Assignment on dissection of a shark

  1. Open up the rib cage and remove the heart.  How many chambers are in the shark heart?



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  1. Which organ is largest in the shark? Why do you think this is?






  1. What was the gender of the shark? How do we determine the gender of a shark?










Obtain a perch and label the following

Brain                                       Heart                                       Swim Bladder                                         Aorta

Gills                                        Liver                                        Stomach                                 Intestine

Gonad                                    Anus                                       pyloric Caeca


  1. Which organ is largest in the perch? Why do you think this is?






  1. Was this perch male or female? How do we determine the gender of a perch?





  1. The perch is considered a bony fish, having looked at the shark what are some of the features you could use to identify other bony fishes (hint; bones should be part of this, what other features are different between the two)?


Vertebrate Circulation          (15 pts)

Go to the HHMI Biointeractive The Vertebrate Circulatorium and open the “Launch Interactive”  or go to


We have now studied 3 distinct groups of vertebrates (fishes, amphibians and reptiles) and are heading into birds (dinosaurs) and mammals.  Today we will be focusing on two of their main systems, the respiratory system, and circulation.  Remember that all vertebrates have a closed circulatory system though different types of respiratory systems (gills, lungs, membranous skin)



ORGANISM CLASSIFICATION NOTES ON CIRCULATION:  What is the pattern of circulation?  Do oxygenated and deoxygenated blood mix?  Do they use gills, lungs, skin, or a combination?  NOTES ON HEART:  How many chambers? Are oxygenated and deoxygenated blood separated or mixed? 
Hagfish  Agnathan (jawless fish) Partial open system; no apparent mixing of blood; gills Muscularized blood vessels act like hearts; 2 chambered caudal heart unique among all animal species
Fish Osteichthyes (bony fish)    
Lungfish Osteichthyes (bony fish) No mixing of blood; gills and lungs; unique blood cycle that uses different parts of the gills for 2 atria (other fish have only 1); folds in heart channel blood to prevent mixing


Amphibian Population Decline (25 pts)                                                                 Name _________________________


Start at this website:

Examine the Data Graphs:

  • Examine the Global Amphibian Species Richness (3 pts)
a)       Which continent has the greatest diversity of species?  
b)       Which continent has no amphibian species at all?  
c)       Is there a greater diversity of species in the North or South hemisphere?  


  • Examine the Threatened Amphibian Species (2 pts)

Describe the part of the world (country or continent, near the equator, N Pole or S pole) which seems to have the greatest number of threatened species?  Propose a reason to explain why this is so.



  • Examine the Threatened and Endangered Species   (4 pts)

This graph shows the number of endangered and extinct species.  The tallies of species are:

  • In RED: Number of Extinct, Extinct in the wild or Critically Endangered species;
  • In ORANGE: Number of Endangered or Vulnerable species;
  • In WHITE, Total number of species within a biome.

To calculate the percentage of species extinct and endangered.  Sum the values in the red and orange and divide that by the total number of species, then multiply by 100 to get a percent.

a)       Which area has the fewest total amphibian species?

b)       Calculate the percentage of species extinct and endangered.

c)       Which area has the greatest total number of amphibian species?

d)       Calculate the percentage of species extinct and endangered.

e)       What percentage of species in North America (Nearctic) are in the extinct and endangered group?  
f)        What percentage of species in Central America (Panamanian) region are in the extinct and endangered group?  





4) Examine the table of factors that influence the survival of amphibians.  (4 pts)

a)       In your own words, describe one specific way that climate change affects amphibian populations:


b)       Identify one chemical contaminant that can affect amphibians  
c)       In your own words, explain why the construction of a new road through a wetland would be disadvantageous to amphibian populations?  
d)       In your own words, briefly explain what type of organism causes chytridiomycosis and list a few of the symptoms.  (Use the link in the table.)  



5)  Read ONE of these articles then answer the following question in your own words:

What factor did this article cite as a major contributor to amphibian decline?  Identify at least TWO pieces of evidence/ data  the authors used to support their claims?  (5 pts)



6) Provide TWO reasons to explain why amphibians seem to be more at risk than other organisms?  NOTE:  The article may not have addressed this directly – think about what you have learned about amphibian behaviors, anatomy, and physiology and use your knowledge to answer this question and show your understanding.  (4 pts)



8)  If amphibian populations continue to decline, what effect will this have on the rest of the ecosystem in which they live?  Provide THREE specific examples (note: do not write: plants will die, animals will die, etc…)  be very clear and specific in your responses.  (3 pts)




Tuatara (Data Nugget)                                                           Name _____________________________


Tuatara are a unique species of reptile found only in New Zealand. They look like lizards but they are actually in their own reptile group. Tuatara are the only species remaining on the planet from this group, one that dates to the time of the dinosaurs.   Scientists have been studying the effect of temperature on the sex of tuatara.  The sex of tuatara is not determined by sex chromosomes (X or Y) as in humans.  Instead, the temperature of the nest during egg development is the only factor that determines the sex of tuatara embryos.


The scientists wanted to know if increasing temperatures due to climate change were associated with the changing sex ratio.


They predicted that there would be a greater proportion of males in the population over time. This would be reflected in an unbalanced sex ratio that is moving further and further away from 50% males and 50% females and toward a male-biased population.


Complete the data table:

  • First add the males and females to get the total number of tuatara.
  • Then calculate the % of male tuatara by dividing the number of males by the total.


Complete the graph:

Make a line/ trend graph of the data.  Plot the % of males in each year as a data point.  Then draw a straight line through the data to show a trend.  Do not play “connect the dot” with the data, just determine the trend with a straight line through the densest data area.



Average Annual Temperatures in New Zealand:

The following graph shows average annual temperatures for New Zealand. Data were collected by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.

  • The x-axis shows the year the data was collected.
  • The y-axis shows the composite of temperature data from 7 weather stations across New Zealand.
  • The black line shows the trend.



  • Why is the sex ratio of tuatara important to the survival of the species?


  • What was the scientist’s prediction concerning temperatures and sex of the tuatara over time?


  • Does the data support or refute the scientist’s prediction? Cite at least two pieces of evidence to justify your answer.



  • Science is an ongoing process. What new question could the scientists ask about the tuatara?


Echinodermata Notes                                                                                                                      Name _______________________________


Watch the slideshow on Echinoderms at and also visit

Use the information that you find to complete this note-taker


  • Like chordates, echinoderms are deuterostomes. What does this mean and why is it important?




  • Echinodermata means spiny skin.
  • Type of body symmetry: _____________________________
  • Endoskeleton made of: _______________________________
  • Echinoderms use tube feet for movement, feeding, respiration….. Write a clear description, in your own words, of how tube feet work.






  • What are pedicellaria, which echinoderms have them, and what do they do?





  • Choose one feature of echinoderms and explain how that feature helps with “survivability”?










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