EZO-21803 Basic Principles of Vertebrate Zoology


Studiepunten 3.00

Practical intensively supervised10
Course coordinator(s)A Terlouw
Lecturer(s)dr. SWS Gussekloo
A Terlouw
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. JL van Leeuwen

Language of instruction:


Continuation courses:

Human and Animal Biology part 2 (HAP-20306); Vertebrate structure and function (EZO-31306); Functional Zoology (EZO-30806), Biology of Invertebrates and Lower Plants (EZO-20306); Developmental Biology of Animals (EZO-30306); Behavior and Hormones (ETH-20306); Marine Life (EZO-22806)


The first part of the lectures focuses on the basic principles of zoology such as classification, development 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:
- understand the role of evolution and development in the continuity and diversity of vertebrate life;
- outline the structural organization of life from tissue to organism and how the interactions among these levels shaped life on earth;
- relate the differences in foraging behavior and diet to the differences in skull morphology of two specialists (cat and sheep);
- analyze 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;
- differentiate among instincts, non-associative learned and associative learned behaviors in relation to nervous system complexity;
- practice 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 exam with multiple choice questions.


- textbook: Integrated Principles of Zoology from McGraw-Hill by Hickman CP, et al; 15th edition (2011);
- handouts of the lectures.

Verplicht voor: BBNForest and Nature ConservationBScB: Ecology and Conservation2AF