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Bonine and Oh, Vertebrate Physiology, ECOL 437, Fall 2006
* This list of questions is not exhaustive, but should give you an idea as to the range of material and types of
questions we are likely to present on the exam. Please refer to your syllabus, text, readings, and lecture and
discussion notes for information relevant to the second exam. The exam will cover reading, lecture, and lab
material related to respiration, the circulatory system, osmoregulation, and kidney function.
Likely Exam Format:
True or false and matching (~10 points)
Really Short Answer (one word or sentence) (~30 pts)
Short Answer (a couple of sentences) (~45 pts)
Longer Answer (a paragraph or more) (~15 pts)
Questions/topics from each lecture/lab:
Ventilation and Respiration:
12 October
1. How do diffusion and convection differ as a way to move a substance like oxygen from one place to
another? Can you give examples of diffusion in vertebrates?
2. Why did circulatory systems evolve?
3. What is dead space?
17 October
4. Why do small mammals have higher respiration rates than large mammals? What is the role of
metabolism in this relationship? The role of body mass?
5. What is inspiratory reserve volume?
6. Explain the functional role of the pleural space in mammalian ventilation. Why does a pneumothorax
lead to a collapsed lung?
7. Is human expiration always passive?
8. Compare the lungs of birds and mammals.
9. How does a frog breath? What are the roles of negative and positive pressure?
10. What is the role of pulmonary surfactant?
11. Explain why panting dogs don’t hyperventilate.
12. What general relationship exists between fish gill surface area and daily movement distance?
13. How does a fish gill become supplied with oxygen-rich water? What is the effect of temperature?
14. Is oxygen more soluble in air than in water?
15. Why is flow through fish gills unidirectional?
16. Compare three vertebrate groups with respect to amount of gas exchange across the skin.
17. How are water balance and gas exchange related?
18. How do area of gas exchange membrane, diffusion distance, and daily movement distance relate to
each other?
18 October (lab)
19 October (was Exam 1)
24 October
19. How does phrenic nerve activity interact with the Hering-Breuer reflex to maintain homeostasis?
Homeostasis of what?
20. How is oxygen partial pressure calculated?
21. Compare the efficiency of countercurrent exchange with that of concurrent exchange.
22. What is the role of respiratory pigments? How much oxygen is carried in solution in the blood in most
vertebrates? Are there exceptions?
23. What can we learn by studying fetal hemoglobin in humans or the binding efficacy of CO to
Bonine and Oh, Vertebrate Physiology, ECOL 437, Fall 2006
24. Be able to draw and explain the oxygen dissociation curve for myoglobin and for hemoglobin. Why
are the curves shaped the way they are? What is the Bohr effect and how is it useful in a vertebrate?
25. What factors alter affinity of hemoglobin for oxygen?
26. How is most carbon dioxide transported in the blood? What is the Haldane effect? How are the
chloride shift and carbonic anhydrase related?
25 October (lab)
Circulation and Cardiac Physiology
26 October
27. What are four important components of the circulatory system in vertebrates?
28. How does gravity affect blood pressure? Is the effect different for aquatic organisms?
29. Compare circulatory systems in terrestrial mammals, marine fishes, and air breathing fishes.
30. How is the arterial system a “pressure reservoir” whereas the venous system is a “volume reservoir”?
31. Trace a drop of blood from the right atrium through the heart, lungs, and body until it returns to the
right atrium. What if you traced a glucose molecule? Where are some of the places it might end up?
How might it have been temporarily in the forming urine?
32. How are amphibian and reptile hearts distinct from each other and from mammalian hearts?
33. How is a reptilian heart funcitonally 5-chambered?
34. Explain a situation where a right to left cardiac shunt would be adaptive.
35. How is the heart an electric machine?
36. How and why do cardiac muscle action potentials have long plateau periods?
31 October
37. How and why can cardiac cells exhibit intrinsic pacemaker potential?
38. Why does the SA node set the pace of your heart? How can it be modified?
39. Compare cardiac muscle contractile function with skeletal and smooth muscle.
40. Understand and be able to explain the Wiggers Diagram. How is an electrocardiogram related?
41. What is the atrial kick? What is the Frank-Starling mechanism? Do you need either to survive?
42. How can cardiac output be measured? How can cardiac output change? Why does stroke volume not
change very much even if diastole is cut in half?
43. Does the sympathetic nervous system recruit more cardiac muscle fibers to increase cardiac output?
44. How are compliance and elasticity important in a discussion of peripheral circulation?
45. Compare properties of the venous system and the arterial system.
46. How can endothelium in capillaries vary in different tissue types? What is the functional significance
of this variation?
01 November (lab)
02 November
47. What can you learn from an echocardiogram?
48. Explain the role of bulk flow and osmotic gradients in the functioning of capillaries and the role of the
lymph system.
49. What is the medullary cardiovascular system and what information does it integrate?
50. What is ANP?
51. Compare extrinisc and intrinsic control of arterioles in the circulatory system. Are there exceptions to
these general rules?
52. How are Viagra, NO, cGMP, and vasodilation related?
53. How do you calculate flow rate in a vessel? Is this equation always correct for vertebrate vessels?
What is the relative effect of a change in vessel diameter?
54. How do flow dynamics relate to a nurse measuring blood pressure?
Osmoregulation and Kidney Function
07 November
55. Why can’t I get hydrated by drinking seawater?
Bonine and Oh, Vertebrate Physiology, ECOL 437, Fall 2006
56. Where did vertebrates first evolve? Where did most extant teleost fishes evolve? How do these
questions relate to osmoregulation?
57. What are five obligatory osmotic exchanges between a vertebrate and its environment?
58. What are typical values of blood osmolarity in terrestrial vertebrates? What osmolarity is sea water?
Fresh water?
59. What energy source to kidneys, gills, and salt glands rely on for their function? What protein typically
burns this energy during osmoregulation?
60. How does body size relate to water balance?
61. What does metabolic water come from?
62. How does behavior mitigate environmental challenges to physiological systems? Can you provide an
63. How do frogs and lizards compare with respect to cutaneous water loss rates?
64. What is the functional unit of the kidney? How does the anatomy of the kidney and its consitituent
components contribute to its functional properties?
65. Which three processes in the kidney determine the final, excreted urine composition?
66. What does the U/P ratio tell you?
67. How is filtration regulated both before and at the Bowman’s Capsule?
08 November (lab)
09 November
68. Why does starvation in humans or other vertebrates influence rates of filtration and urine production?
69. Explain how the macula densa cells and the juxtaglomerular cells influence kidney function? How is
anatomy finely linked to function for the juxtaglomerular apparatus?
70. Explain the role of renin on the circulatory system.
71. How is glomerular filtration rate changed if a substance is both filtered and secreted into the forming
72. Explain the mechanism by which a person might have glucose in their urine? Why do we not typically
have glucose in our urine? You could answer the question from a proximate and from an ultimate
point of view.
73. What are the substances most commonly reabsorbed in the proximal tubule? How?
74. What happens in the distal tubule?
75. How do aldosterone and vasopressin (ADH) work together to maintain fluid volume in the body?
76. How are the loop of Henle and collecting duct each involved in creating and maintaining the osmotic
gradient that becomes more osmotic in the medial part of the kidney?
77. What three hormones does ANP help inhibit?
78. Explain how the countercurrent multiplier in the kidney works.
79. How can vertebrates pee out urine that is either hypo or hyper osmotic to plasma?
80. How is kidney medullary thickness related to the ability to excrete concentrated urine?
14 November
81. Explain how salt excretion from organs other than kidneys typically works.
82. What is interesting about osmoregulation in sharks?
83. How are chloride cells involved in fish osmoregulation? What hormones are typically involved?
84. How is nitrogenous waste dealt with in different vertebrate groups? How could you argue these
differences are adaptive?
85. How is blood pH regulated?
86. How does bird osmoregulation involve circulatory, renal, and digestive physiology?
15 November (lab)
16 November (Exam 3 in lecture).
Refer to your lab notes, assignments, worksheets, and readings for lab-related material and topics we are likely
to ask you about on an exam.