Section 15893, 3 Credit Hours
Spring Semester 2016


The objectives of the lecture and laboratory sessions are to increase your understanding of three major themes: (1) the origin and evolution of vertebrates, including dinosaurs and their distant relatives the fish, amphibians and amniotes, and their recent relatives the birds; (2) geography and climate of the Earth during the evolution of these groups but especially during the time of the dinosaurs and birds; and (3) dinosaur morphology, phylogeny, evolution, paleobiology, paleoecology, and extinction. Through the lecture and lab exercises you will gain an increased awareness of the dynamic history of our planet and an understanding of how we infer this history from the evidence in the geological and fossil records. You will also gain practical knowledge about the vertebrate skeleton applicable to our own anatomy and develop transferrable skills in logic and inference. The scientific method, including quantitative and qualitative approaches, will be explored.

G114 carries IUB GenEd N&M credit – Natural Science, COLL (CASE) N&M Breadth of Inquiry credit.


Lectures and labs are the most important part of the course. Attend each lecture, take notes, engage fully in each lab, and ask questions – do these and you will be on the right track. This course has a lot of new terminology (names of bones, names of dinosaur groups, names of geological ages), but the concepts are fairly easy. Consequently, memorizing and reviewing the terms will get you a long way. You are only responsible for terms used in the lectures and labs, not the additional ones in the textbook. The textbook should be viewed as a supplement to the lectures and labs – doing the reading is important because it reinforces material and helps provide depth and breadth, but exams will be based on material covered in lectures and labs.

The objectives of the course will be achieved if you remember facts, understand the meaning of material presented in lecture and textbook. Apply your knowledge to solving geologic problems during lecture and lab and analyze topics by breaking them down and understanding the relationship among the parts. You will have practice in each of these steps during both lecture and lab.


  • Exam 1 – 20%
  • Exam 2 – 20%
  • Exam 3 – 25%
  • In-Lecture Quizzes (x4) – 10%
  • Labs (x13) – 25%

Your final grade for the course will be based on scores from 3 exams, in-lecture quizzes, and laboratory assignments. Each exam is comprehensive and will include material presented from the beginning of the semester. Laboratory sessions have weekly assignments that must be submitted by the specified deadline, normally the end of each lab session. Assignments will be usually be graded before your next lab session. A missed lecture exam will require official documentation to substantiate the absence and can be made-up only at the discretion of the professor. There are 13 labs for which assignments are due throughout the semester.


Canvas is IU’s new online course system. You can log in at The course syllabus, announcements, and grades will be posted there.


A+=100-97; A=96-93; A-=92-90; B+=89-87; B=86-83; B-=82-80; C+=79-77; C=76-73; C-=72-70; D+=69-67; D=66-63; D-=62-60; F=59 and lower. Class grades are not curved.

Academic Integrity:

As a student at IU, you are expected to adhere to the standards and policies detailed in the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct (Code). When you submit a paper with your name on it in this course, you are signifying that the work contained therein is all yours, unless otherwise cited or referenced. Any ideas or materials taken from another source for either written or oral use must be fully acknowledged. If you are unsure about the expectations for completing an assignment or taking a test or exam, be sure to seek clarification beforehand. All suspected violations of the Code will be handled according to University policies. Sanctions for academic misconduct may include a failing grade on the assignment, reduction in your final grade, a failing grade in the course, among other possibilities, and must include a report to the Dean of Students.

Classroom Emergencies

  • Know the emergency exits and evacuation areas for every classroom.
  • Devise "buddy systems" so that everyone is accounted for in an evacuation.
  • Evaluate the challenges that you might face during an evacuation.
  • Be personally prepared for an emergency:

Emergency Communication

Campus emergency communication is done via a voice message, text and/or an email through IU Notify. Go to One to review your contact information. See more information about IU Notify at:


  • When you see smoke or fire, immediately evacuate the building.
  • If not already activated, pull the fire alarm switch to alert others of the situation.
  • Use a fire extinguisher only if you know how to use it and the fire is small.

Evacuations – Drills or real

  • You may not know if this is a drill or not, so take every call to evacuate seriously.
  • Take your personal belongings and immediately leave the building.
  • Know where the evacuation area is for every building you are in.
  • Leave the campus only if instructed.

FOR THIS CLASS, the closest exit is: back door on ground floor exiting to the parking lot. We will meet across the street in the next parking lot.

If it is severe enough to move furniture, DROP, COVER and HOLD ON: Immediately seek shelter (under a desk or table, if possible) cover your head and hold on. Evacuate if directed, or you feel it is safe to do so.

Severe Weather

Thunderstorms are the most common type of severe weather in the Bloomington area. However, winter storms, extreme hot/cold temperatures, flooding, and tornadoes can occur.

  • Seek shelter indoors in a low part of the building (Maps w/shelter locations are located throughout the building)
  • Move to a windowless interior room away from hazardous materials
  • Monitor and local media
  • Take cover under a sturdy object or against an interior wall
  • Wait for the all clear before leaving your safe space

FOR THIS CLASS, the closest shelter location is: GY 126 (lecture room) or GY 447 (on the floor below the lab room)

Violence/Active Shooter

There may be situations where it is imperative that you seek shelter and not leave the building.

  • RUN – if a safe path is available. Always try to escape or evacuate if possible.
  • Call IUPD (812-855-4111) or 911 when it is safe to do so
  • If evacuation is not possible, HIDE in a concealed location, Lock and/or barricade the door, Turn off the lights, stay quiet and silence your cell phone
  • FIGHT – as a last resort, working together or alone, act with aggression; use improvised weapons to disarm the shooter. Commit to taking the shooter down.
  • See the video at


Dinosaur graphic elements from Wikimedia under Creative Commons license.