Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Vertebrate Zoology
Academic Year
Semester 2
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Portfolio of anatomical drawings  and vertebrate skeleton practical report which are together equivalent to 2000 words  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Short answer theory paper  50%
Supplementary Assessment Supplementary Assessment  Portfolio of anatomical drawings.  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Short answer theory paper  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Identify the major organs of vertebrates.

Demonstrate an understanding of the functional anatomy of vertebrate organisms.

Demonstrate knowledge of the evolution of vertebrate organisms.

Demonstrate an understanding of vertebrate phylogenetics.

Brief description

‘Vertebrate Zoology’ will provide a suitable grounding in the core subject matter of vertebrate zoology, for students with zoological or veterinary interests. The anatomical plans of the major groups of vertebrates will be scrutinized and interpreted in terms of their functioning. The taxonomic diversity and evolutionary ancestry of the living vertebrates will also be an integral theme of the module.


The module will open by considering the ‘structural blueprint' of the vertebrate organism, as a conceptual benchmark for key themes throughout the module. These themes will be the evolution, diversity, and functioning of the vertebrate blueprint. The major part of the lecture course will be divided into three unequal sized sections entitled: ‘Non-amniotic Vertebrates’ (fish and amphibians); ‘Synapsida’ (mammals); and ‘Sauropsida’ (crocodilians, pterosaurs, dinosaurs, birds, lepidosaurs and turtles). Anatomical features of each group of organisms will be reviewed in terms of the evolution, diversity, and function themes.

There will be three dissection classes where students will make anatomical drawings. Another practical will utilize the extensive collection of vertebrate skeletons in the DLS museum. In the dissection and practical classes, students will explore the anatomical relationships discussed in supporting lectures. A portfolio of anatomical drawings and report of the skeleton class will be assessed.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Quality evaluation of phylogenetic analysis for the Cladistics practical will require quantitative reasoning.
Communication Cladistics practical will be a research problem and require literature search and synthesis for the report.
Improving own Learning and Performance The series of four Anatomy practicals will provide the opportunity for critique and progressive improvement.
Information Technology Specialized software will need to be mastered for the Cladistics data analysis.
Personal Development and Career planning Career relevance of anatomical knowledge for animal care will be highlighted.
Problem solving Cladistics practical will involve solving phylogenetic relations using observations on biological specimens.
Research skills Cladistics practical will be a research problem and require literature search and synthesis for the report.
Subject Specific Skills Anatomical knowledge gained in the dissection and Cladistics classes is specific.
Team work Cladistics practical exercise will involve scoring of skeletal characters by a team.


This module is at CQFW Level 5