For example, how are the arm of a human and the foreleg of a cow similar? How are they different? How do these differences affect the function of those limbs?
One of the key concepts of basic comparative anatomy is to recognize the similarities and differences in anatomical structures between different species. Anatomic regions within the body are composed of individual anatomic systems. In addition, anatomical structure and physiological function are intimately entwined (form follows function). Students should be able to objectively describe, with a moderate degree of detail (eg major organs, muscles, bones, blood vessels, nerves), similarities and differences between homologous structures of different classifications of animals.
For example, how are the arm of a human and the foreleg of a cow similar? How are they different? How do these differences affect the function of those limbs? Course Objectives 1-4 above will directly address each of these questions across reptiles, mammals, and birds.
Ultimately, this information allows someone to apply what they know about anatomy to something they do not know—for example describing locomotion in a newly discovered species of unicorn or describing a new surgical technique that is easier and less stressful on the cow. These comparisons may also allow for an understanding of how both extinct and newly discovered unknown animals functioned, such as assertions of the environment where they lived, their locomotion, feeding behavior, and reproduction.
Your scientific summary should take the following format:
Title: The title should be concise.
For example: a comparison of the pelvic limb of the Tenerife giant rat, the Patgonian cavy, and the domestic dog.
Abstract (no more than 250 words—approximately 100 to 150 is ideal)
The abstract provides a summary of the course project. This includes the animals chosen, the anatomical system that was chosen to compare and contrast. Finally, there should be a brief overview of the function of the chosen anatomical system and substantial differences or similarities as it relates to these different animals.
Introduction (approximately 1 page, but can be as long as 2 depending on animals chosen)
The introduction should provide general information of what will be discussed in this project, including a section on the function of the anatomical systems being discussed.
Description of the Anatomic Region (structures) Chosen (CO1)
This includes associated bones, major muscles, organs (if applicable), major arteries and nerves or other structures that make these unique. This will generally be 1-2 pages, however, it may be more if pictures are provided. Line drawing or actual pictures of tissues are acceptable. A description of the image and labels should be included. This section brings together the information from each of the Assignments over the last 5 weeks.
The Discussion 1’s for each week (Week-1 Integumentary system, Week 2-Skeletal system, Week 3- Muscular system, Week 4-Circulatory system, Week 5- Digestive system) will serve as background for this section of the Course Project.
Comparison of Similarities of Anatomical Structures (CO1 and CO4)
List and describe major anatomical structures.
Comparison of the anatomical structures should be made by mentioning similarities. This includes similar bones, muscles, connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels. This generally will be 2-3 pages, however it may be longer if pictures are provided to illustrate specific structures. Line drawing or actual pictures of tissues are acceptable. A description of the image and labels should be included.
For example, the general gastrointestinal tract consists of a mouth, an esophagus, a stomach, a small intestine, a large intestine and a means of evacuation of waste (a cloaca or anus). Each of those structures may have differences between each animal.
This section combines both structure (as with Discussion 1 of each week) and function ( as with Discussion 2 of each week) much like the Assignments each week did. The key is what is SIMILAR between the animals being discussed. Do not discuss differences only discuss similarities.
Discussion of Differences of Anatomical Structure (CO3 and CO4)
In contrast to the comparison section, while anatomical structures may have similarities, they also have differences. Those differences should be listed here. This generally will be 2-3 pages, however it may be longer if pictures are provided to illustrate specific structures. Line drawing or actual pictures of tissues are acceptable. A description of the image and labels should be included.
These differences in anatomical structure may include any differences in specific bones, muscles, connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels.
Differences may also include differences in size, differences in length, differences in density and most importantly, differences in function
Listing differences allows for a contrast in structure to be made. The question of “How are these different” should be answered?
This section will combine both structure (Discussion 1 of each week) and function (Discussion 2 of each week) much like the
Assignments each week did for their respective organ system. The key to this section is what is DIFFERENT between the animals being discussed. Do not discuss similarities only discuss differences
Link the Similarities and Differences of Anatomical Structure with Function (CO2)
How do these differences or similarities relate to function?
Does one of the animals chosen have a unique physiological function that the other does not?
This is the point of the course project to bring everything together as the two systems between different animals are compared. There are different anatomy, how does that different anatomy affect the function of the organism? Is it possible for a function to be very similar despite very different structures? Is it possible for similar structures to have very different functions?
This section generally will be 1-3 pages.
The Assignments for each week (Week-1 Integumentary system, Week 2-Skeletal system, Week 3- Muscular system, Week 4-Circulatory system, Week 5- Digestive system) serve as background for this section in that there will be discussion of both form and function and how form and function intermingles with the specific anatomical structures discussed.
This is a summary of why the choices made were made. This section will generally be 1 page, but may be longer if necessary.
Tables, figures, or illustrations as needed to demonstrate the information in the previous sections.
Note, it is acceptable for multiple illustrations to be used, there is no limit.
It is OK to use copyrighted illustrations, but students need to provide a reference for each illustration, table, or figure utilized. This means pictures from anatomy textbooks, other textbooks, published papers, or the internet and other sources may be used.
References utilized in the project.
APA or that of a specific scientific journal as chosen by the student. If a journal format is utilized, the students need to state the journal and include a copy of the author’s guidelines as an appendix.
Appendices, as appropriate.