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Module

BIO2029 : Vertebrate Biology

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Richard Bevan
  • Lecturer: Dr Aileen Mill, Dr Mark Shirley
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

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.

Outline Of Syllabus

Our knowledge of the vertebrate fossil record and all aspects of the biology of living vertebrates give them an importance in biology quite apart from human membership of this group. The wealth of information available enables us to investigate evolution, function and mechanism across a diverse group of familiar organisms. We also give instruction in dissection technique and anatomical drawing, two skills not much practiced elsewhere in the curriculum.

LECTURES
The origin of vertebrates; evolution if jawless and jawed fish; fish function (locomotion, respiration, reproduction, feeding); present day diversity of fishes; evolution of amphibian and reptiles; origins of birds and mammals.

Avian diversity and classification; Bird function (flight, feeding, respiration and reproduction); Bird migration and navigation; Bird communication (vocalisations, plumage and displays).

Key characteristics of mammals; Monotremes and marsupials; Placental mammal diversity & systematics; Mammalian adaptations (feeding, locomotion, and reproduction).

PRACTICALS
External and internal anatomy of a fish
Anatomy of amphibian (dissection)
Thoracic and abdominal anatomy of birds (dissection)
Mammalian circulatory system and general internal anatomy (dissection)

CAUTION: THIS MODULE INVOLVES CARRYING OUT DISSECTIONS. STUDENTS WHO FEEL UNABLE TO CARRY OUT SUCH WORK SHOULD TALK WITH THE MODULE LEADER BEFORE TAKING THIS MODULE. STUDENTS SHOULD BE UP TO DATE WITH TETANUS PROTECTION

Teaching Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists

Timetable