SMS 480: Invertebrates of the Maine Coast

Most of the biodiversity of the world is made up of small to medium-sized invertebrates that represent 97% of all the animals on the planet. About 1-2-million invertebrates have been described with an estimated 30-million remaining to be discovered. Invertebrates can be divided into approximately 35 basic body plans and they can be found in every marine habitat from the bottom sediments to the overlying water column and from shallow, intertidal zones to the deep sea. This course will deal with the general biology of coastal and deepwater marine benthic and pelagic invertebrates of the Gulf of Maine and elsewhere including their functional morphology, behavior, ecology, phylogenetic relationships, parasites, life histories and role in human history. Although the Gulf of Maine will be emphasized, invertebrates from other regions of the world will be discussed as well. Students will participate in numerous near shore and offshore field trips using a coastal research vessel and SCUBA (for qualified students) to collect living specimens that will be returned to the laboratory for identification and study. An emphasis will be placed on understanding the diversity of body design relative to specific habitat type for approximately 200 common coastal Maine species. 4 credits.

  • Instructor: Staff
  • This class meets on Friday