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Animals show remarkable diversity in form and function. In this subject you will explore how form and function are related, starting with simple animals like corals and working up to apes and humans. We ask: How are these animals related by evolution? What do they do, and how do they do this? These are the different ‘technologies’ animals have evolved to solve the problem of how to move and feed. In the practicals, you will learn how to classify animals and interpret their features, and develop an understanding of how birds fly, fish feed, worms burrow and parasites infect us.
Intended learning outcomes
Upon completion of this subject students should have an appreciation of the relationship between structure and function in animals, especially the mechanisms involved in locomotion and food capture; skills in dissection of animals and drawing to show structure; an insight into the evolutionary history, diversity and relationships of animal groups, and the unique adaptations of these groups that allow them to occupy diverse habitats and roles in ecosystems.
The subject builds upon generic skills developed in first year level subjects, including the ability to approach and assimilate new knowledge and an ability to use that knowledge to evaluate theories and communicate ideas. Students should also develop skills in the use of observations to pose and answer questions and to solve practical problems. Students should master the terminology of the field and gain experience in using that mastery to access a large body of scientific literature and material. Thus they should develop the ability to critically evaluate questions and issues within any scientific field.
Last updated: 22 July 2021