1 What Is a Vertebrate?

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1 Section 1 What Is a Vertebrate? 1 What Is a Vertebrate? Objectives After completing the lesson, students will be able to B Name the characteristics that chordates share. B Describe the main characteristic shared by all vertebrates. B Describe how vertebrates differ in the way they control body temperature. Target Reading Skill Building Vocabulary Explain that knowing the definitions of Key Concept words helps students understand what they read. Answer Call on volunteers to read their definitions aloud. Make sure that students have explained the definitions in their own words. Preteach Build Background Knowledge Comparing Vertebrates and Invertebrates Help students recall what they know about vertebrates and invertebrates. Then ask a volunteer to list on the board all the kinds of vertebrates and invertebrates the students see in a single day. Once the lists are completed, have students compare and contrast several obvious ways vertebrates and invertebrates are similar and ways they are different. Reading Preview Key Concepts What characterisics do chordates share? What characteristic do all vertebrates have? How do vertebrates differ in the way they control body temperature? Key Terms chordate notochord vertebra ectotherm endotherm Target Reading Skill Building Vocabulary A definition states the meaning of a word or phrase by telling about its most important feature or function. After you read the section, reread the paragraphs that contain definitions of Key Terms. Use all the information you have learned to write a definition of each Key Term in your own words. Ancient jawless fish How Is an Umbrella Like a Skeleton? 1. Open an umbrella. Turn it upside down and examine how it is made. 2. Now close the umbrella and watch how the braces and ribs collapse. 3. Think of what would happen if you removed the ribs from the umbrella and then tried to use it during a rainstorm. Think It Over Inferring What is the function of the ribs of an umbrella? How are the ribs of the umbrella similar to the bones in your skeleton? How are they different? Look backward in time, into an ocean 530 million years ago. There you see a strange-looking creature a jawless fish that is about as long as your index finger. The creature is swimming with a side-to-side motion, like a flag flapping in the wind. Its tail fin is broad and flat. Tiny armorlike plates cover its small body. Its eyes are set wide apart. If you could see inside the animal, you would notice that it has a backbone. You are looking at one of the earliest vertebrates at home in an ancient sea. Characteristics of Chordates Vertebrates like the ancient jawless fish are a subgroup in the phylum Chordata. All members of this phylum are called chordates (KAWR dayts). Most chordates, including fishes, amphibians, such as frogs, and reptiles, such as snakes, are vertebrates. So are birds and mammals. But a few chordates are invertebrates. At some point in their lives, chordates will have a notochord, a nerve cord that runs down their back, and slits in their throat area. Notochord The phylum name Chordata comes from the notochord, a flexible rod that supports a chordate s back. Some chordates, like the lancelet shown in Figure 1, have notochords all their lives. In contrast, in vertebrates, part or all of the notochord is replaced by a backbone. Skills Focus Inferring L1 Materials umbrella Time 15 minutes Tips To avoid injuries, make sure students are standing in an open area away from others when they open the umbrellas. Expected Outcome An umbrella without its ribs loses its support and cannot function. Think It Over The umbrella s ribs provide support to the umbrella and give it shape, just as human bones support and give shape to the body. The ribs of an umbrella are different from human bones in that they are near the surface, rather than deep within the body and covered by soft tissue.

2 Notochord Nerve cord Instruct Mouth Gill slits Nerve Cord in Back In addition to having a notochord, all chordates have a nerve cord that runs down their back. Your spinal cord is such a nerve cord. The nerve cord is the connection between the brain and the nerves, on which messages travel back and forth. Many other groups of animals arthropods and segmented worms, for example have nerve cords, but their nerve cords do not run down their backs. Slits in Throat Area At some point in their lives, chordates have slits in their throat area called pharyngeal (fuh RIN jee ul) slits, or gill slits. Some chordates, including fishes, keep these slits as part of their gills for their entire lives. But in many vertebrates, including humans, pharyngeal slits disappear before birth. What is a notochord? Characteristics of Vertebrates Most chordates are vertebrates. In addition to the characteristics shared by all chordates, vertebrates share certain other characteristics. A vertebrate has a backbone that is part of an internal skeleton. This endoskeleton supports the body and allows it to move. Backbone A vertebrate s backbone, which is also called a spine, runs down the center of its back. You can see in Figure 2 that the backbone is formed by many similar bones called vertebrae (singular vertebra). The vertebrae are lined up in a row like beads on a string. Joints, or movable connections between the vertebrae, give the spine flexibility. You can bend over and tie your shoes because your backbone has flexibility. Each vertebra has a hole in it that allows the spinal cord to pass through it. The spinal cord fits into the vertebrae like fingers fit into rings. Anus Belt Tail FIGURE 1 Characteristics of a Lancelet This lancelet shows the characteristics of a chordate: a notochord that helps support its body, a nerve cord down its back, and gill slits. Backbone FIGURE 2 The Backbone of a Lizard The backbone of this gila monster has flexibility. Predicting Could the backbone bend if the vertebrae did not have joints? Characteristics of Chordates Teach Key Concepts Identifying the Notochord Focus Remind students that the notochord is firm yet flexible. Teach Ask: What are the five vertebrate groups? (Fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) Apply Ask: Why is it important for the notochord to be both firm and flexible? (The notochord supports the animal but allows it to move.) learning modality: verbal Characteristics of Vertebrates Teach Key Concepts Investigating Vertebrate Advantages Focus Have students study Figure 3. Teach Ask: From head to tail, what benefits does the endoskeleton offer? (Skull protects brain; ribs protect heart, lungs, and other organs; muscles attach to bones; arm and leg bones adapted for a variety of movement; whole skeleton gives body shape.) Point to parts of the skeleton as students reply. Apply Ask: How does an endoskeleton differ from an arthropod exoskeleton? (Endoskeleton provides internal support and grows as the animal grows.) learning modality: visual Independent Practice Teaching Resources Guided Reading and Study Worksheet: What Is a Vertebrate? Differentiated Instruction English Learners/Beginning Vocabulary: Science Glossary Suggest that students start a personal glossary of vocabulary terms, with each term and its definition in English on one side of an index card and in the student s primary language on the other side. Use the index cards as flash cards for reviewing important terms. learning modality: visual L1 English Learners/Beginning Vocabulary: Link to Visual To reinforce word meanings, have students find graphics that illustrate the Key Terms. Figures that illustrate the section s Key Terms include Figure 1 for chordate and notochord, Figures 2 and 3 for vertebrae, and Figure 4 for endotherm and ectotherm. learning modality: visual Student Edition on Audio CD Monitor Progress Drawing Provide students with unlabeled diagrams of vertebrate skeletons. Ask them to label the skull, backbone, and ribs. Answers Figure 2 No. If the vertebrae were fused, the backbone would be too stiff to bend. A notochord is a flexible rod that supports a chordate s back during part or all of its life.

3 Keeping Conditions Stable Teach Key Concepts Comparing Endotherms and Ectotherms Focus Tell students that vertebrates differ in the way they control body temperature. Teach Write two headings on the board, Endotherms and Ectotherms. Read aloud facts about each and ask students to assign each fact to its correct heading. (Endotherms: birds and mammals; produces internal heat; stable body temperatures; have fur or feathers, sweat glands. Ectotherms: fishes, reptiles, and amphibians; do not produce internal heat; body temperatures change with environmental temperatures.) Apply Ask: How can an ectotherm change its body temperature? (It can seek sun or shade.) learning modality: logical/ mathematical For: Links on vertebrates Visit: Web Code: scn-0231 Download a worksheet that will guide students review of Internet resources on vertebrates. FIGURE 3 The Skeleton of a Seal This seal s skeleton has adaptations for swimming. Long, flat bones support the flippers. The flat skull helps the seal move smoothly through the water. For: Links on vertebrates Visit: Web Code: scn-0231 Internal Skeleton The backbone of a vertebrate is part of its endoskeleton. This endoskeleton protects the internal organs of the body, helps give the body shape, and gives muscles a place to attach. In addition to the backbone, a vertebrate s endoskeleton includes the skull and ribs. The skull protects the brain. The ribs attach to the vertebrae and protect the heart, lungs, and other internal organs. Many vertebrates, like the seal shown in Figure 3, also have arm and leg bones adapted for movement. A vertebrate s endoskeleton has several characteristics. Unlike an arthropod s exoskeleton, an endoskeleton doesn t need to be replaced as the animal grows. It also forms an internal frame that supports the body against the downward pull of gravity, while allowing easy movement. Because of these characteristics, vertebrates can grow bigger than animals with exoskeletons or no skeletons at all. What does an endoskeleton protect? Keeping Conditions Stable One characteristic that differs among the major groups of vertebrates is the way they control their body temperature. The body temperature of most fishes, amphibians, and reptiles is close to the temperature of their environment. In contrast, birds and mammals have a stable body temperature that is often warmer than their environment. Ectotherms Fishes, amphibians, and reptiles are ectotherms. An ectotherm is an animal whose body does not produce much internal heat. Its body temperature changes depending on the temperature of its environment. For example, when a turtle is lying on a sunny riverbank, it has a higher body temperature than when it is swimming in a cool river. Ectotherms are sometimes called coldblooded. This term is misleading because their blood is often quite warm.

4 Woma python Endotherms In contrast to a turtle, a beaver would have the same body temperature whether it is in cool water or on warm land. The beaver is an example of an endotherm an animal whose body regulates its own temperature by controlling the internal heat it produces. An endotherm s body temperature usually does not change much, even when the temperature of its environment changes. Birds and mammals, such as beavers, are endotherms. Endotherms also have other adaptations, such as sweat glands and fur or feathers, for maintaining their body temperature. On hot days, some endotherms sweat. As the sweat evaporates, the animal is cooled. On cool days, fur or feathers keep endotherms warm. Because endotherms can keep their body temperatures stable, they can live in a greater variety of environments than ectotherms can. 1 Section 1 Assessment Target Reading Skill Building Vocabulary Use your definitions to help answer the questions. Reviewing Key Concepts 1. a. Listing List three characteristics of chordates. b. Comparing and Contrasting In chordates, how does the notochord of a vertebrate differ from that of an invertebrate? c. Explaining An earthworm has a nerve cord that runs along its body. Is an earthworm a chordate? Explain. 2. a. Identifying What characteristic do only vertebrates have? b. Describing Describe a backbone. c. Relating Cause and Effect What gives a backbone flexibility? Emperor penguins FIGURE 4 Temperature Regulation On a cool, sunny morning, a woma python raises its body temperature by basking in the sun. In contrast, an emperor penguin stays warm by producing internal heat. Inferring Which animal is an endotherm? 3. a. Summarizing What is the difference between an ectotherm and an endotherm? b. Making Generalizations Would an ectotherm or an endotherm be more active on a cold night? Explain your answer. Bumpy Back Rub Have members of your family feel the tops of the vertebrae running down the center of their backs. Then have them feel the hard skull beneath the skin on their foreheads. Tell them about the functions of the backbone and skull. Bumpy Back Rub L1 Review the various benefits of the backbone and skull for the students to share with family members: protection of the brain and the spinal cord, flexibility, support, muscle attachment, and growth. Remind them that joints between vertebrae give the spine flexibility, and that the ribs attach to the vertebrae and protect the heart, lungs, and other organs. Monitor Progress Oral Presentation Call on students to explain the differences between ectotherms and endotherms. Answers Figure 4 The penguin The endoskeleton protects the brain, heart, lungs, and other internal organs. Assess Reviewing Key Concepts 1. a. notochord, nerve cord down their back, gill slits b. In a vertebrate, the notochord is replaced by a backbone, whereas invertebrates have notochords their whole lives. c. No. An earthworm s nerve cord does not run down its back, and an earthworm does not have a notochord or gill slits. 2. a. Backbone b. A backbone runs down the center of the back and is made of many similar bones called vertebrae. c. The joints between the vertebrae give the backbone flexibility. 3. a. An ectotherm does not produce much internal heat and its body temperature changes with that of the environment. An endotherm regulates its body temperature by controlling the internal heat it produces. b. Endotherms; their constantly high body temperatures allow them to remain active when environmental temperatures are cool. Ectotherms would slow down because their body temperatures would drop. Reteach As a class, list characteristics of vertebrates. Performance Assessment Drawing Have students sketch simple human skeletons and label the skull, ribs, backbone, vertebrae, and spinal cord. Then ask them to title their sketches An Endotherm or An Ectotherm. Students can save their drawings in their portfolios. Teaching Resources Section Summary: What Is a Vertebrate? Review and Reinforce: What Is a Vertebrate? Enrich: What Is a Vertebrate? L1

5 Soaking Up Those Rays Prepare for Inquiry Key Concept The temperature of ectotherms changes as the animals approach or avoid heat sources in their environment. Skills Objectives After this lab, students will be able to interpret data associated with an ectotherm make predictions for endotherms Class Time 30 minutes Teaching Resources Lab Worksheet: Soaking Up Those Rays Guide Inquiry Invitation Heat flows from a warmer object to a cooler object. Challenge students to consider whether this rule applies to living organisms. Ask: What do you notice if you lean against a car parked in the sun? (The part of my body touching the car starts to get warm.) Introducing the Procedure As needed, help individual students understand the significance of each type of information in the illustration. Troubleshooting the Experiment Students may have trouble relating to Celsius temperatures. Students can convert a few key temperatures in the diagram into degrees Fahrenheit. This may make it easier for them to understand the lizard s behavior. Students can check each other s work. Expected Outcome Through their behavior, lizards can maintain their body temperature within a range that is more limited than the temperature range in the environment. Soaking Up Those Rays Problem How do some lizards control their body temperatures in the extreme heat of a desert? Skills Focus interpreting data, predicting Materials paper pencil Procedure 1. The data below were collected by scientists studying how lizards control their body temperature. Examine the data. 2. Copy the data table into your notebook. 3. Organize the data in the diagrams by filling in the table, putting the appropriate information in each column. Begin by writing a brief description of each type of lizard behavior. 4. Complete the data table using the information in the diagrams. 6 A.M. 7 A.M. Emerging from burrow Air temperature 20ºC Ground temperature 28ºC Body temperature 25ºC 7 A.M. 9 A.M. Basking (lying on ground in sun) Air temperature 27ºC Ground temperature 29ºC Body temperature 32.6ºC Analyze and Conclude 1. Interpreting Data Describe how the lizard s body temperature changed between 6 A.M. and 9 P.M. 2. Inferring What are three sources of heat that caused the lizard s body temperature to rise during the day? 3. Interpreting Data During the hottest part of the day, what were the air and ground temperatures? Why do you think the lizard s temperature remained below 40 C? 4. Predicting Predict what the lizard s body temperature would have been from 9 P.M. to 6 A.M. Explain your prediction. 5. Predicting Predict what would happen to your own body temperature if you spent a brief period outdoors in the desert at noon. Predict what your temperature would be if you spent time in a burrow at 7 P.M. Explain your predictions. 9 A.M. 12 NOON Active (moving about) Air temperature 27ºC Ground temperature 30.8ºC Body temperature 36.6ºC

6 Activity 1. Emerging 2. Basking 3. Active 4. Retreat 5. Stilting 6. Retreat 12 NOON 2:30 P.M. Retreat to burrow Air temperature 40.3ºC Ground temperature 53.8ºC Body temperature 39.5ºC Description of Activity Time of Day 6. Drawing Conclusions Based on what you learned from the data, explain why it is misleading to say that an ectotherm is a coldblooded animal. 7. Communicating Write a paragraph explaining why it is helpful to organize data in a data table before you try to interpret the data. Data Table Air Temperature ( o C) 2:30 P.M. 6 P.M. Stilting (belly off ground) Air temperature 34.2ºC Ground temperature 47.4ºC Body temperature 39.5ºC Ground Temperature ( o C) Body Temperature ( o C) More to Explore Make a bar graph of the temperature data. Explain what the graph shows you. How does this graph help you interpret the data about how lizards control their body temperature in the extreme heat of a desert?. 6 P.M. 9 P.M. Retreat to burrow Air temperature 25ºC Ground temperature 26ºC Body temperature 25ºC Analyze and Conclude 1. The lizard s body temperature varied from C. By 9 P.M. it had dropped back down to 25 C. 2. The sun s rays, the surrounding air, and surface rocks. Note: In some periods, the air was cooler than the lizard s body temperature and so served to cool it. 3. Air temperature = 40.3 C, ground temperature = 53.8 C. The lizard remained cooler by staying in its burrow, which was in the shade and cooler than the ground temperature. 4. Accept all reasonable answers. Students may say that the body temperature will probably remain about 25 C, since the burrow tends to have a stable temperature. 5. Our body temperatures at both times would remain relatively constant, since human body temperature is controlled by its own internal controls. 6. Coldblooded implies that an animal s body temperature is cold. The lizard s temperature gets as high as 39 C, which is hotter than 100 F. 7. Organizing data in a table allows us to list all the data in the same place and makes data easier to compare. In this lab, the data table lets us quickly see temperature changes that happened over the course of the day. The table also makes comparing the temperatures at different times of the day easier. Extend Inquiry More to Explore On the bar graph, the temperature is plotted on the y-axis; the time of the day on the x-axis. The graph of ground temperature shows that the rocks are cool in the morning, become hot at noon, and remain hot until evening. Lizards keep their bodies off the rocks after the rocks become hot. They either retreat, as they did from 12 2:30 P.M., or show stilting behavior. Stilting keeps their bodies away from the heat of the rocks. Description of Activity Leaves burrow Rests on surface Moves around Enters burrow Belly away from surface, tail over head Enters burrow Sample Data Table Time Air Temp. ºC Ground Temp. ºC Body Temp. ºC 6 7 A.M :30 P.M :

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