Featured Article: BIOL 430 Biology of Zoo Animals 10/13

Juste Augustinaite at the zoo during lab holding an Apalachicola kingsnake.

Juste Augustinaite at the zoo during lab holding an Apalachicola kingsnake.

Biology of Zoo Animals (Biol 430) is being offered this semester in the biology department and is taught by Lynda Miller.  It is the third time that it has been taught since its inception five years ago.  The students learn about the biology of exotic animals and their special needs when they are in captivity.  The class integrates many areas of biology including physiology, vertebrate zoology, ecology, evolutionary theory, nutrition, and behavior.  For the lab experience, the students spend time at the Memphis Zoo where they go behind the scenes with the keepers and learn firsthand about animal care.   The students get the opportunity to hold snakes, feed tortoises, prepare treats for the black bears, observe elephant operant conditioning, participate in sea lion training, and visit the animal hospital to observe animals that are being treated. The zoo has been a great host to our students and this partnership will hopefully continue for a long time in the future.