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,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022


Open Learning Australia

Non Award

171H School of Science

Distance / Correspondence


Course Coordinator: Jeff Shimeta

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7151

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Bundoora campus 223-1-35

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment, by email

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, diversity of taxonomic groups, structure and function, and roles in the environment. Laboratory practical work (which may be on campus or online) emphasises observation and investigation of living and preserved specimens, including some dissections. Field excursions (which may be in the environment or virtually online) 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. Distinguish the fundamental differences among animal body plans and relate them to function, taxonomic classification, animal diversity and evolutionary relationships among phyla. 
2. Distinguish key issues concerning these animals in nature, e.g. their roles in ecosystems, their use by humans as resources, and the environmental threats faced by them. 
3. Identify animal specimens to phylum, class, order, or lower levels of classification. 
4. Observe live and preserved animals, identifying their distinguishing features of form and function. 
5. Identify anatomical structures from prepared tissues. 
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 and participation at scheduled activities; 
  • completion of practical exercises and quizzes, which will provide feedback on student progress and understanding; 
  • private study, working through the course learning materials and assignments.  


Overview of Learning Resources

The course web site provides a syllabus, subject content, instructions and resources for practical activities, guidelines for assessments, and references to additional resources. A textbook is required.  

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Task 1: Online Quizzes

Weighting: 20% (both on-campus and OUA)

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2.

Assessment Task 2: Practical Activities 

Weighting: 35% (both on-campus and OUA)  

The breakdown in the Course Guides Part B differ:

On-Campus: this task includes practical worksheets and two excursion reports.

OUA: this task includes practical worksheets, one excursion report, and an online discussion board.

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Assessment Task  3: End of Semester Report 

Weighting: 45% (both on-campus and OUA)   

This assessment task supports CLO 1.