Biology 129 - Biology of Marine Mammals
Spring 2014

Tues/Thurs: 6:00 7:45 PM

Performing Arts M110


Class Page

Lab Page

Costa Lab Page


Dr. Dan Costa

Office hours: Wed 4:00 to 5:00 PM COH (Long Marine Lab) room 208



*A REVIEW SESSION FOR MONDAYS FINAL EXAM WILL BE HELD SUNDAY, June 8th FROM 6:00pm-8:00pm in the Media Theater. Please come with questions prepared.

* A journal volume dedicated entirely to sensory biology of aquatic mammals - check it out!


*Class tutoring is available from Katie Pelon

  • To sign up for tutoring go to UCSC Learning Support Services
  • This class is lucky to have the opportunity to see marine mammals at sea on a survey cruise.

    About the trip:

    Class Materials

    Class Syllabus

    Term Paper Information

    Term Paper Example

    Information on How to Write a Scientific Paper





    Lecture date: Topic: Reading:

    Tues. April 1: Systematics of Cetaceans                                          1-18, 79-106

    Taxonomy pdf, Local species pdf

    Thur. April 3:Systematics of Pinnipeds and other MMs                    51-60; 127-134, 141-145, 147-148

    Marine Mammal Evolution pdf

    Tues. April 8:Evolution of Cetaceans and Pinnipeds                          29-50

    Thur. April 10: Foraging Behavior and Ecology                    67-69, 116-120, 136-139, 151-158

    Tues. April 15:Diving Physiology and Behavior               69-72; Reader 23-29

    Thur. April 17: Oceanography & Ecology of Marine Mammals (Dr. Huckstadt) 19-28; Reader 2-7

    Tues. April 22: Thermoregulation: Keeping Warm in Cold Water 61-62, 65, 106, 110, 135, 145-146; Reader 8-16

    Thur. April 24: Water Balance: Do Marine Mammals get Thirsty?     139-140; Reader 17-22

                           Locomotion and Hydrodynamics                                     62-65, 106-110  

    Tues. April 29: Midterm I

    Thur. May 1: Pinniped Social Systems                                                72-78, Reader 24-30

    Tues. May 6: Cetacean Social Systems                                               121-125, Reader 35-39 & 40-56

    One paragraph outline and title of term paper due today!

    Thurs. May 8: Marine Mammal Acoustics                                           Reader 53-56

    Tues. May 13: Sensory Physiology                                                        65-67, 110-116, 134-136; Reader 53-56

    *Guest Lecturer Dr. Colleen Reichmuth

    Thur. May 15: Guest Lecture: Dr. Patrick Robinson

    Tues. May 20: Cetacean Biosonar: seeing without eyes                     112-115

    Tues. May 22: Life History Patterns, Foraging and Reproduction     140-141, 146-149

    Thur. May 27: Midterm II

    Thur. May 29: Marine Mammal Conservation: Tuna Dolphin (Guest Lecture Dr. Lisa Schwarz)

                              3 page term paper on specific aspect of marine mammal biology due today!

    Tues. June 3:Marine Mammal Conservation: Historical Whaling   159-174, Reader 57-60        

    Thur. June 5: Marine Mammal Conservation: Modern Issues and Marine Mammal Conservation: Tourism and Noise       

    Monday. June 9: Cumulative Final Exam... 7:30-10:30 pm in the usual lecture hall (Performing Arts M110)  


    Note: the course and lab syllabi are subject to change

    Last updated: June 7 2014