Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e dell'Ambiente - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)


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Seat Scienze
A.A. 2016/2017
Credits 6
Hours 48
Period 1^ semestre
Language ENG
U-gov code ST01 3S186


The course of Zoology is strongly recommended.

Development of the course

Lectures (5 credits, 40 hours) and practical training (1 credit, 8 hours). 

Learning outcomes

Students acquire a good knowledge of basic aspects of animal behaviour, behavioural strategies, proximate and ultimate causes of behaviour through many examples of experiments and observations carried out on both terrestrial and aquatic animals. 

Ability to apply the knowledge:
The students can describe the basic aspects of animal behaviour and discuss the adaptive value of different behaviours. The students can describe the methods used to carry out observations and researches on animal behaviour. 

Soft skills:
Photo and video materials showed, discussed and analysed during lectures and practices stimulate students' capacity of observation, reasoning and develop hypotheses.


Content of the lectures (5 credits, 40 hours) 
Introduction to the study of animal behaviour, instinct and learned behaviour, development of the behaviour, nervous system and behaviour, organization of the behaviour: cyclic behaviour, historic evolution of the behaviour, behavioural ecology, communication, habitat selection strategies, migrations, trophic behaviour and symbiosis, antipredatory strategies, evolution of the reproductive behaviour and parental cares, evolution of the mating systems, evolution of social behaviour, human ethology.
Practices (1 credit, 8 hours): 
Viewing and comment of some documentaries related to the topics discussed during lectures; analysis of some short videos recorded by students by the method of “interval sampling” and charts of “activity budgets” 

Development of the examination

Methods for assessing learning outcomes:
The exam consists of an oral test on the theoretical and the practical parts. The students must demonstrate that they have acquired the basic knowledge presented during the course and the ability to think and connect the different topics; moreover, with regard to the practical part, the students have to demonstrate they know the main methods discussed during classes used to carry out behavioural observations. 

Criteria for assessing learning outcomes:
The level of knowledge acquired, exposed during the oral test, referring to lectures and to the practical parts, will be evaluated to assess the students’ preparation.

Criteria for measuring learning outcomes
The final mark is awarded out of thirty. The exam is passed when the grade is greater than or equal to 18. It is expected to be awarded the highest marks with honors (30 cum laude).

Criteria for conferring the final mark:
The final mark is given considering the levels of knowledge acquired and shown during the oral test, and it is conferred considering the theoretical and practical parts.

Recommended reading

Alcock, Etologia, un approccio evolutivo. Zanichelli

  • Scienze biologiche

Università Politecnica delle Marche
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