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Exploring Biology in the Laboratory: Core Concepts

Murray P. Pendarvis, John L. Crawley
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Exploring Biology in the Laboratory: Core Concepts is a comprehensive manual appropriate for introductory biology lab courses. This edition is designed for courses populated by nonmajors or for majors courses where abbreviated coverage is desired. Based on the two-semester version of Exploring Biology in the Laboratory, this Core Concepts edition features a streamlined set of clearly written activities. These exercises emphasize the unity of all living things and the evolutionary forces that have resulted in (and continue to act on) the diversity that we see all around us.

About this Product


  • Beautiful, full-color, and clearly labeled illustrations and photographs
  • Clearly stated student objectives
  • Meaningful and engaging laboratory activities with generous space for recording data, sketches, and answers to questions
  • Friendly and accessible writing style
  • Captivating “Did You Know?” sidebars
  • Each exercise ends with “Check Your Understanding” questions to measure student progress
  • Review Questions at the end of each chapter foster understanding of important concepts
  • Instructor’s manual with lab preparation information
  • Test bank for easy quizzing both on paper and via most learning management systems
  • New chapter on forensics and biotechnology
  • “Just Wondering,” a set of five pre-lab questions per chapter
  • Each review section contains “Mythbusting,” a series of myths for students to debunk after they review the chapter content

About the Author

Murray P. Pendarvis

A resident of Walker, Louisiana, Pat is currently an assistant professor of biological sciences at Southeastern Louisiana University. He teaches general biology for majors and nonmajors, honors biology, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, the history of biology, evolutionary biology, and biophotography. In addition, he is an adjunct professor of biology at Our Lady of the Lake College in Baton Rouge, teaching general biology, environmental science, paleontology, evolution, medical genetics, and the history of medicine. Prior to teaching at the university level, he taught science at Doyle and Walker High Schools in Livingston Parish, Louisiana.

As a result of his dedication to quality science education, he has received a number of awards, including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Education and the National Association of Biology Teachers Outstanding Teacher Award. In addition to teaching, Pat is an author, writing biology texts for McGraw-Hill and Morton Publishing Company.

One of Pat's passions is the science and art of biophotography. He has published many photographs in several biology and ecology texts. Pat earned a B.S. degree in biology education, a M.S. degree in zoology from Southeastern Louisiana University, and a Ph.D. in science education from the University of Southern Mississippi.

John L. Crawley

John spent his early years growing up in Southern California, where he took every opportunity to explore nature and the outdoors. He currently resides in Provo, Utah where he enjoys the proximity to the mountains, desert, and local rivers and lakes.

He received his degree in zoology from Brigham Young University in 1988. While working as a researcher for the National Forest Service and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources in the early 1990s, John was invited to work on his first project for Morton Publishing, A Photographic Atlas for the Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory. After completion of that title John started work on A Photographic Atlas for the Zoology Laboratory. To date John has completed eight titles with Morton Publishing.

John has spent much of his life observing nature and taking pictures. His photography has provided the opportunity for him to travel widely, allowing him to observe and learn about other cultures and lands. His photos have appeared in national ads, magazines, and numerous publications. He has worked for groups such as Delta Airlines, National Geographic, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, and many others. His projects with Morton Publishing have been a great fit for his passion for photography and the biological sciences.

Table of Contents


Laboratory Safety

Chapter 1: The Starting Point: Understanding the Scientific Method

Chapter 2: The Composition of Living Things: Understanding Basic Chemistry

Chapter 3: The Building Blocks of Life: Understanding Microscopy and Cells

Chapter 4: Metabolism I: Understanding Enzymes and Cellular Transport

Chapter 5: Metabolism II: Understanding Photosynthesis and Respiration

Chapter 6: Splitting Up: Understanding Cell Division and Meiosis

Chapter 7: It's All in the Genes: Understanding Genetics and DNA

Chapter 8: Mystery of Mysteries: Understanding Evolution and Taxonomy

Chapter 9: The Invisible World: Understanding Viruses and Bacteria

Chapter 10: This Fine Mess: Understanding Protists

Chapter 11: The Green Machine I: Understanding Basal Plants

Chapter 12: The Green Machine II: Understanding Seed Plants

Chapter 13: The Green Machine III: Understanding Roots, Stems, and Leaves

Chapter 14: The Green Machine IV: Understanding Flowers, Fruits, and Seeds

Chapter 15: There’s a Fungus among Us: Understanding Fungi

Chapter 16: Animal Planet I: Understanding Basal Animals

Chapter 17: Animal Planet II: Understanding Lophotrochozoans

Chapter 18: Animal Planet III: Understanding the Ecdysozoans

Chapter 19: Animal Planet IV: Understanding the Deuterostomes

Chapter 20: The Cutting Edge: Understanding Vertebrate Dissections

Chapter 21: Homo sapiens I: Understanding Human Body Structure

Chapter 22: Homo sapiens II: Understanding Human Body Systems

Chapter 23: But One Earth: Understanding Basic Ecology

Chapter 24: Touching the Future: Understanding Forensics and Biotechnology