Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
First-Year Seminar


FYS Section A09. Weapons of Mass Evolution

In this course, we will examine how animals and plants have evolved unbelievable biological weapons to defend themselves and/or capture prey. What environmental pressures could have led to the evolution of an ant jaw that can close at 140 mph, or frog ribs that can be used as tiny knives? We will also explore how humans have incorporated these same weapons into their own lives—sometimes for similar purposes (e.g., using the toxin from poison dart frogs to coat arrowheads) or for completely different ones (e.g., using hagfish slime as an aphrodisiac ointment) and discuss whether our use of these weapons can or should be justified.

Laura Macesic EkstromLaura Macesic Ekstrom
Assistant Professor of Biology