65927 - Animal Biology

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

Knowledge on animal biology and diversity, evolutionary mechanisms and processes, adaptation will be learned by analysing

  • the functional morphology of the eukaryotic cell;
  • the systematics, biology and ecology of animal phyla
  • the conceptual background and patterns of animal evolution and adaptation.


Students will get abilities in

  • the morpho-functional description of the eukaryotic cell;
  • the identification and classification of animal taxa;
  • the reconstruction of evolutionary relationships among main animal phyla;
  • the description of conceptual backgrounds, mechanisms and experimental evidence of animal evolution and adaptation.


Course contents

Animal cell. Eukaryotic cell organization and structures. Membranes and endomembrane system, cytosol, nucleus, semi-autonomous organelles (mitocondria).

Genetics and evolution. Nucleic acids: DNA and DNA duplication, mutations, eukaryotic chromosomes, mitosis and meiosis, reproduction. Inheritance models. Theories and evidence of evolution. Population genetics and speciation.

Animal diversity. Taxonomy and systematics. Animal body architecture. Classification and phylogeny of animals. Porifera, Cnidaria, Ctenophorea, Mollusca, Anellida, Echinodermata. The Vertebrate origin: Chordata, Fish, ancient tetrapods and Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds and Mammals.


Animal Cell: Robert J. Brooker, Eric P. Widmaier, Linda E. Graham, Peter D. Stiling. Biologia 1 - Cellula (2011) Ed. McGraw-Hill. ISBN: 9788838660559
Genetics and Evolution: Robert J. Brooker, Eric P. Widmaier, Linda E. Graham, Peter D. Stiling. Biologia 2 - Genetica (2011) Ed. McGraw-Hill. ISBN: 9788838660597 e Biologia 3 - Evoluzione (2011) Ed. McGraw-Hill. ISBN: 9788838660733
Animal Diversity: Cleveland P. Hickman, Jr., Larry S. Roberts, Susan L. Keen, Allan Larson, David J. Eisenhour. Diversità animale 4/ed, (Gennaio 2008), Ed. McGraw-Hill. ISBN: 9788838664243

Teaching methods

Lectures and lab exercises.

Assessment methods

Written test: 10 queries with open answers and conclusive oral examination. 

Teaching tools

Lectures (5 CFU)
Lab exercises (1 CFU) with specimen observation.

Office hours

See the website of Fausto Tinti