Vertebrate Zoology BEN104
DescriptionGain comprehensive knowledge about vertebrates! This course will give you a thorough understanding of higher animals' zoology and evolution, together with some principles on animal ecology and morphology. You will learn with the help of highly qualified and experienced tutors. The course is accepted by some professional associations as points for their Continuing Education Recording Scheme.
Do you love animals and nature? Would you like to know more about them? If you love animals and want to learn more about them, if you are involved in animal care and protection, animal management, wildlife management and care, veterinary, science teaching, or environmental management and protection, this …
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Do you love animals and nature? Would you like to know more about them? If you love animals and want to learn more about them, if you are involved in animal care and protection, animal management, wildlife management and care, veterinary, science teaching, or environmental management and protection, this course is a great option.Course Structure
The course is divided into ten lessons as follows:
- Vertebrate Taxonomy and Diversity
- Ectotherms: Amphibians and Reptiles
- Overview of Mammals
- Mammalian Glires and Insectivora
- Hooved Mammals: Ungulata
- Primates and other Archonta
What Does Each Lesson Cover?
Vertebrate Taxonomy and Diversity Taxonomic classifications (Phylum, Division, Class, Order, Vertebrata, Chordata (chordates), Acrania, Urochordata (Tunicata), Ascidia, Synacidiae, Thaliacea (Salpae), Appendiculariae, Cyclostomata (Lampreys and Hagfish), Chondrichthyes (Sharks, Skates and Rays, Elephant Fishes), Osteichthyes (Bony Fishes) (Choanichthyes (Lungfish), Amphibia (Amphibians) Frogs and Toads, Newts and Salamanders, Caecilians), Reptilia (Crocodiles, Lizards and Snakes, Turtles and Tortoises, Marine Iguanas), Aves (Birds), Mammalia (Mammals). Morphology and Evolution, Environmental and Genetic Influences, Speciation, Diversification, Convergence, Food types and distribution, Terminology, etc.
Fishes Fish Diversity (major groups Class Agnatha (jawless fishes), Class Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fishes) and Class Osteichthyes (bony fishes)
Ectotherms Amphibians and Reptiles Definitions, Endothermy, Ectotermic, Tetrapods, Urodela (Caudata) Salamanders and Newts; Order Anura (Salientia) Frogs and Toads, Order Apoda (Gymnophiona) Caecilians, Class Reptilia Reptiles (turtles, lizards, snakes, crocodiles and the extinct Dinosauria), Order Rhynchocephalia Tuatara, Order Chelonia (Testudines) Turtles, Order Crocodilia Crocodilians, Order Squamata Lizards and Snakes
Birds -Physiology (Structure) and Anatomy, Feathers, Colour, Legs, Skeletal structure, Muscles, Senses, Behaviour (Flight, Diving, etc), Egg formation, Hatching, Bird Taxonomy Ratitae (flightless) birds; Carinatea (flying birds) Bird orders ( eg. Grebes, divers, Ducks, geese and swans, Storks, flamingoes and herons, Owls, Eagles, falcons and hawks, Pelicans, gannets and cormorants, Chickens, turkeys, game birds and mount birds, Rails, coots and cranes, Pigeons and sand grouse, Gulls, auks and plovers, Parrots, parakeets, Hummingbirds, swifts, Woodpeckers, toucans, Kingfishers, bee-eaters and hornbills, Trogonos, quetzals, plumed birds, Perching birds such as sparrows, starlings, swallows (Passeriformes), Diving birds, loons, Cuckoos, coucals Nighthawks, whippoorwills, Mousebirds, etc.
Mammals (Mammalia) Overview - Taxonomy -Sub classes Prototheria (egg laying animals), Metatheria (Marsupials) and Eutheria (Placental masmmals -these include such diverse forms as whales, elephants, shrews, and armadillos, dogs, cats, sheep, cattle and horses. Humans, of course, are also placental mammals).
Marsupials -Subclass Theria (eg. kangaroos, koalas, wombats, bandicoots, opossums, phalangers, etc); Marsupials Physiology and locomotion, Reproductio
Grandorders Glires and Insectivora - including Rodents, Rabbits, Pikas, Hedgehogs, Moles, Shrews and Tenrecs. Taxonomy, structure, Adaptations
Carnivores - includes dogs, wolves, bears, racoons, cats, weasels, hyenas, seals, sea lions and walruses. Taxonomy, Physiology, Adaptations,
Hoofed Mammals (Ungulata).
There are seven separate orders as follows:
- Order Artiodactyla. This includes: Hippopotami, Deer, Giraffe, Sheep, Cattle, Antelope, Camelids
- Order Cetacea. This includes: Dolphins, Porpoises, Whales
- Order Perissodactyla. This includes: Horses, Rhinoceroses, Tapirs
- Order Tubulidentata. This includes: Ardvarks
- Order Hyracoidea. This includes: Hyraxes (or Conies)
- Order Proboscidea. This includes: Elephants
- Order Sirenia. This includes: Manatees and Dugongs
Primates and other Archonta. This grandorder is sub divided into four sub orders:
- Scandentia e.g. Tree Shrews
- Dermoptera e.g. Flying Lemurs, Colugos
- Chiroptera. This order comprises the bats.
- Primates (Or Order Primates and sub order Strepsirhini) e.g. humans, monkeys, apes and lemurs
Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:
- Distinguish between major groups of vertebrates through a demonstrated understanding of their taxonomic classification and diversity.
- Describe the distinguishing characteristics of all major groups of fishes.
- To describe the distinguishing characteristics of all major groups of Ectotherms, Amphibians and Reptiles.
- Describe the distinguishing characteristics of major groups of birds
- Describe the distinguishing characteristics of all major groups of Mammals.
- Describe the distinguishing characteristics of animals in the order Marsupialia and compare mammalian specialisations with those of other vertebrates.
- Describe the distinguishing characteristics of animals within the grandorders Glires and Insectivora. Explain Ectothermy in a variety of different animals.
- Describe the distinguishing characteristics of animals within the order Carnivora.
- Describe the distinguishing characteristics of animals within the grand order Ungulata.
- Describe the distinguishing characteristics of animals within the grandorder Archonta.
During this course, the student will carry out the following activities. Where a student\'s mobility is limited or there is a lack of facilities in the student\'s home locality, an equivalent activity can be offered:
- Visit a Zoo, Wildlife Park or even a Pet Shop. Observe the range of animals present and report on them.
- Visit an aquarium supply shop, marine park, fish retailer, or other facility where you can observe fish. If your mobility is restricted or you are unable to locate such a facility, look at the web site of an aquarium, and see what diversity of animals is to be seen on that web site. Identify animals from different orders and report on them.
- Research the anatomical characteristics of one species of fish
- Investigate the biological characteristics of one species of amphibian
- Investigate the biological characteristics of one species of reptile
- Research the biological characteristics of one species of bird
- Observe the behaviour of a bird or birds for 1 hour (in the wild, or captivity). Take notes
- Investigate the biological characteristics of one species of mammal.
- Research a particular family or genus of marsupial.
- Visit either a pet shop or zoo and observe any animals from the Glires or Insectivora that you find there.
- Observe a dog closely. Take note of its external features in the light of the things you have learned in this lesson. Notice the shape of the head, body and legs, the characteristics of the feet, etc. Make notes on your observations. Compile a scientific description of the anatomy of the dog you observed. Where possible, use technical terminology that you have learned during your course.
- Visit a farm, pet shop or zoo and observe any animals belonging to the grandorder Ungulata that you find there. Make a list of these animals.
- Research an order, family, genus or species of hooved Mammal (Ungulata).
- Try to find out about the characteristics of your chosen group
- Try to observe some monkeys and/or apes. You might do this by visiting a zoo, watching a video or looking on the Internet. Make notes of any similarities and dissimilarities you observe between these animals and humans. Research their physical and behavioural characteristics with a view to comparing these with human characteristics
If you want to spend the greater proportion of your working life
actually with vertebrates, then one of the animal caring
professions may be for you. This includes such jobs as zoo keepers,
aquaria keepers, aviaries, aviculture and fish culture centres and
companies, animal breeders, farm workers, pet shop proprietors,
nature park carers, animal technicians and animal researchers based
at commercial research laboratories or universities, and veterinary
Some of these jobs require minimal qualifications. All of these jobs require knowledge. This course is a good start, but further studies should normally follow.
For some of the better jobs a degree or diploma in a biological science may be needed, and in some countries even more advanced qualifications. Some vertebrates are flagship species for conservation projects (primates, aquatic mammals, African ungulates and carnivores, bears). So, any conservation/environment job is likely to have a vertebrate related component.
There is considerable media interest in primates: television documentaries; scientific and popular journalism; photography. There are a number of courses in film-making, media studies, journalism and photography that your careers service can tell you about.
There are a growing number of travel companies that offer guided nature tours and safaris. They require specialist guides with excellent plant and animal knowledge.
- Animal care-takers, fish, sharks, mammals, birds and primate care-takers
- Animal technicians and researchers
- Veterinary assistants, nurses and professionals
- Farming or Pet Industry
- Aviaries and aviculture centres and companies