BIOL210-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018

Vertebrate Biology

15 points
16 Jul 2018 - 18 Nov 2018


The comparative anatomy, general biology, ecology, physiology and evolutionary history of the vertebrates.

This is a 15 point course dealing with the biology and evolution of the phylum Chordata and in particular the subphylum Vertebrata, animals with backbones. The course gives an overview of the phylum highlighting form and function and gives information on evolutionary relationships.
Lectures include:
• Origins of the phylum Chordata
• Life in the sea – origins and radiations of the fishes
• Movement onto land – the emergence of the tetrapods
• Locomotion – swimming, walking, flying
• Dinosaurs and other reptiles
• Birds and mammals – successful homeotherms

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Have knowledge about the different classes within the phylum
  • Know how the different classes are related
  • Have knowledge of the chronology of the emergence of different groups of vertebrates
  • Have information about the role of extinction events
  • Have detailed knowledge of the anatomy of vertebrates
  • Have detailed knowledge of the identifying features of vertebrates
  • Be able to use the library to find research material and be able to use that information to write essays

    Transferable Skills
  • An ability to dissect a range of vertebrate animals, and thus have the technical knowledge and skills to examine the internal anatomy of any animal.
  • Synthesising information from primary literature.
  • Writing a report on findings. Communication of science is fundamental to its use and advancement
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


Timetable 2018

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
1 Monday 14:00 - 15:00 Link 309 Lecture Theatre 16 Jul - 26 Aug
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
1 Wednesday 13:00 - 14:00 F1 Lectorial 16 Jul - 26 Aug
Lecture C
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
1 Friday 10:00 - 11:00 Ernest Rutherford 465 16 Jul - 26 Aug
Lecture D
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
1 Thursday 17:00 - 18:00 Meremere 105 Lecture Theatre 16 Jul - 26 Aug
Lab A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
1 Wednesday 09:00 - 13:00 Ernest Rutherford 350 Biology Project Space 16 Jul - 26 Aug
2 Friday 13:00 - 17:00 Ernest Rutherford 350 Biology Project Space 16 Jul - 26 Aug

Timetable Note

It is compulsory to wear a lab coat in the laboratory and can be purchased at the beginning of the year.

Where to purchase your lab coats and safety glasses


To purchase: buy a receipt from the Copy Centre, 2nd floor, Puaka-James Hight building, (payment by eftpos and credit card only – lab coats $32, glasses $10), 9.00 am - 4.00 pm, Monday to Friday.

Receipts may then be exchanged in the atrium inside the southern entry to the Ernest Rutherford Building, 8.30 – 10 am and 1.30 – 2.30 pm, Monday to Friday for the first two weeks of the semester.

After the first two weeks they can be collected from Ernest Rutherford Room 130 (Chemical Store).

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Bill Davison


Jim Briskie

Lab Coordinator

Claire Galilee


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Final Exam 50%
Lab work 15%
Essay 10 Aug 2018 15%
Practical Test 12 Sep 2018 20%


Required Texts

Pough, F. Harvey. , Janis, Christine M., Heiser, John B; Vertebrate life; 9th ed; Pearson, 2013.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $865.00

International fee $3,788.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see School of Biological Sciences.

All BIOL210 Occurrences

  • BIOL210-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018