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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Biological Sciences : Zoology

Undergraduate Course: Segmentation: Evolution and Development (ZLGY10008)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Biological Sciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryIn three, rather distantly-related phyla - the arthropods, annelids and chordates - the main body axis is subdivided into segments. How is the repeating spatial pattern established within these embryos? By comparing developmental mechanisms of segmentation, the course will assess whether this major feature of body structure had a single evolutionary origin and will explore how the processes involved have been modified during evolution.
Course description We will start by analysing in some detail the development of segments in Drosophila (Insect, Diptera) and will then go on to other insects, especially Tribolium (Coleoptera) and the other Arthropod groups, seeking to infer (from the similarities and differences) the ancestral Arthropod mechanism of segmentation and the changes that have occurred during the evolution of the group. We will also analyse mechanisms in the other segmented phyla, the Chordates (principally the Vertebrates) & the Annelid worms - again looking at evolution within these groups but also comparing with the Arthropods, to ask whether it is more likely that segmentation evolved only once, in a remote common ancestor, or evolved independently within the diverse, distantly-related animal phyla.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Please do not enrol a student on this course without prior permission from the School of Biological Sciences. Please contact the Course Administrator in the first instance.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 30, Formative Assessment Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 64 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 70 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 30% In-Course Assessment, 70% Open Book Exam
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Knowledge and understanding of the developmental mechanisms of forming body segments in the Arthropods, Annelids and Chordates, as demonstrated by experimental results.
  2. Ability to assess similarities and differences in mechanism, in relation to the evolution of animal segmentation.
  3. Ability to analyse complex experimental papers, individually and in small groups, and to summarise their main findings and significance, in written form and in verbal presentation and discussion.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Vernon French
Tel: (0131 6)50 5480
Course secretaryMiss Rachel Law
Tel: (0131 6)51 3689
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