cod. 12882

Academic year 2019/20
1° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Zoologia (BIO/05)
Discipline biologiche
Type of training activity
47 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Integrated course unit module: ANIMAL AND PLANT BIOLOGY

Learning objectives

Knowledge and understanding
Students will be able to acquire and develop the basic knowledge of evolutionary mechanisms. Knowledge of structures and functions in aniamls, acquisition and recognition of the main vertebrate and invertebrate species through the use of specific system keys.
Applying knowledge and understanding
Students will be able to acquire and develop the basic knowledge of zoology and understand the connections and relationships between animal populations both in natural environments and in intensive breeding. They will acquire the ability to analyze biodiversity and to evaluate also global issues related to climate change, invasion of alien species, and exploitation of resources.
Making judgments
Course students acquire an autonomy of judgment in the evaluation and interpretation of experimental data and the setting of strategies for the application of the monitoring and protection technologies in both natural and captive environments.
Communication skills
Students will be able to expose the skills acquired with clarity and language skills using a useful bibliography to communicate specific knowledge.
Learning skills
Students will be able to find information from international zoological literature, using databases and other tools available on the net, to understand and transmit it. Acquiring these skills will enable them to upgrade their knowledge and to deal independently with subsequent levels of learning to be exploited also in the preparation of the final test.


Knowledge provided for the entrance examination Recovery of educational debt

Course unit content

The first part of the course concerns basic principles of the origin of life on Earth and evolution theory.
The second part of the course is dedicated to the taxonomy and classification of the major life groups.
The third part of the course deals with the basic principles of animal behaviour and ecology.

Full programme

The origin of life on Earth.
The life: biological principles and science of zoologyThe evolution of life on Earth.
The history and development of evolutionary theory. The origin of species. The patterns of inheritance.

Diversity of animal life.
Architectural pattern of an animal. Classification and phylogeny of animals. Basic taxonomy. Invertebrate/Vertebrate structure and function of those species of primary veterinary medical interest.
Protoza, Porifera, Cnidarians, Plathelmintes, Nematoda, Annelids
Molluscs. Arthropodes. Chordates: Fishes. Amphibia. Reptiles. Birds. Mammals.

Functional organization of animals.
Protection. Support and movement.
Digestive system. Nervous system. Reproductive system. Sensory system. (These topics are explored from an evolutionary point of view).

Animals and their environments.
Animal distribution and growth. Dynamics of ecosystems. Population ecology. Conservation biology.

Basic element of animal behaviour.
The study of animal behaviour and its applications in veterinary medicine.
Learning and instinct.
Classical conditioning. Instrumental conditioning.
Behavioural genetics, evolution and domestication.
Social and reproductive behaviour.
Communication. Human and animal interactions.
Stress and welfare. Normal and abnormal behaviour. Behavioural indicators of welfare.


ZOOLOGIA di Hickman et al., 2012 McGraw Hill

Students can find the pdf of slides showed during the lessons on the Elly Platform.
Slides should be used only to keep track of the topics presented in class and DO NOT REPLACE the textbook

Teaching methods

The lectures take place illustrating general concepts that are detailed with examples of animal taxa of veterinary interest. The lectures are held using PowerPoint presentations that are made available to students on the ELLY site. Practical exercises include: 1. a visit to the Museum of Natural History in Milan to have an evolutionary view of the animal kingdom; 2) video analysis of animal behavior

Assessment methods and criteria

Written examination (consisting of 20 multiple choice questions and 2 open questions) followed by an oral examination. Aims: to verify the capacity of the student to tackle problems of zoology using the methodological principles and knowledge acquired during the course; to evaluate the student's ability to carry out cross-links between the various topics covered during the Course.
Students with specific learning disability diagnosis (DSA), certified under law n° 17/2010, will be granted the facilities provided by law.

Other information

Learning results.
At the end of the course, the student must be able to use acquired knowledge and show clear understanding of the following:
- the mechanisms involved in the evolution of life on Earth;
- genetic principles responsible for the variety of animal life;
- taxonomic basis for the classification of animal species;
- basic elements of animal behaviour and ecology, aimed at allowing the student to critically evaluate animal welfare and well-being.