HAP-20306 Human and Animal Biology, part 2


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work2
Independent study
Course coordinator(s)dr. S Grefte
Lecturer(s)dr. LM Janssen Duijghuijsen
dr. S Grefte
A Terlouw
MSc AM Valk
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. J Keijer
dr. S Grefte

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

EZO-10306 Human and Animal Biology I; CBI-10306 Cell Biology.

Continuation courses:

EZO-31306 Vertebrate Structure and Function; HAP-21806 Behavioural Endocrinology; EZO-30306 Developmental Biology of Animals; HAP-31306 Development and Healthy Aging; HAP-30806 Integrated Neuroendocrinology; EZO-30806 Functional Zoology.


Part 2 of the Human and Animal Biology course continues on part 1 (EZO-10306). Part 1 positioned the phenotype of an organism, starting with the embryonic development and continuing with the relation between anatomy, function and regulation of organ systems. Part 2 continues with this unique relation of "structure, function and regulation" and emphasizes on how the different organs systems interact with each other to result in the proper function and behaviour of the organism. The organic evolution, classification and phylogeny of animals (especially vertebrates) will be dealt with as well. The basic principles of zoology provide an overview in the biodiversity of vertebrates and how they are adapted in structure and function.
The course is organized in themes, each theme dealing with organ systems at cellular, tissue and organismal level. Each organ system is introduced by lectures explaining the anatomy and then the physiology and regulation of function. Then the organ system is further explored in practicals. An integrative theme -consisting of a case study, a practical, and a problem based teaching module- enables the students to explore the interrelations between organ systems with respect to their anatomy and physiology. Working in small groups, the importance of adaptations in anatomy and physiology of organ systems within/to the environment is explored, while learning to use scientific literature. Because of the importance to process the knowledge obtained in the lectures, the practicals, case study and problem based teaching module are obligatory.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- describe the structural organization of vertebrate organ systems, including relevant nomenclature;
- explain the function and regulation of these vertebrate organ systems;
- explain the interaction between morphology, function and regulation of organ systems;
- describe the role of evolution in the continuity and diversity of animal life and arrange the evolutionary relationships of a number of main animal taxa;
- demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the major vertebrate groups and their biodiversity, and adaptations;
- apply scientific techniques to study gross anatomy (dissection techniques), microanatomy (microscopy) and physiology (laboratory techniques and experimental set-ups for in vivo measurements);
- apply the obtained knowledge on the organ systems -and their interdependence- in a practical and a problem based teaching module about adaptation of the body to exercise;
- apply the obtained knowledge on organ systems in a case study about adaptation of anatomy, physiology and behaviour to changing internal and external conditions.


- the main student activities are listening to lectures, participating in various practicals (zoological, histological, or physiological) and self-study (books);
- in a practical and a problem based teaching module, the students explore the integrated physiological response to exercise;
- in a group assignment, the students explore and discuss a case of adaptation of whole body function;
- in the case study, the students plan their activities, work with scientific literature, write a scientific document and evaluate their conclusions in a plenary session.


- group assignment (10%);
- computer exams with multiple choice questions (interim and final = 90%).


Digital hand-outs of the lectures and supplementary information are offered through the blackboard site of the course.
A study guide and syllabus of the practicals can be bought at the WUR-shop.
Several chapters of the following books are compulsory for the exam. The books can be bought at the WUR-shop:
Hickman CP et al.: Integrated Principles of Zoology. 17th ed. Mc Graw-Hill, 2016;
Stanfield CL.: Principles of Human Physiology. 6th ed. Pearson, 2017.

Compulsory for: BBIBiologyBSc1MO
BASAnimal SciencesBSc1MO