Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


ANIMAL BIOLOGY
BIOLOGIA ANIMALE

A.Y. Credits
2019/2020 8
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Maria Balsamo Wednesday h. 11-13
Teaching in foreign languages
Course partially taught in a foreign language English
This course is taught partially in Italian and partially in a foreign language. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Biological Sciences (L-13)
Curriculum: PERCORSO COMUNE
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The course aims at providing students with basic information on the structure and biology of the eucariotic organism, both unicellular and pluricellular, and a general picture of animal biodiversity with special reference to the Italian and Mediterranean fauna. Special attention will be given to protists and animals  parasite of man and domestic animals, and to the biological cycle and transmission paths of the most common parasitic species in Europe.  These topics as well as the theme of interrelations between animals and environment are treated from an evolutionary point of view. The course includes practical, non obligatory activities in laboratory, field trips and visits to Natural Museums and Aquariums.

Program

The course consists of two complementary parts:

1.  General Part

Kingdoms of living organisms. Prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Structure and physiology of the eukaryotic cell. Cell cycle, mitosis, meiosis. Significance and evolution of mitosis and meiosis in the animal cell. Chromosomal and molecular bases of heredity. Concepts of species and biological evolution. Microevolution: variability, natural selection, genetic drift, law of Hardy-Weinberg. Macroevolution: speciation and extinction of species. Mass extinctions. Notions of the theory of natural selection from Darwin up today.

Shape and functions of the organism-cell in Protista and of cells of the animal body. Body dimensions e symmetry. Support. Movement and locomotion. Nutrition and digestion. Respiration, osmoregulation and excretion in the aquatic and terrestrial environment. Circulation. Homeostasis. Nervous system and its evolution in animals. Types of receptors. Notions of the hormonal coordination. Sexuality and reproduction in Protista and Animalia. Adaptive significance of the asexual and sexual  reproduction in Protista and Animalia. Regeneration. Gonads: gametes, gametogenesis and modalities of fertilization. Parthenogenesis. Genotypic  and phenotypic sex determination. Embryonic development: radial and spiral cleavage, direct and indirect development. Neoteny.

2. Systematic Part

Diversity of animal life. Fundamentals of biological systematics: taxa and categories. International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. Classification and phylogeny.

Regnum Protista: ground plan, biology, reproduction and ecology of Sarcomastigophora, Apicomplexa e Ciliophora. Biological cycles of main protozoan infesting humans and animals.

Regnum Animalia: origin of the pluricellular condition. Ground plan, biology, reproduction, ecology and phylogenetic position of the major animal phyla. Porifera. General features and biological cycle of Cnidaria. Platyhelminthes: general features. Trematoda and Cestoda: life cycle of the main human and animal parasites. Rotifera and Nematoda: general features. Biological cycle of the most important Nematode species parasiting humans and animals. Origin and function of body cavities. Mollusca: adaptations of the various classes, ecology of the most common Italian species. Annelida: metamery and adaptations. Reproduction, ecology and phylogeny. Arthropoda: origin and principal evolutionary lines. Chelicerata: general features. Arachnida (Scorpiones, Araneidae, Acarina). Crustacea: general features. Malacostraca: ecology of the most common Italian species. Chilopoda and Diplopoda. Hexapoda: general features. Main orders of Pterygota and identification of some common Italian species.  Examples of insects infesting man and domestic animals. Echinodermata: ground plan, biology, ecology of species common in Italy. Chordata: origin and evolution. Diagnostic characteristics of the classes of Vertebrata and their phylogenetic relationships. Animals and environment. Intraspecific and interspecific relationships. Interrelations between animals and their habitat. Concepts of  biological community, ecological community, habitat, ecosystem, trophic chain, ecological niche, biosphere. Elements of zoogeography. Significance and types of areal. Mechanisms of dispersion of animal species.

** Only some of the programme topics mentioned will be taught in English.

Bridging Courses

None. Basic is a good knowledge of the contents of the course in Cytology and Histology.

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

D1- KNOWLEDGE AND CAPACITY OF UNDERSTANDING

The student at the end of the course will have a demonstrable  basic knowledge of the anatomical structure and the physiological functions of the body in the major animal groups. This information is essential for acquiring an in-depth knowledge of anatomy, physiology,  ecology and evolution of animals, that are topics covered in specific courses taught in subsequent years of the Degree Course. The student will know the scientific terminology of the discipline and know how to use it appropriately.

D2- CAPACITY TO APPLY KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING

The student must acquire the ability to apply the methods for identifying the major animal groups, and will be able to correlate aspects of their general and functional biology with adaptation to different habitats. In particular, the student will be able to apply methods of identification of the main species of protists and animals parasites of man and domestic animals, in line with the professional skills required to a Junior Biologist. 

D3- JUDGEMENT AUTONOMY

The student will prove to have acquired autonomy in the application of knowledge obtained as to make independent decisions and choices in the face of a problem inherent in biodiversity and animal biology, and in particular the identification of the main parasitic species of human and animal interest.

D4- COMMUNICATION  SKILLS

The student will be able to deal competently also with experts on issues related to biodiversity and animal biology. He/she should also show good communication skills also towards persons not specifically informed of these issues.

D5- LEARNING ABILITY

The student will prove he/she can read and understand scientific texts, also in English, and to use them for study and research.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Supporting Activities

Practical activities in laboratory are held by the teacher with support of a teaching assistant (10 h). Each exercise will be divided into several shifts depending on the number of students concerned; each shift will last for 1.30 h.
Organization of conferences on specific topics focusing on animal biology and biodiversity is also planned as well as screening of naturalistic videos and observations in the field .


Didactics, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment

Didactics

The course will be held as class lessons, and will be completed by  guided laboratory activities, didactic seminars and possible field trips.

Attendance

No obligation to attend lectures and any practical activity, which, however, are considered very important for acquiring the base of knowledge of basic subjects for a scientific degree such as that in Biological Sciences.  Consultation of zoological specimens as a support for textbook study is recommended

Course books

Course texts

It should be noted that the course material, made available online on the Moodle platform (lesson slides and scientific articols of in-depth), is NOT sufficient to prepare the exam that necessarily requires the support of a study text and the consultation of zoological material, that is the object of the examination part devoted to the recognition of the same.

De Bernardi et al. (2016) Zoologia. 2nd Edition. Idelson-Gnocchi Ed., Napoli (Vol. 1 Parte sistematica; Vol. 2 Parte generale).

Reference texts for the General Part

Fusco G., Minelli A. 2018. Biologia della riproduzione. Pearson Italia, Milano.

Assessment

Expected learning outcomes will be evaluated through an oral exam of at least 30 minutes, which includes the identification of zoological material that is the subject of the practical exercises of the course .Particular importance will be given to the knowledge of the biological cycles of the protist and animal species which are human and animal parasites and which are treated within the course.

The oral exam aims to ensure 1) the level of knowledge of the subject and of the specific scientific terminology, 2) the ability to articulate the answer, 3) the ability to correlate different topics of the program with each other and with the knowledge gained from the course "Cytology and Histology" , previously attended.

The evaluation criteria are as follows:

- the relevance and effectiveness of the responses in relation to the content of the program;

- the level of response structure;

- the adequacy of the disciplinary language used;

--the ability to make links between different topics in the program.

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students

Didactics

Teaching material available on-line in Moodle platform: lessons slides and scientific articles on specific subjects.

Attendance

No obligation to attend lectures and any practical activity, which, however, are considered very important for acquiring the base of knowledge of basic subjects for a scientific degree such as that in Biological Sciences.  Consultation of zoological specimens as a support for textbook study is recommended.

Course books

Course text

It should be noted that the course material, made available online on the Moodle platform (lesson slides and scientific articols of in-depth), is NOT sufficient to prepare the exam that necessarily requires the support of a study text and the consultation of zoological material, that is the object of the examination part devoted to the recognition of the same.

De Bernardi et al. (2016) Zoologia. 2nd Edition. Idelson-Gnocchi Ed., Napoli (Vol. 1 Parte sistematica; Vol. 2 Parte generale).

Reference texts for the General Part

Reece et al. (2015) Campbell - Biologia e Genetica. Pearson Italia, Milano.

Reece et al. (2015) Campbell - La forma e la funzione negli animali.   Pearson Italia, Milano.

Reece et al. (2015) Campbell - Meccanismi dell'evoluzione e origini della diversità. Pearson Italia, Milano.

Assessment

Expected learning outcomes will be evaluated through an oral exam of at least 30 minutes, which includes the identification of zoological material that is the subject of the practical exercises of the course. Particular importance will be given to the knowledge of the biological cycles of the protist and animal species which are human and animal parasites and which are treated within the course.

The oral exam aims to ensure 1) the level of knowledge of the subject and of the specific scientific terminology, 2) the ability to articulate the answer, 3) the ability to correlate different topics of the program with each other and with the knowledge gained from the course "Cytology and Histology" , previously attended.

The evaluation criteria are as follows:

- the relevance and effectiveness of the responses in relation to the content of the program;

- the level of response structure;

- the adequacy of the disciplinary language used;

--the ability to make links between different topics in the program.

Notes

It is strongly recommended to examine zoological material, both macroscopical and microscopical, concerning the topics of the course, and available at the Urbino University as well as in Museum and  other University collections.

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