Module Catalogue 2014/15

BIO2007 : Vertebrate Biology

  • Offered for Year: 2014/15
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Richard Bevan
  • Owning School: Biology
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment

n/a

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment

n/a

Aims

To outline the evolution of the vertebrates by reference to the diversity of form and function shown by both fossil and present-day species, including their morphology, physiology, ecology and behaviour; use the vertebrates as an example group through which to illustrate the principles of phylogenetic reconstruction using cladistics; develop skills in dissection and illustration; to build on related Stage 1 modules (BIO1002, BIO1005).

The origins of the vertebrates and the biology and systematics of fish are dealt with in BIO1002, BIO1007 and MST2013.

Outline Of Syllabus

Lectures cover the following areas:

Origin, evolution and diversity of vertebrates.
Invasion of land: amphibian diversity and lifestyles.
Reptiles: phylogeny and lifestyles.
Origin and phylogeography of mammals.
Key characteristics of mammals
Monotremes and marsupials.
Placental mammal diversity and systematics
Mammalian adaptations for feeding, locomotion and reproduction.
Avian origins and evolution.
Systematics of extant birds.
Bird function: flight, feeding, respiration and reproduction
Bird migration and navigation.
Communication in birds: vocalisations, plumage and displays.

Practicals (students in pairs):
1. Anatomy of amphibian (frog dissection)
2. Mammalian circulatory system and general internal anatomy (rat dissection);
3. Thoracic and abdominal anatomy of birds (chick dissection).

CAUTION: THIS MODULE INVOLVES CARRYING OUT DISSECTIONS OF A FROG, BIRD, AND MAMMAL. STUDENTS WHO FEEL UNABLE TO CARRY OUT SUCH WORK SHOULD NOT TAKE THIS MODULE. STUDENTS WITH SPECIFIC ALLERGIES CAN ARRANGE TO UNDERTAKE ALTERNATIVE WORK. STUDENTS ARE REQUIRED TO BE UP TO DATE WITH TETANUS PROTECTION.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Students will obtain a working knowledge of the evolutionary history, diversity and phylogeny of the vertebrates, whilst learning about relationships between form and function in a wide variety of systems and vertebrate types. They should also understand the principles behind applying cladistics to derive phylogenies.

Intended Skill Outcomes

They will have acquired the basic skills required for vertebrate dissection and anatomical illustration.

Graduate Skills Framework

Graduate Skills Framework Applicable: Yes
  • Cognitive/Intellectual Skills
    • Information Literacy
      • Source Materials : Present
      • Synthesise And Present Materials : Assessed
  • Interaction
    • Communication
      • Oral : Present
      • Interpersonal : Present
    • Team Working
      • Collaboration : Present
      • Negotiation : Present

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:301:30Final exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:307:30Exam revision
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture151:0015:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading128:0028:00To extend knowledge beyond lecture material.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical33:009:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study124:0024:00Study of lectures, ReCap, Blackboard etc.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study151:0015:00Lecture follow up
Total100:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures provide a framework of principles, factual background and example material. The strongly factual basis of this module requires an above average amount of private study time. The three dissection practicals provide sufficient exposure for students to become proficient in this practical skill (with the help of demonstrators), and to become practised in the production of anatomical drawings. Directed self-study of text books, papers and websites provide additional insights.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A7025 missing word Q's and 25 MC Q's (35%); 6 of 12 short answers Q's (35%)
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report2M30Assessment of Disection and Drawings (1 x 6%, 2 x 12%)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The acquisition of factual information is tested through the missing word and MCQ section of the exam (35%). The short answer questions in the exam (35%) test understanding of the major concepts and bodies of knowledge underlying the course. A mock paper with indicative answers is provided on Blackboard. Practical skills are assessed (30%) directly and via drawings prepared in class, with practical 1 weighted half of the other two to encourage learning.

Timetable

Past Exam Papers

General Notes

N/A

Note: The Module Catalogue now reflects module information relating to academic year 14/15. Please contact your School Office if you require module information for a previous academic year.

Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.