cod. 1004801

Academic year 2023/24
1° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Anatomia degli animali domestici (VET/01)
Discipline biologiche
Type of training activity
51 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

At the end of the training activity, the student should have acquired knowledge and skills related to cytology, histology, embryology, general anatomy and anatomy of animals of zootechnical interest that may be useful to the L38 graduate.
In particular, the student should be able to:

a) Know, interpret and understand the development and morpho-structural organization of animals of zootechnical interest..

Know how to apply the acquired knowledge to connect the various topics discussed, to make comparisons, to carry out checks, to assist in the resolution of diagnostic problems and to deal with profitable studies of physiology, pathology, reproduction, biomechanics and animal welfare, conditions of breeding, as well as characteristics and quality of the animals according to their production.

a) describe and interpret autonomously the microscopic (cytological and histological) images and the morpho-structural characteristics of organs, apparatuses and systems of animal of zootechnical interest
b) autonomously carry out tissue, organ, species and sex diagnoses on the basis of the acquired knowledge.

a) describe, orally, in a clear, exhaustive and synthetic way, using appropriate technical terminology, macroscopic images, organs, apparatuses and systems.
b) know how to communicate with the professional figures that he/she will meet in the operating environment of his/her profession, using an appropriate language in relation to the context and the interlocutor

a) independently consult and comprehend scientific texts other than textbooks,
b) carry out a bibliographic research on specific topics related to the discipline,
c) Possess the mastery of the subject sufficiently wide to allow him/her to study and understand the related and characterizing subjects of the study course in SZTPA.


Specific knowledge provided by the entrance test or alternatively, recovery of educational debt in Biology

Course unit content

The course includes different parts.
- The first part is dedicated to cytology, histology and embryology (CEI). Regarding cytology, the course recalls knowledge about the structure of the eukaryotic cell. Concerning embryology, topics ranging from gametogenesis to the formation of the three embryonic layers, from fetal membranes to placentation, from fetal circulation to its modifications after birth in species of zootechnical interest are covered. Concerning Histology, the course provides knowledge in relation to the morpho-structural and functional characteristics of Epithelial tissue, Connective tissue, Muscular tissue, Nervous tissue. The techniques and equipment indispensable for the preparation of histological preparations and their reading are also described.
- The second part of the course, dedicated to osteo-arthro-myology (OAM), gives basic concepts on anatomy and terminology to be used. Hence, the main parts of animal body are defined and knowledge about moprho-structural aspects of the locomotor apparatus is given.
The third part of the course provides knowledge on the anatomy (SPLACNOLOGY) of endocrine organs, digestive tract of monogastric and ruminants, male and female uro-genital apparatus and hints on their organogenesis. Finally, this part provides general knowledge on the cardiovascular apparatus, respiratory apparatus, common integument, with particular attention to morphostructural aspects of the ungulates’ hoof and udder. Moreover, basic concepts on the development and organization of the nervous system are provided.

Full programme

Morpho-structural aspects of the eukaryotic cell.
Cytoplasmic membrane and nuclear envelope.
Cytoplasmic organelles.
Transport mechanisms.
Cell specializations.
Processes of embryonic development of animals of zootechnical interest.
Placenta and fetal membranes.
Structural and ultrastructural characteristics of animal tissues
-Epithelial tissue:
• Lining epithelia,
• Sensory epithelia,
• Particularly differentiated epithelia,
• Glandular epithelia.
-Connective tissue:
• Connective tissues proper,
• Specialized connective tissues
• bone tissue,
• Cartilaginous tissue,
• Blood.
-Muscle tissue:
• Smooth muscle tissue,
• Striated muscle tissue,
• Cardiac striated muscle tissue.
- Nervous tissue
• Neurons and glial cells.
Anatomical generalities,
terminology and main parts of the body.
General organization of the organs
Locomotor system:
• Organogenesis and morpho-structural aspects of bone and contractile tissues.
• Osteology
• Arthrology
• Myology
-Digestive system:
• Organogenesis and morpho-structural aspects of the alimentary canal and related glands in monogastrics and ruminants
-Male and female urogenital system:
Organogenesis and morpho-structural aspects of
• Kidneys and urinary tract
• Gonads and genital tract.
-Endocrine glands:
Organogenesis and morpho-structural aspects
-Common integument: general notions • Morpho-structural aspects of the udder and hoof
- Circulatory system:
• General notions on the heart and blood circulatory system: morpho-structural aspects, fetal circulation and changes in circulation after birth
• General notions on the lympho-vascular system Nervous system: general notions on organogenesis and general organization of the nervous system of social life and of the vegetative nervous system
-Respiratory system:
• General notions on organogenesis and morpho-structural aspects of the nose, nasal cavities, paranasal sinuses, pharynx, larynx, trachea, lungs and pleura.
Preparation and study of histological slides
Observation, study and description of some dry anatomical specimens and demountable models
Study of the main systems and organs through the use of anatomical software


BORTOLAMI R., CALLEGARI E., CLAVENZANI P., BEGHELLI V., Anatomia e fisiologia degli animali domestici, Edagricole, Bologna

PELAGALLI G.V., e coll.: Embriologia, Morfogenesi e Anomalie dello Sviluppo, Idelson - Gnocchi, Napoli, 2009.

Mescher A. L.: Junqueira Istologia Testo e Atlante, VII edizione, Piccin, Padova,2017 (Presente anche in forma digitale).

Teaching methods

The course includes 6 ECTS of didactic activity divided into theoretical lessons and theoretical-practical lessons.
The hours of theoretical lessons will cover topics of cytology, embryology, histology and anatomy. In particular, knowledge will be imparted on the structure of the eukaryotic cell on the organization and classification of the 4 tissues, on gametogenesis, on fertilization, on segmentation, on gastrulation, on the structure of the placenta of animals of zootechnical interest, on anatomical generalities, the terminology to be used, defined the main parts of the body; the part of osteo-arthro-myology will be addressed also making use of the direct observation of anatomical dry preparations. The knowledge relating to the macro- and microscopic anatomy of the endocrine organs and mammals, of the digestive system of monogastric and ruminant animals, of the male and female urogenital apparatus will therefore be deepened. Basic concepts will be provided on the cardio-circulatory system, respiratory and nervous system and on the integumentary system, except hoof and udder which will be treated thoroughly.
Theoretical-practical lessons will be addressed giving students the opportunity to directly observe some dry anatomical preparations and some removable models. Students will also be able to use anatomical software that allows you to view virtual 3D images of the various systems and systems (individually or in any combination) of the different species of animals. All organs can be viewed from any angle and at various zoom levels.
Depending on the national health contingency, all lessons could be carried out remotely with the aid of informatic support.
The teaching material uploaded on the Elly platform relating to classroom lessons may be updated periodically, so students, especially if not attending, are reminded to periodically check the available teaching material, which, in any case, is not to be considered exhaustive and requires, therefore, integration with the recommended textbooks.

Assessment methods and criteria

The assessment of the achievement of the objectives of the course consists of a written examination in which the student must answer 3 questions regarding the contents of the course (CEI, OAM, and SPLACNOOLOGY). An oral discussion will follow on the answers provided in the written test. It will be verified if the student has achieved the goal of knowledge and understanding of the content and the ability to apply the acquired knowledge. Students must be able to recognize the various tissues, through the observation of microscopic images and the various organs through the observation of anatomical preparations or models; students will have to be able to identify similarities and differences between the sexes and between the species, both as regards the main characteristics of the organs and the dynamics of development; they will have to be able to interpret the variations of fetal circulation at birth and the dynamics of formation of fetal membranes and placentation in animals of zootechnical interest. The votes will be expressed in thirtieths and communicated immediately at the end of the test itself.

In case of restrictions for reasons of public health, the methods of assessment could be changed and adapted to on line modality.

To the students with diagnosis of specific learning disability (DSA/BES) certified under law n. 170/2010, proper specific support will be provided.
Students with disabilities, DSA and BSE must first contact the Reception and Inclusion Center ( and send requests to be able to take advantage of compensatory and/or dispensatory measures at the exam site at least 10 working days before the scheduled date for the exam by e-mail addressed to the professor in charge of the course and in cc to the Department contact person (list of contact persons and related e-mail addresses available here -con-bes/42/) and at the Reception and Inclusion Center (

Other information

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