EZO-21803 Basic Principles of Vertebrate Zoology


Credits 3.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)A Terlouw
Lecturer(s)A Terlouw
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. JL van Leeuwen

Language of instruction:


Continuation courses:

HAP-20306 Human and Animal Biology, part 2; EZO-31306 Vertebrate Structure and Function; EZO-30806 Functional Zoology; EZO-20306 Biology of Invertebrates and Lower Plants; EZO-30306 Developmental Biology of Animals; HAP-21806 Behavioural Endocrinology; EZO-51306 Marine Life.


The first part of the lectures focuses on the basic principles of zoology such as classification, and evolutionary aspects of the vertebrates. The other lectures provide an introduction to the form and function of the main organ systems of the vertebrates. This approach highlights how different vertebrates have solved similar general problems or evolved specializations for species specific behavior and habitats.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- describe the role of evolution in the continuity and diversity of vertebrate life
- demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the major vertebrate groups and their biodiversity, and the adaptation of their many biological functions;
- relate the differences in foraging behavior and diet to the differences in skull morphology of two specialists (cat and sheep);
- analyse natural mammal organ systems related to digestive, circulatory, respiratory, excretory systems and to interpret and explain their structure and dynamics;
- paraphrase the basic of homeostatic requirements such as osmoregulation and excretion in different habitats, thermoregulation and biorhythms or patterns;
- distinguish among different types of learning behavior and its function in relation to nervous system complexity;
- demonstrate ability in the basic skills of vertebrate dissection.


- follow lectures and study the explained material;
- reading chapter parts of the textbook;
- basic skill training of dissection on a fetal pig.


Computer based exam with multiple choice questions (100%).
For skill training a pass is required.


Hickman CP, [et al]. (2011). Integrated Principles of Zoology. 15th ed. McGraw-Hill. 2, 2011. 842p. ISBN:9780073040509.
Handouts of the lectures.

Compulsory for: BBNForest and Nature ConservationBScB: Ecology and Conservation2AF