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Vertebrate life on planet Earth (6 points)


Leader: Professor Pat Vickers-Rich

Clayton Second semester 2003 (Day)
Clayton Second semester 2004 (Day)

Synopsis: This subject deals with major evolutionary patterns of vertebrate animals, emphasising Australia, for the past 500 million years. Special interest topics include the origin of the major groups (e.g. birds, marsupials and humans), major extinction events and their causes (e.g. extinction of the dinosaurs, extinction of the Australian megafauna), vertebrate evidence for climatic change, especially for the development of aridity on the Australian continent. Emphasis will be placed on the philosophy behind such interpretive methods as well as the biases and the limitations of the data available in Australia relative to the rest of the world.

Assessment: Essay (2000 words): 20% + Examination (2 hour): 30% + Seminar: 20% + Laboratory work plus field report: 30%

Contact Hours: Two 1-hour lectures and one 4-hour practical per week, and one 1 or 2-day field excursion

Prohibitions: ESC2032

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