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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Biological Sciences : Biology

Undergraduate Course: Animal Biology 2 (BILG08011)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Biological Sciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryAn introduction to the evolution of body plans and physiological systems will provide a framework for understanding the range of invertebrate groups, a selection of which will then be studied in more detail in the context of a major habitat, the sea. Vertebrate body plans will lead into a detailed study of the mammals; and a section on animal associations will bring together invertebrates and vertebrates from the viewpoint of parasites and their hosts.
Course description Animal Biology 2 sets out to understand the evolutionary forces that have driven the diversification of animal life, and the relationships between the major groups.

The first section on Invertebrate groups and marine biology focuses on the invertebrate phyla, and traces the evolution of body plans from sea anemones through to fishes. We examine theories for the evolution of multi-cellular life, and for the diversification of body plans and life histories among the major groups. We then consider the ecology and behaviour of these invertebrate groups in marine environments. We focus on life cycles, feeding and locomotion, with special reference to adaptations for life in the open ocean, on the sea bed, and in the intertidal zone.

The second section on the Biology of mammals and the origin of tetrapods continues the exploration of vertebrate biology from amphibians through reptiles to mammals and birds. We then focus on the biology of mammals as an example of a single taxon of animals showing great variation in form and function within a single general body plan.

Lastly, the Animal Associations component of the course examines the ecology and adaptation of parasitic animals, and the evolutionary interactions between them and their hosts.

Throughout, the lectures incorporate behaviour and ecology as well as morphology and phylogeny. Practical work and films are used to illustrate the lectures and to introduce students to hands-on study of animal diversity and adaptive radiation. Assessed components are a course essay (50%), consisting of a course essay outline (5%) and the final course essay (45%), and five course quizzes (one for each section of the course) worth 10% each (50% total).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Origin and Diversity of Life 1 (BILG08001)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesEquivalent of the courses listed above
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 33, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 33, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Revision Session Hours 1, Other Study Hours 11, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 114 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Videos shown in Lecture Theatre 3 (Ashworth Labs)
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Essay outline - 5%, 1500 word essay - 45% (50% total), 5 x Course Quizzes - 10% each (50% total).
Extension requests are not permissible for the Essay outline but are allowed for the final essay submission.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. A body of factual information, given in video lectures and demonstration specimens. Factual knowledge will be tested in the on-line course quizzes.
  2. Logical presentation and summarisation of information on a specific topic without time constraints, tested by writing a course essay on one of 10 topics.
  3. To encourage and practise accurate observation of animals in the laboratory.
Reading List
Course section 1: Invertebrate groups and marine biology.
"The Invertebrates, a synthesis", Third Edition (2001) by Barnes, Calow, Olive, Golding and Spice (Blackwell Science).

Course section 2: Origin and diversification of vertebrates.
1. "Vertebrate Life", Eighth edition (2009) by Pough, Janis and Heiser (Pearson)
2. "Analysis of Vertebrate Structure", Fifth edition (2001), by Hildebrand and Goslow (John Wiley & Sons).

Course Section 3: Animal Associations
"An Introduction to Parasitology" (1998), BE Matthews (Cambridge University Press)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Laboratory - Tuesday or Friday afternoons.
Course organiserProf Graham Stone
Tel: (0131 6)50 7194
Course secretaryMr Tim MacDonald
Tel: (0131 6)51 7296
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