Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Moduli: Annamaria Grandis (Modulo 1) Cristiano Bombardi (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Veterinary Medicine (cod. 8617)

Learning outcomes

The course aims to provide students with the main anatomical knowledge of the so-called "exotic pets", preparatory to a better understanding of the topics relevant to clinical practice. At the end of the course the student will achieve the ability to recognise and describe, on fresh preparations or models, the most important anatomical structures of the apparatuses and systems, with particular detail for those organs of practical medical and surgical interest.

Course contents

The most common species of exotic pets, belonging to the classes Mammals, Reptiles and Birds will be covered.

Module 1 (Prof. Annamaria Grandis)

Rabbit: topographic anatomy of the head; shape and topography of the organs contained in the splanchnic cavities; peculiarities of the skeletal system.

Ferret: anatomical peculiarities of the species in comparison with other domestic carnivores (dog, cat) with regard to the locomotor, respiratory, digestive, endocrine and urogenital systems.

Small rodents (guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, mice, gerbils, hedgehogs): systematic anatomy and topography of the organs of the integumentary, digestive, respiratory and urogenital systems.

Module 2 (Prof. Cristiano Bombardi)

Cheloni (Turtles): distinctive anatomical features of the main apparatuses and topographic anatomy of the intra-celomatic organs.

Saurians: anatomical peculiarities of the most common species with particular reference to the integumentary, respiratory, digestive, urogenital and sense organs.

Snakes: peculiarities of the sense organs and topographical and systematic anatomy of the integumentary, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, endocrine and urogenital systems.

Pet birds (Parrots, Canaries and Diamonds): systematic classification. Anatomical adaptations to flight with particular reference to the locomotor apparatus. Distinctive features of the digestive, urogenital, respiratory and circulatory systems. Peculiarities of the sense organs.

Macroscopic neuroanatomy of the species covered in the course.


  • Barone R. et al. - Atlas d’anatomie du lapin. Masson et C. ed., Paris (1973).
  • Konig H.E et al. - Avian anatomy: Textbook and colour atlas. 5m Publishing., Sheffield (2016).
  • O’Malley B. - Clinical anatomy and physiology of exotic species. Elsevier Ltd, (2005)
  • Orti et al. - Atlas de anatomia de animales exoticos. Masson ed. Paris (2004).
  • pdf material provided by the lecturer.

Teaching methods

The course alternates between lectures practical activities, or analysis of anatomical preparations and models. The aim is to promote active learning on the part of the student, as personal or group work carried out under the supervision of the teacher.

Each topic will therefore include two phases:
1. Lectures including references and links to previous anatomical knowledge, and presentation of the practical activity to be carried out on a cadaver, preparation or anatomical model;
2. individual or group practice under the supervision of the teacher.

Assessment methods

The evaluation will take into account:
- the student's participation and degree of involvement in the activities carried out in the anatomical room during the course;
- the ability to recognise anatomical structures on fresh preparations, or anatomical models during a final discussion with the lecturer.

Teaching tools

- Video projector
- Dissection instruments
- Anatomical atlases for consultation
- Anatomical preparations
- Fresh cadavers
- Anatomical models

Office hours

See the website of Annamaria Grandis

See the website of Cristiano Bombardi


Good health and well-being Life on land

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.