Zoology Level 3 Course

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Description

Unit 1: Intro to Zoology

The first unit introduces Zoology as a subject. It begins by defining the properties of life. Students then discuss how inorganic chemicals made the leap to organic molecules and the origin of life on Earth. The first organisms, the prokaryote blue green algae (cyan bacteria) progress the story into a discussion on the basic building blocks of life, the cell. This include a brief history of the discovery of the cell as the basic unit of life, its structure and functions and the process of cellular reproduction, mitosis. The module concludes with a brief look at cellular metabolism, and the importance of enzymes in a biological system.

Unit 2: Animal Development, ev…

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Unit 1: Intro to Zoology

The first unit introduces Zoology as a subject. It begins by defining the properties of life. Students then discuss how inorganic chemicals made the leap to organic molecules and the origin of life on Earth. The first organisms, the prokaryote blue green algae (cyan bacteria) progress the story into a discussion on the basic building blocks of life, the cell. This include a brief history of the discovery of the cell as the basic unit of life, its structure and functions and the process of cellular reproduction, mitosis. The module concludes with a brief look at cellular metabolism, and the importance of enzymes in a biological system.

Unit 2: Animal Development, evolution to individual

This module examines how animals perform two of the basic characteristics of life, that of development and reproduction. It begins with an overview of genetic theory, from a historical perspective, followed by a closer examination of genetics at the cellular and whole animal level. The module then moves logically onto evolutionary theory, setting it in a historical context before discussing its implications, for animal species. The large range of strategies used by animals to ensure reproductive success is summarised, followed by a brief review of the process of development from fertilized zygote, through gastrulation to the embryo and adult individual.

Unit 3: Animal Diversity: Part 1, Simple Animals This module introduces the subject of animal diversity, beginning

This module introduces the subject of animal diversity, beginning with a review of the various architectural patterns which occur in animal bodies. The taxonomic system currently used to classify animals is then discussed together with possible evolutionary pathways. The second part of the module seeks to describe the simple animals, from unicellular protozoans through to the development of multicellular animals such as sponges and jellyfish. Various aspects of these animals such as movement, nutrition and reproduction are briefly described.

Unit 4: Animal Diversity: Part 2, Complex invertebrates

This module concentrates on the more complex invertebrates, molluscs (including gastropods, and cephalopods), segmented worms ( annelids e.g. ragworms, earthworms, leeches), arthropods (from horseshoe crabs to crustaceans, spiders and insects) , the echinoderms ( starfish, sea urchins) and hemichordates (marine worms). Aspects of these groups which make them unique in the evolutionary history of the animal kingdom are discussed.

Unit 5: Animal Diversity; Part 3, The first vertebrates

This module examines how the first vertebrate animals arose, and follows the history of animal life from the first emergence of backbone like animals, the proliferation of the fishes, through to the first walking vertebrates, the early tetra pods and the modern amphibians. Various aspects of their life cycles, and uniqueness within the animal kingdom will be discussed.

Unit 6: Animal Diversity; Part 4, Complex vertebrates

In order for animals to be free of the need to have water in which to reproduce, the evolution of non-porous eggs was necessary. This module deals with the origins of non-porous eggs, and the corresponding proliferation of reptile groups, some of which became known as 'dinosaurs'. The connections between birds and reptiles are discussed as well important features of the avian group.

Unit 7: Animal Diversity; Part 5, Mammals

Mammals in all their forms are the focus of this module. Their evolution and origin is discussed and well as the myriad of structural and functional adaptations (such as fur, and movement) the group has evolved to take advantage of the huge number of ecological niches which exist. The classification of living mammalian orders is discussed, along with specific examples of individual species. Human evolution is presented as a specific topic.

Unit 8: Animal activity; Part 1, Body, senses and movement

This is the first module in the part of the course dealing with the activities of animal life. It discusses the various strategies animals have developed to support their body structures, e.g. internal/external skeletal systems. It the move on to discuss how animal propel themselves through their environments, from whole animal movements to the cellular changes which enable muscle to contract. The module concludes with a discussion of the huge array of sensory systems animals have developed to be aware of their environments, and a review of how those signal are processed in the nervous system

Animal activity; Part 2, Maintaining the internal environment

Cellular activities need to occur in a constant stable environment, this module examines how animals maintain this constant internal environment through various homeostatic processes. These processes involve several systems such as osmotic regulation ( water balance) temperature regulation, circulation, respiration, digestion and nutrition and finally defence against micro-organisms, i.e. immunity.

Unit 10: Animals and their environment

This module examines how animals deal with their external environment, their behaviour within their own species e.g. social behaviour and communication. The module continues with a discussion of animals at a global level, including the biosphere and animal distribution. This final topic in the diploma is animal ecology, defined as the relation of the animal to its organic and inorganic environment, and include an examination of predator/prey relationships and biomass pyramids

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