Chapter 34
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Chapter 34. Vertebrates. Figure 34.1. Overview:. The animals called vertebrates Get their name from vertebrae, the series of bones that make up the backbone. Dorsal, hollow nerve cord. Brain. Notochord. Muscle segments. Mouth. Anus. Pharyngeal slits or clefts. Muscular, post-anal tail.

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Chapter 34

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Chapter 34


Figure 34.1


  • The animals called vertebrates

    • Get their name from vertebrae, the series of bones that make up the backbone

Dorsal,hollownerve cord






Pharyngealslits or clefts

Muscular,post-anal tail

Figure 34.3

Concept 34.1: Derived Characters of Chordates

  • All chordates share a set of derived characters

    • Although some species possess some of these traits only during embryonic development


  • The notochord

    • Is a longitudinal, flexible rod located between the digestive tube and the nerve cord

    • Provides skeletal support throughout most of the length of a chordate

  • In most vertebrates, a more complex, jointed skeleton develops

    • And the adult retains only remnants of the embryonic notochord

Dorsal, Hollow Nerve Cord

  • The nerve cord of a chordate embryo

    • Develops from a plate of ectoderm that rolls into a tube dorsal to the notochord

    • Develops into the central nervous system: the brain and the spinal cord

Pharyngeal Slits or Clefts

  • In most chordates, grooves in the pharynx called pharyngeal clefts

    • Develop into slits that open to the outside of the body

  • These pharyngeal slits

    • Are modified for gas exchange in aquatic vertebrates

    • Develop into parts of the ear, head, and neck in terrestrial vertebrates

Muscular, Post-Anal Tail

  • Chordates have a tail extending posterior to the anus

    • Although in many species it is lost during embryonic development

  • The chordate tail contains skeletal elements and muscles

    • And it provides much of the propelling force in many aquatic species

Concept 34.2:

  • Craniates are chordates that have a head

  • The origin of a head

    • Opened up a completely new way of feeding for chordates: active predation

  • Craniates share some common characteristics

    • A skull, brain, eyes, and other sensory organs

Concept 34.3:

  • Vertebrates are craniates that have a backbone

  • Vertebrates have

    • Vertebrae enclosing a spinal cord

    • An elaborate skull

    • Fin rays, in aquatic forms


  • Lampreys, class Cephalaspidomorphi

    • Represent the oldest living lineage of vertebrates

    • Have cartilaginous segments surrounding the notochord and arching partly over the nerve cord

Figure 34.10

  • Lampreys are jawless vertebrates

    • Inhabiting various marine and freshwater habitats

Concept 34.4:

  • Gnathostomes are vertebrates that have jaws

  • Today, jawless vertebrates

    • Are far outnumbered by those with jaws

  • Other characters common to gnathostomes include

    • Enhanced sensory systems, including the lateral line system

    • An extensively mineralized endoskeleton

    • Paired appendages

Chondrichthyans (Sharks, Rays, and Their Relatives)

  • Members of class Chondrichthyes

    • Have a skeleton that is composed primarily of cartilage

  • The cartilaginous skeleton

    • Evolved secondarily from an ancestral mineralized skeleton

(a) Blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus).Fast swimmers with acute senses, sharks have paired pectoral and pelvic fins.

Pelvic fins

Pectoral fins

(b) Southern stingray (Dasyatis americana).Most rays are flattened bottom-dwellers thatcrush molluscs and crustaceans for food. Some rays cruise in open water and scoop food into their gaping mouth.

Figure 34.15a, b

  • The largest and most diverse subclass of Chondrichthyes

    • Includes the sharks and rays

Ray-Finned Fishes and Lobe-Fins

  • The vast majority of vertebrates

    • Belong to a clade of gnathostomes called Osteichthyes

  • Nearly all living osteichthyans

    • Have a bony endoskeleton

  • Aquatic osteichthyans

    • Are the vertebrates we informally call fishes

    • Control their buoyancy with an air sac known as a swim bladder

Adipose fin(characteristic oftrout)

Dorsal fin

Caudal fin

Swim bladder

Spinal cord



Cut edge of operculum

Anal fin






Lateral line


Urinary bladder



Pelvic fin

Figure 34.16

  • Fishes breathe by drawing water over four or five pairs of gills

(a) Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), a fast-swimming, schooling fish that is an important commercial fish worldwide

(b) Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris), a mutualistic symbiont of sea anemones

(c) Sea horse (Hippocampus ramulosus), unusual in the animal kingdom in that the male carries the young during their embryonic development

(d) Fine-spotted moray eel (Gymnothorax dovii), a predator that ambushes prey from crevices in its coral reef habitat

Figure 34.17a–d

Ray-Finned Fishes

  • The ray-finned fishes includes nearly all the familiar aquatic osteichthyans

  • The fins, supported mainly by long, flexible rays

    • Are modified for maneuvering, defense, and other functions

Figure 34.18


  • The lobe-fins

    • Have muscle covering bones of their pelvic and pectoral fins

    • Include coelacanths, lungfishes, and tetrapods

Concept 34.5:

  • Tetrapods are gnathostomes that have limbs and feet

  • One of the most significant events in vertebrate history

    • Was when the fins of some lobe-fins evolved into the limbs and feet of tetrapods

Derived Characters of Tetrapods

  • Tetrapods have some specific adaptations

    • Four limbs and feet with digits

    • Ears for detecting airborne sounds


  • Amphibians are represented by about 4,800 species of organisms

  • Most amphibians

    • Have moist skin that complements the lungs in gas exchange

(a) salamanders retain their tail as adults.

Figure 34.21a


  • Includes salamanders, which have tails

Figure 34.21b


  • Includes frogs and toads, which lack tails as adults

(b) poison arrow frog

(c) Caecilians, mainly burrowing amphibians.

Figure 34.21c


  • Includes caecilians, which are legless and resemble worms

(b) The tadpole is an aquatic herbivore witha fishlike tail and internal gills.

(c) During metamorphosis, the gills and tail are resorbed, andwalking legs develop.

(a) The male grasps the female, stimulating her to release eggs. The eggs are laid and fertilized in water. They have a jelly coat but lack a shell and would desiccate in air.

Figure 34.22a–c


  • Amphibian means “two lives”

    • A reference to the metamorphosis of an aquatic larva into a terrestrial adult

Concept 34.6:

  • Amniotes are tetrapods that have a terrestrially adapted egg

  • Amniotes are a group of tetrapods

    • Whose living members are the reptiles, including birds, and the mammals

Derived Characters of Amniotes

  • Amniotes are named for the major derived character of the clade, the amniotic egg

    • Which contains specialized membranes that protect the embryo

Chorion. The chorion and the membrane of the allantois exchange gases between the embryo and the air. Oxygen and carbon dioxide diffuse freely across the shell.

Allantois. The allantois is a disposal

sac for certain metabolic wastes pro-

duced by the embryo. The membrane

of the allantois also functions with

the chorion as a respiratory organ.

Extraembryonic membranes

Yolk sac. The yolk sac contains the yolk, a stockpile of nutrients. Blood vessels in the yolk sac membrane transport nutrients from the yolk into the embryo. Other nutrients are stored in the albumen (“egg white”).

Amnion. The amnion protectsthe embryo in a fluid-filled cavity that cushions againstmechanical shock.


Amniotic cavitywith amniotic fluid

Yolk (nutrients)



Figure 34.24

  • The extraembryonic membranes have various functions

  • Amniotes also have other terrestrial adaptations

    • Such as relatively impermeable skin and the ability to use the rib cage to ventilate the lungs


  • The reptile clade includes

    • The tuatara, lizards, snakes, turtles, crocodilians, birds, and the extinct dinosaurs

Figure 34.25

  • Reptiles

    • Have scales that create a waterproof barrier

    • Lay shelled eggs on land

  • Most reptiles are ectothermic

    • Absorbing external heat as the main source of body heat

  • Birds are endothermic

    • Capable of keeping the body warm through metabolism

(a) Tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus)

Figure 34.27a

The Origin and Evolutionary Radiation of Reptiles

  • One surviving lineage of lepidosaurs

    • Is represented by two species of lizard-like reptiles called tuatara

Figure 34.27b

(b) Australian thorny devil lizard (Moloch horridus)

  • The other major living lineage of lepidosaurs

    • Are the squamates, the lizards and snakes

  • Lizards

    • Are the most numerous and diverse reptiles, apart from birds

(c) Wagler’s pit viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri), a snake

Figure 34.27c

  • Snakes are legless lepidosaurs

    • That evolved from lizards


  • Turtles

    • Are the most distinctive group of reptiles alive today

  • Some turtles have adapted to deserts

    • And others live entirely in ponds and rivers

Figure 34.27d

(d) Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina)

  • All turtles have a boxlike shell

    • Made of upper and lower shields that are fused to the vertebrae, clavicles, and ribs

Figure 34.27e

(e) American alligator (Alligator mississipiensis)

Alligators and Crocodiles

  • Crocodilians

    • Belong to a lineage that dates back about 200 million years


  • Birds are archosaurs

    • But almost every feature of their reptilian anatomy has undergone modification in their adaptation to flight

Finger 1

(b) Bone structure


(a) wing

Finger 2



Finger 3







Figure 34.28a–c

(c) Feather structure

Derived Characters of Birds

  • A bird’s most obvious adaptations for flight

    • Are its wings and feathers

(a) Emu. This ratite lives in Australia.

Figure 34.30a

Living Birds

  • The ratites, order Struthioniformes

    • Are all flightless

(b) Mallards. Like many bird species, the mallard exhibits pronounced color differences between the sexes.

(c) Laysan albatrosses. Like most birds, Laysan albatrosses have specific mating behaviors, such as this courtship ritual.

(d) Barn swallows. The barn swallow is a member of the order Passeriformes. Species in this order are called perching birds because the toes of their feet can lock around a branch or wire, enabling the bird to rest in place for long periods.

Figure 34.30b–d

  • The demands of flight

    • Have rendered the general body form of many flying birds similar to one another

Raptor(such as a bald eagle)

Grasping bird (such as a woodpecker)

Swimming bird(such as a duck)

Perching bird (such as a cardinal)

Figure 34.31

  • Foot structure in bird feet

    • Shows considerable variation

Concept 34.7:

  • Mammals are amniotes that have hair and produce milk

  • Mammals, class Mammalia

    • Are represented by more than 5,000 species

Derived Characters of Mammals

  • Mammary glands, which produce milk are a distinctively mammalian character

  • Hair is another mammalian characteristic

  • Mammals generally have a larger brain than other vertebrates of equivalent size

Figure 34.33


  • Monotremes

    • Are a small group of egg-laying mammals consisting of echidnas and the platypus


  • Marsupials

    • Include opossums, kangaroos, and koalas

  • A marsupial is born very early in its development

    • And completes its embryonic development while nursing within a maternal pouch called a marsupium

Figure 34.34a

(a) A young brushtail possum.

Eutherians (Placental Mammals)

  • Compared to marsupials

    • Eutherians have a longer period of pregnancy

  • Eutherians

    • Complete their embryonic development within a uterus, joined to the mother by the placenta







Embryo completes development in pouch on mother





Lay eggs; nonipples; young suck milk fromfur of mother

MonotremataPlatypuses, echidnas





Teeth consisting of many thin tubes cemented together; eats ants and termites


Long, musculartrunk; thick, loose skin; upper incisors elongated as tusks

African elephant




Short legs; stumpy tail; herbivorous; complex, multichambered


Aquatic; finlikeforelimbs and no hind limbs; herbivorous


Rock hyrax


Chisel-like, continuously growing incisors worn down by gnawing;herbivorous



beavers, rats,



XenarthraSloths, anteaters,armadillos

Reduced teeth orno teeth; herbivorous(sloths) or carnivorous (anteaters, armadillos)

Red squirrel







Opposable thumbs; forward-facing eyes; well-developed cerebral cortex; omnivorous

Lagomorpha Rabbits, hares, picas

Chisel-like incisors; hind legs longer than forelegs and adapted for running and jumping

Golden lion tamarin




zebras, tapirs,


Hooves with an odd number of toeson each foot; herbivorous

Sharp, pointed canineteeth and molars for shearing; carnivorous

CarnivoraDogs, wolves,bears, cats, weasels, otters,

seals, walruses

Indian rhinoceros




Adapted for flight; broad skinfold that extends from elongated fingers to body and legs; carnivorous or herbivorous

Hooves with an even number of toes on each foot; herbivorous

CetartiodactylaArtiodactylsSheep, pigs cattle, deer,giraffes

Frog-eating bat

Bighorn sheep

Aquatic; streamlinedbody; paddle-like forelimbs and no hind limbs; thicklayer of insulating blubber; carnivorous


“Core insecti-

vores”: some

moles, some


Diet consists mainly of insects and other small invertebrates


Star-nosed mole

Pacific white-sided porpoise

Figure 34.36

The major eutherian orders


  • The mammalian order Primates include

    • Lemurs, tarsiers, monkeys, and apes

  • Humans are members of the ape group

Figure 34.37 Lemurs

Derived Characters of Primates

  • Most primates

    • Have hands and feet adapted for grasping

  • Primates also have

    • A large brain and short jaws

    • Forward-looking eyes close together on the face, providing depth perception

    • Well-developed parental care and complex social behavior

    • A fully opposable thumb

(a) Gibbons, such as this Muller's gibbon, are found only in southeastern Asia. Their very long arms and fingers are adaptations for brachiation.

(b) Orangutans are shy, solitary apes that live in the rain forests of Sumatra and Borneo. They spend most of their time in trees; note the foot adapted for grasping and the opposable thumb.

(c) Gorillas are the largest apes: some males are almost 2 m tall and weigh about 200 kg. Found only in Africa, these herbivores usually live in groups of up to about 20 individuals.

(e) Bonobos are closely related to chimpanzees but are smaller. They survive today only in the African nation of Congo.

(d) Chimpanzees live in tropical Africa. They feed and sleep in trees but also spend a great deal of time on the ground. Chimpanzees are intelligent, communicative, and social.

Figure 34.40a–e

Hominoids (Apes)

Concept 34.8:

  • Humans are bipedal hominoids with a large brain

  • Homo sapiens is about 160,000 years old

Derived Characters of Hominids

  • A number of characters distinguish humans from other hominoids

    • Upright posture and bipedal locomotion

    • Larger brains

    • Language capabilities

    • The manufacture and use of complex tools

    • Shortened jaw

The Earliest Humans

  • The study of human origins

    • Is known as paleoanthropology


















Millions of years ago











Orrorin tugenensis




Figure 34.41



  • Hominids originated in Africa

    • Approximately 6–7 million years ago

  • Early hominids

    • Had a small brain, but probably walked upright, exhibiting mosaic evolution

Early Homo

  • The earliest fossils that paleoanthropologists place in our genus Homo

    • Are those of the species Homo habilis, ranging in age from about 2.4 to 1.6 million years

  • Stone tools have been found with H. habilis

    • Giving this species its name, which means “handy man”

Figure 34.43

  • Homo ergaster

    • Was the first fully bipedal, large-brained hominid

    • Existed between 1.9 and 1.6 million years

  • Homo erectus

    • Originated in Africa approximately 1.8 million years ago

    • Was the first hominid to leave Africa


  • Neanderthals, Homo neanderthalensis

    • Lived in Europe and the Near East from 200,000 to 30,000 years ago

    • Were large, thick-browed hominids

    • Became extinct a few thousand years after the arrival of Homo sapiens in Europe

Figure 34.44

Homo sapiens

  • Homo sapiens

    • Appeared in Africa at least 160,000 years ago

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