Course Title: Animal Diversity

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Animal Diversity

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020

Course Coordinator: Jeff Shimeta

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7151

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Bundoora campus 223-1-35

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

.Assumed knowledge and capabilities from ONPS2334 Scientific Skills & Communication; BIOL2146 Cell Structure & Function; and BIOL2258 Animal Structure & Function

Course Description

This course provides an overview of the invertebrate and vertebrate animals, including sponges, cnidarians, flatworms, nematodes, annelids, molluscs, arthropods, echinoderms, minor protostome and deuterostome groups, invertebrate chordates, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Topics include animal classification and phylogeny, anatomical structure and function, and roles in the environment. Laboratory practical work emphasises observation and investigation of living and preserved specimens, including some dissection. Field excursions will allow you to observe animals in their natural environments.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

The course provides the biologist with some of the skills necessary for:

environmental survey (animal identification)
identification of agricultural pests and biological control
an understanding of physiology and trophic level interactions for different groups of organisms (necessary for toxicological studies, eg. filter feeders & predators are important bioconcentrators of pollutants)
an understanding of evolutionary relatedness (useful for identifying likely classes of organisms for pharmacologically-active substances in biotechnology, etc.)
recognition of organisms important in human health and commerce (eg. parasites and modes of transmission, toxin producers, food sources, aquaculture prospects, etc)
an understanding of comparative anatomy & internal structure (necessary for obtaining cell cultures for biotechnology, understanding physiology, pathology and disease states, etc.).

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes (PLO);

2 Scientific Knowledge

  • 2.1 You will exhibit depth and breadth of biological knowledge by demonstrating well developed understanding of biological sciences.

3 Inquiry and problem solving

  • 3.1 You will be able to critically analyses and solve problems in biological sciences by gathering, synthesizing and critically evaluating information from a range of sources.
  • 3.4 You will be able to critically analyse and solve problems in biological sciences by collecting, accurately recording, interpreting and drawing conclusions from scientific data.

4 Communication

  • 4.1 You will be an effective communicator of biological sciences by effectively communicating scientific results, information, or arguments using a range of modes (oral, written, visual) for a variety of purposes and audiences.


 On completion of this course you should be able to:

 1. Describethefundamentaldifferencesamonganimalbodyplansandrelatethemto function, taxonomic classification, and evolutionaryrelationshipsamongphyla.

2. Describekeyissuesconcerningtheseanimalsinnature,e.g.theirrolesinecosystems,theirusebyhumansasresources,andtheenvironmentalthreatsfacedbythem.

3. Identifymanyanimalspecimenstophylum,order,orlowerlevelsofclassification.

4. Handleliveanimalsanddissectpreservedones,identifyinginternalstructuresandorgans.

5. Identifyanatomicalstructuresfrompreparedtissues.

6. Observe living animals in the environment and relate observations to theory from the course.


Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities expected in this course are:

• attendance at lectures and field excursions;
• completion of laboratory exercises and quizzes, which will provide feedback on student progress and understanding;
• private study, working through the course as presented in classes and learning materials, and gaining practice at solving conceptual problems.

Total Study Hours

2 hours of lectures and 3 hours of laboratory practical in most weeks. There will be one or more mandatory excursions to observe animals in the field.

A minimum of 4 hours per week of independent study is recommended.



Overview of Learning Resources

The course web site provides a syllabus, lecture notes, laboratory practical handouts and demonstrations, sample test questions, and references to additional resources. A textbook is required.  

Overview of Assessment

 Note that:

☒This course has no hurdle requirements.

☐ All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching).

1. Weekly quizzes 20% (supports CLOs 1 & 2).

2. Weekly practical notebook 15% (supports CLOs 1, 3, 4, & 5). You must attend the practicals and complete the practical activities in order to receive credit for the practical notebook entries.

3. Excursion reports 15% (supports CLOs 3 & 6). You must attend each excursion and complete all excursion activities in order to receive credit for each report.

4. Exam 50% (supports CLOs 1 & 2).