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Exploring Biology in the Laboratory: Core Concepts, 2e

Murray P. Pendarvis, John L. Crawley
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This book is customizable for courses with annual enrollments of 100 students or more.

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, 3e, this Core Concepts edition features a streamlined set of clearly written activities with abbreviated coverage of the biodiversity of life. 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 around us today.

About this Product


  • Introductory material provides context for the material covered in the chapter and helps students apply what they learn.
  • Objectives clearly state what students are expected to know by the end of the chapter.
  • “Just Wondering”: set of five or six pre-lab questions per chapter to promote student engagement.
  • An extensive, full-color art and photography program includes many specimen and dissection images, labeled diagrams, and helpful life-cycle illustrations. In addition to providing the necessary images to help students work through the lab procedures, the manual also includes hundreds of images of representative organsms, providing ample visual support for the lab.
  • Exercises have been designed to be safe, interesting, and meaningful.
  • Procedures with accompanying illustrations and photographs guide the student activities in the lab. Ample room is provided for students to draw and record their answers.
  • Check Your Understanding questions are provided throughout the book to measure students' understanding of important concepts.
  • The Chapter Review contains:
    • “Mythbusting”: set of four to seven myths per chapter for students to debunk.
    • Thought-provoking questions, including multiple choice, matching, fill-in-the-blank, labeling, and short answer, to assess student comprehension of the material.
  •  “Did You Know?” sidebars offer fun tidbits and trivia to stir up interest in the topic at hand.
  • Hints & Tips aid students in understanding tricky content areas where attention to fine detail is necessary.
  • Warnings are posted where applicable to make students aware of potential risks when dissecting certain organisms or performing certain experiments.

Instructor Resources Available: Login to view Instructor Resources

  • An online Instructor's Manual and prep guide, including supply order information, tips for the instructor, estimated lab completion times, and answers to all student questions.
  • Digital test bank to help you build quizzes that can be printed or exported to your learning management system.
  • All of the images from the lab manual are provided electronically. Images are presented at digital display resolution (150 dpi), intended for use in PowerPoint presentations.

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.

What's New in this Edition

New to this edition of Exploring Biology in the Laboratory: Core Concepts, 2e

  • New chapter on scientific notation and the metric system
  • New and revised artwork throughout the manual
  • Updated Check Your Understanding and Chapter Review questions
  • New tables for recording procedural data and experimental results

Table of Contents


Safety in the Laboratory

Chapter 1: The Starting Point: Understanding the Scientific Method

Chapter 2: For Good Measure: Understanding Scientific Notation and the Metric System

Chapter 3: Back to Basics: Understanding Basic Chemistry

Chapter 4: The Invisible World: Understanding Microscopy and Cell Structure and Function

Chapter 5: Metabolism I: Understanding Enzymes and Cellular Transport

Chapter 6: Metabolism II: Understanding Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration

Chapter 7: Splitting Up: Understanding Cell Division and Meiosis

Chapter 8: It's All in the Genes: Understanding Basic Genetics and DNA

Chapter 9: Touching the Future: Understanding Biotechnology and Forensics

Chapter 10: Mystery of Mysteries: Understanding Evolution and Taxonomy

Chapter 11: On the Edge of Life: Understanding Bacteria

Chapter 12: This Fine Mess: Understanding the Protists

Chapter 13: The Green Machine I: Understanding Basal Plants

Chapter 14: The Green Machine II: Understanding Seed Plants

Chapter 15: The Green Machine III: Understanding Plant Tissues, Roots, Stems, and Leaves

Chapter 16: The Green Machine IV: Understanding Flowers, Fruits, and Seeds

Chapter 17: There's a Fungus among Us: Understanding Fungi

Chapter 18: Animal Planet I: Understanding Animal Histology and Basal Animals

Chapter 19: Animal Planet II: Understanding the Lophotrochozoans

Chapter 20: Animal Planet III: Understanding the Ecdysozoans

Chapter 21: Animal Planet IV: Understanding the Deuterostomes

Chapter 22: The Cutting Edge: Understanding Vertebrate Dissections

Chapter 23: Homo sapiens I: Understanding Human Body Structure

Chapter 24: Homo sapiens II: Understanding Human Body Systems

Chapter 25: But One Earth: Understanding Basic Ecology