Vertebrate Evolution

Bi/CNS 158

Fridays 2-4 pm, Beckman Behavior Biology 24 (Note: First class will be in Broad 200)

Professor:  John Allman (cebus@caltech.edu)

Teaching Assistants:   Soyoung Park (spark@caltech.edu) and Tobin Ivy (tivy@caltech.edu)

Textbooks:  The Book of Life by Stephen Jay Gould, available at Amazon, and Evolving Brains by John Allman (download PDF at http://allmanlab.caltech.edu/EB/Allman_Evolving_Brains.pdf)

Grading:  There will be a midterm (40%) and a final examination (60%).

Class Homepage:  http://allmanlab.caltech.edu/biCNS158.html

April 4: The Scientific Background for the Study of Evolution in Geology, Comparative Anatomy, Biogeography and Demography ( Note: This class will be held in Broad 200.)

Download lecture slides

Allman, Evolving Brains, Chapters 1 and 3

The Book of Life, pp. 3-63

De Robertis EM, Sasai Y (1996) A common plan for dorsoventral patterning in Bilateria. Nature, 380:37-40.

April 11: The Cambrian Explosion

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Erwin DH, Laflamme M, Tweedt SM, Sperling EA, Pisani D, Peterson KJ (2011) The Cambrian conundrum: Early divergence and later ecological success in the early history of animals. Science, 334:1091-1097.

Shubin N, Tabin C, Carrol, S (2009) Deep homology and the origins of evolutionary novelty. Nature, 457:818-823.

April 18: Fish, Amphibia and Reptiles: the Evolution of Eyes and Limbs

Download lecture slides

Allman, Evolving Brains, Chapter 4

The Book of Life, pp. 65-167

Fernald RD (2006) Casting a genetic light on the evolution of eyes. Science, 313:1914-1918

Hartline DK, Colman DR (2007) Rapid conduction and the evolution of giant axons and myelinated fibers. Curr. Biol. 17:R29-R35.

April 25: Mammals and Birds

Download lecture slides

Allman, Evolving Brains, Chapter 5

The Book of Life, pp. 169-217

Brown S (2008) Top billing for platypus at end of evolution tree. Nature, 453:138-139.

Warren WC, et al (2008) Genome analysis of the platypus reveals unique signatures of evolution. Nature, 453:175-183.

Midterm exam will be e-mailed to you on April 25 and will be due on May 2. Midterms should be sent to Soyoung Park (spark@caltech.edu).

May 2: Primate Evolution

Download lecture slides

Allman, Evolving Brains, Chapter 6

May 9: Evolution of Life Histories: Brains, Energy and Time

Download lecture slides and Siamang audio

Allman, Evolving Brains, Chapter 7

Allman JM, Hasenstaub A (2000) Caretaking, risk-seeking and survival in anthropoid primates, Research and Perspectives in Longevity; Sex and Longevity: Sexuality, Gender, Reproduction, Parenthood. Robine, Kirkwood and Allard (Eds.). Springer, 75-89.

Navarrete A, van Schaik CP, Isler K (2011) Energetics and the evolution of human brain size. Nature, 480:91-94.

Reader SM, Hager Y, Laland KN (2011) The evolution of primate general and cultural intelligence. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, 66:1017-1027.

Schradin C, Anzenberger G (1999) Prolactin, the hormone of paternity. News in Physiological Sciences, 14:223-230.

Sol D, Székely T, Liker A, Lefebvre L (2007) Big-brained birds survive better in nature. Proc. R. Soc. B, 274:763-769.

May 23: Evolution of Hominids

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The Book of Life, pp. 219-251

Gilad Y, Wiebe V, Przeworski M, Lancet D, and Pääbo S (2004) Loss of olfactory receptor genes coincides with the acquisition of full trichromatic vision in primates, PLoS Biology, 2:120-125.

Mombaerts P (2001) The human repertoire of odorant receptor genes and pseudogenes, Annual Review Genomics Hum Genetics, 2:493-510 (2001)

May 30: Human Evolution and the Domestication of Plants and Animals

Download lecture slides and Framingham Heart Study animation

Hallenthal G (2014) A genetic atlas of human admixture history. Science, 343:747-751.

Pickersgill, B (2007) The domestication of plants in the Americas. Annals of Botany, 100:925-940.

Prüfer et al (2004) The complete genome sequence of a Neanderthal from the Altai Mountains. Nature, 505:43-50.

Final Exam will be emailed to you on June 4 and must be returned to Soyoung Park (spark@caltech.edu) no later than Wednesday, June 4 for seniors and grad students. Finals for everybody else must be returned no later than Wednesday, June 11.