Faculty of Science

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton First semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Ross Thompson


Examines the diversity of animals and organises them in a systematic way using their evolutionary history. We examine a range of representatives from different animal phyla, starting with the structurally simple and progressing to mammals, in the context of emerging and changing patterns in their body plans. These are related to changes in the ecology and diversification within the phyla. Concepts and theories developed during the theory part of the course are developed further in the practical classes. During these interactive sessions use of live material is made for observation and the characters used to group animals into higher taxonomic groups are demonstrated and discussed.


On completion of this unit, students will understand the origin of animals and how they differ from other living organisms; understand the relationship between animal diversity and evolutionary derived changes in animal body plans; encounter a range of living and preserved invertebrate and vertebrate animals and be able to subsequently identify major animal phyla; have developed skills in library and field research, data and information gathering, collation and organisation suitable for the preparation of a scientific report; developed problem-solving skills in both individual and team setting; mastered basic laboratory techniques associated with examining and handling zoological specimens


Final theory exam (2 hours): 35%
Final practical exam (2 hours): 25%
Continuous assessment (miniquizzes): 10%
Practical assignments: 20%
Research project: 10%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Ross Thompson

Contact hours

Two 1-hour lectures and one 3-hour practical (or equivalent)


BIO1011 and either BIO1022 or BIO1042, or permission