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


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Seat Scienze
A.A. 2016/2017
Credits 8
Hours 64
Period 1^ semestre
Language ENG
U-gov code ST01 3S060


The course of Cytology and Histology is strongly recommended.

Development of the course

Lectures (7 credits, 56 hours) and practical training (1 credit, 8 hours). 

Learning outcomes

Students acquire a good knowledge of the biodiversity of animals by means of detailed descriptions of their morphological organization at the cellular and anatomical level; phylogenetic relationships among phyla, reproductive strategies and ecology will be also treated for each taxon. Finally, some topics of general zoology will be treated in its basic aspects.

Ability to apply the knowledge:
The students can identify animals locating them in the main taxonomic categories thanks to the knowledge acquired on morphology and on details regarding the cell structure and internal anatomy, the life and reproductive strategies. The students know the environments in which the animals live and the phylogenetic relationships among phyla. 

Soft skills:
Photo and video materials showed during lectures and museum samples discussed during laboratory activities stimulate students' capacity of observation, reasoning and drawing conclusions.


Content of the lectures (7 credits, 56 hours):
Introduction: Biodiversity; ontogeny, bauplan, body cavity; embryonic development; principles of classification and phylogeny; unicellular eukaryotes. Metazoans; Porifera; cnidarians; ctenophores; platyhelminthes; Nemertea; Gnatiferan and Lofotrocozoa and minor groups; Mollusks; Annelids; Nematodes, Ecdysozoa; Arthropods; Echinoderms; Chordata; Craniata; Agnata, Chondrichthyes, Osteichthyes Amphibians, Amniotes, "no bird" Reptiles;  Birds, Mammals.
Laboratory practicals (1 credit, 8 hours): 
Metazoan morphology and comparisons among the different taxa.

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; moreover, with regard to the practical part, the students have to be able to apply the theoretical knowledge to identify and describe one organism chooses by the lectures. The students have to be able to describe the morphology and discuss the morphological adaptations.

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 assigned as a fraction of 30. The exam is successfully passed when the mark is equal to or higher than 18/30. The highest mark can be assigned cum laude.

Criteria for conferring 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

Notes taken during the lecturers and powerpoint presentations handed out by the lecturers. 
Further reading:
Zoologia (16° edizione), Hickman, Jr., S. Roberts, S. L. Keen, D. J. Eisenhour, A. Larson, H. Lanson, McGraw-Hill

  • Scienze biologiche

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