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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
SummaryThe course starts with a look at the evolution of animal body plans and physiological systems through the radiations of animal life and leads on to a series of lectures on animal adaptations in marine environments. The course then looks at the evolution and diversification of vertebrate body plans, leading into a detailed study of the mammals. The course ends with a section on animal associations, including symbiosis and parasitism, and considers the adaptations associated with living in or on other animals.
Course description Animal Biology 2 sets out to understand the structure and function of animal bodies, the evolutionary forces that have driven the diversification of animal life, and the relationships between the major groups.

The first section on Invertebrate Groups 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.

The second section on Marine Biology considers 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 third section on the Origin and Diversification of Vertebrates considers the origin of vertebrates and their diversification through the major radiations of reptiles, birds and mammals. The fourth section focuses 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.

The final Animal Associations section examines the ecology and adaptation of parasitic animals, and evolutionary interactions with their hosts.

Throughout, the lectures incorporate behaviour and ecology as well as morphology and phylogeny.

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 consist of five course quizzes (one for each course section) worth 10% each (50% total) and an in-person, open book Practical test held in the semester 2 exam diet.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, 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 50 %, Practical Exam 50 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 5 x Course Quizzes - 10% each (50% total), Practical Exam (50%).
Extension requests are not permissible for the Practical Exam as this assessment is a specimen based, in person test.
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)Animal Biology 2 Practical Exam3:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)AB2 Practical Exam (resit)1:20
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. A body of factual information, given in on-line and in-person lectures, practicals and required reading. Factual knowledge will be tested in five in-class theory quizzes (one for each course section) and in the Practical exam.
  2. To perform accurate observation and measurement of animals and their activities during the Practical sessions. You are expected to keep a record of the practicals in a notebook, which you are allowed to use in an open-book Practical exam.
  3. Working effectively in groups & learning from others. Students will have to divide tasks between them in Practical classes, and ensure that each member of the group has the chance to see and understand all the material. Group co-operation will be essential for building up an accurate Practical notebook and will therefore also be tested indirectly in the Practical exam.
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 To explore the evolution of complex animal bodies and the evolutionary relationships among groups.

To learn a basic taxonomy and phylogeny of animal life.

To reveal the functional and behavioural adaptations which underlie the diversity of animal life.

To encourage and practice accurate observation of animals in the laboratory and on film.
Special Arrangements Student must be available for the in-person Practical Exam in the semester 2 exam diet.
Additional Class Delivery Information Laboratory - Tuesday or Friday afternoons.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Graham Stone
Tel: (0131 6)50 7194
Course secretaryMr Tim MacDonald
Tel: (0131 6)51 7296
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