Course Coordinator: 
Vincent Laudet
The Diversity of Fish

Because they live in water, an environment which is completely foreign to us, but also because of their distance from us, their cold blood; their bodies covered with scales and their absence of expression, we often consider fish as dumb creatures of little interest, just good to be grilled. 

And yet! What diversity! What incredible abilities! What fantastic adaptations! Fish have conquered virtually all the aquatic environments of our planet, even the most extreme. They are capable of elaborate behaviors and of complex social interactions and they can express individual characters like shyness or boldness. Like birds, they communicate with elaborate sounds. We have too largely ignored these fascinating animals because we misunderstand them and their environment. This course will give you a much better and interesting vision of these animals and will also show you how a biological problem can benefit of being studied by different scientific approaches.   

Formerly listed as A317.  Student can receive credit for only A 317 or B42. 

Students successfully completing this course will be able to: - Describe the incredible diversity of fish and their fascinating abilities. - Combine several scientific disciplines together to solve a biological question - Analyze the values and limits of biological models - Explain why protecting fish is vital
Course Content: 

Introduction: What is a fish 

PART 1: The origin and evolution of fish  

PART 2: How fish works: from locomotion to feeding 

PART 3: Sexy Fish: Sex determination, reproduction, parental care 

PART 4: Extreme fish: Life in the cold, heat, depth or air 

PART 5: The future of fish: Fisheries, aquaculture, pollution 

Course Type: 
Bibliographical project on a scientific problem related to fish / 3-4 pages report / 10 min presentation / At the beginning of the term each student will choose one species of fish and at the end will use this species to discuss in front of the class
Text Book: 
The Diversity of Fishes: Biology, Evolution, and Ecology by Gene Helfman Bruce B. Collette Douglas E. Facey, Brian W. Bowen. Wiley-Blackwell.