Module Identifier BS23820  
Academic Year 2004/2005  
Co-ordinator Dr Peter M Brophy  
Semester Intended for use in future years  
Next year offered N/A  
Next semester offered N/A  
Other staff Dr Joanne V Hamilton, Dr Peter M Brophy, Dr Richard B Kemp, Dr Rodney J Turner, Dr Robert J Wootton  
Pre-Requisite BS11410  
Mutually Exclusive BS22410  
Course delivery Lecture   33 Hours  
  Seminars / Tutorials   15 Hours 5 x 3hour practicals  
  Practical   16 Hours 4 x 4 hour practical sessions  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam3 Hours 3 hour written exam  70%
Semester Assessment Practical Assessments in-class dissections & histology write-up15%
Semester Assessment written review 1200 words8%
Semester Assessment Group Presentation  8%
Supplementary Exam3 Hours  70%
Supplementary Assessment Coursework Re-submission of failed/missing coursework or alternative30%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
evaluate the significance of the structure and function of the main organ systems in different vertebrate classes and demonstrate an understanding of the major evolutionary changes that have occurred in these systems

identify the structural-functional basis of vertebrate behaviour and explain how vertebrates recognize and initiate response to challenges set by their environments

demonstrate ability in the basic skills of vertebrate dissection and selected histological procedures

perform in a team to organize a seminar that incorporates an oral presentation on vertebrate special senses

assimilate information technology skills to analyze and evaluate literature data in order to write a word-processed review on a special senses topic in vertebrate biology and to produce an illustrated powerpoint presentation


The module aims to strengthen the core of vertebrate biology teaching and learning in level two of both the zoology degree and proposed new degree in Biology & Sports Science. This new module will also provide an appropriate option for students with interests in the vertebrates reading for degrees in Behaviourial Biology and Biology, and potentially Marine & Freshwater Biology and Environmental Biology. The module is constructed as an advanced vertebrate teaching & learning package to develop understanding of vertebrate structure-function by the comparative organ systems approach. The basic, and current level two, vertebrate zoology module will provide 10 credits of the teaching platform and with the new material form a 20 credit module in advanced vertebrate biology. The current 10 credit basic module will continue to support several degree schemes in IBS.

Brief description

The module will provide via a series of integrated lectures, practical sessions, written review and group seminars an understanding of the comparative structure and function of the major organ systems in the vertebrates classes, with a focus in the second part of the module on vertebrate special senses and the endocrine systems. This focus will provide a contemporary comparative approach to resolve the structural and functional basis of vertebrate behaviour and demonstrate how vertebrates recognize and initiate response to challenges set by their natural environments.


To include all material vertebrate zoology from current BS22410 and new advanced material on vertebrate special senses & the vertebrate endocrine system.
Summary of advanced topics to be developed by a comparative approach.   
Chemoreceptors: (nasal, vomeronasal and mouth )
Radiation receptors: (photo- & 1 infrared)   
Mechanoreceptors:   (lateral line, ear ? vestibular and auditory)
Endocrine System (Thyroid & Parathyroid, Adrenal & Pancreatic islets, secondary organs,   
   Hypothalamus & Pituitary and Endocrine co-ordination)

Practical classes
To include four assessed practical from BS22410 (two vertebrate dissections and two histology classes)
To include student participating seminars (five seminars) on topics in vertebrate special senses & endocrine system with presentations based on findings from student literature reviews.

Reading Lists

Pough, F.H., Janis, C.M & Heiser, J.B. (2001) Vertebrate life. 6th edition. London: Prentice-Hall International.
Walker W.F & Liem K. F (1994) Functional anatomy of the vertebrates : an evolutionary perspective 2nd edition. London: Saunders College Publishing.
Kardong KV (2002) Vertebrates - Comparative Anatomy, Function , Evolution 3rd edition. London, Mc Graw Hill


This module is at CQFW Level 5