Size, shape, and the relationships of each to function are important topics in organismal biology. Whether you are interested in the function of a particular morphology or interpreting the factors which may underlie an evolutionary trend, it is useful to understand the physical consequences and interdependence of organismal form and size. In this lab you will choose a sample of related biological specimens of different sizes, devise hypotheses about whether the shapes of these specimens vary with size and how that might relate to some biologically relevant function, and then test your hypotheses by measuring the specimens. This web-based preliminary exercise is designed to familiarize you with the main concepts you will need to decide on and test your hypotheses.
Before beginning the tutorial, we suggest that you print out the worksheet, which your instructor may require you to complete and hand in at the beginning of the lab.
This tutorial and lab exercise was developed at the University of Chicago by Thomas Colton (now at University of California, Berkeley) with support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.