below provide access to National Geographic’s collection of videos, photographs, and news stories about fish, amphibians, reptiles, and birds.

2. A comprehensive searchable fish database is available at this URL.

3. The Web site below provides excellent reptile photographs and numerous news stories and science articles relating to reptiles.

4. At the Web site below, you can find up-to-date phylogenies (based on molecular data) of extant reptiles and detailed fact sheets about particular reptile families and subfamilies.

5. This Web site has many excellent resources on birds, including research articles, identification guides, taxonomies, and conservation news. The nest cams are a must-see for students when you talk about parental behavior in birds.

6. This Web site accompanies the PBS series called The Life of Birds. It provides interesting articles on several important topics, including bird evolution, bird brains and intelligence, and bird song. The site also describes several classroom activities related to the topics.

7. The Berkeley Museum of Paleontology Web site has detailed information on birds, including modules on their life history, ecology, systematics, morphology, and fossil record. The site also links with an online museum exhibit entitled Vertebrate Flight.

Chapter Outline

Chapter Summary

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