67002 - Comparative Anatomy

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

This course provides students with the basic knowledge in vertebrate anatomy and biology from both functional and evolutionary points of view. Students also gain knowledge about fundamental steps in vertebrate development from fertilization to organogenesis. The students will be able to describe the vertebrate structures and relate morphology, funcion and evolution.

Course contents

- The comparative methods in morphology; homology, analogy.

- Chordates: characteristics of urochordates and cephalochordates

- Characteristics of vertebrates; phylogeny and classification.

- Agnathans (ostracoderms and cyclostomes), placoderms, chondrichthyans, acanthodians, bony fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.

- Embryonic development of cephalochordates, amphibians and birds.

- The extraembryonic membranes.

- The integument; the vertebrate color.

- The skeletal system: the skull, the axial skeleton, the appendicular skeleton.

- The central and peripheral nervous systems.

- The autonomic nervous system

- Sensory organs.

- The respiratory system.

- The circulatory system.

- The urinary system.

- The reproductive system.

- The digestive system.



Recognition and description of specimens from embryonic and adult vertebrates


KF Liem, WE Bemis, WF Walker e L Grande, Anatomia Comparata dei Vertebrati. Una visione funzionale ed evolutiva, EdiSES, Napoli, 2011

KV Kardong, Vertebrati. Anatomia comparata, funzione, evoluzione, McGraw-Hill, Milano, 2005

L Abelli et al. (Curatore: V Stingo), Anatomia comparata, Edi.Ermes, Milano, 2016

C Houillon, Embriologia dei Vertebrati, Seconda Edizione, Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, Milano, 1992

R Franquinet e J Foucrier, Atlante di Embriologia Descrittiva, EdiSES, Napoli, 2004


Photographs of anatomical and embryolocical specimens used as teaching resources in laboratory lessons may be downloaded from Virtuale–University of Bologna (access restricted; password conveyed to students during the first lesson).

Teaching methods

Lectures and laboratory lessons.

Assessment methods

The examination consists of one written test and one oral test.

Written test will evaluate the student ability to recognize four macroscopic specimens by identification of their main characteristics. The grade is expressed in 30ies. A grade of at least 18/30 is required to pass written text.

Oral test comprises three questions that aim to ascertain students' understanding of the theory presented during lectures and laboratory lessons. The grade is expressed in 30ies. Students passed oral text when they received a grade of at least 18/30 on each question.

The final grade is the arithmetic mean of written and oral test grades.

The dates of the exams will be posted on the site AlmaEsami. Students can book for the examination exclusively using the procedures provided by the online system Alma Esami (https://almaesami.unibo.it/almaesami/welcome.htm)

Teaching tools

PC and video projector for Powerpoint presentations.

Anatomical and embryological specimens deposited in the didactic collection are used as teaching resources in laboratory lessons.

Photographs of these specimens may be downloaded from Virtuale–University of Bologna (access restricted; password conveyed to students during the first lesson).

Students are advised to print downloaded images and captions for noting during laboratory lessons.

Office hours

See the website of Maurizio Lazzari