3533.15 - Biology II: ”General Evolutionary Mechanisms and Animal Form and Function”

Course number
Biology II: ”General Evolutionary Mechanisms and Animal Form and Function”
Biology I: “The tree of life”
Primarily to give the students a general understanding of the basic evolutionary mechanisms behind the evolution of life, as illustrated phylogenetically by “the tree of life”. A closer look will then be taken at the Animalia branch on the tree of life and the form and function in this clade of multicellular organisms. This will be based on their respective fundamental design or ”baupläne” which is divided into the major clades: Diploblasta, Deuterostoma, Ecdysozoa and Lophotrochozoa. This is done in order for the students to better understand how a multicellular organism is able to organize itself in such a way that all the biological processes each cell has to do can be done in a way that satisfies the needs of the organism as a whole. The various clades will be compared and reasons for differences will be explained phylogenetically as well as the development of specific organs. A special focus will be on vertebrates, especially humans.
How evolution works, microevolution, species and speciation, macroevolution. The animal body as a working unit and how animals solve the 7 “life mechanisms”: Feeding, respiration, excretion, growth, breeding, locomotion and communication (both internal and external).
Learning and teaching approaches
Lectures, excursions, dissections, theoretical- and laboratory exercises and movies
Learning outcomes
By the end of the course the students are expected to be able to: ➢ understand how evolution works ➢ understand how the various organs in some specific animals function how these have evolved in various animal groups ➢ compare the evolution of some specific organs in the main animal clades ➢ have a general knowledge and understanding of internal communication in an animal body and how animals communicate externally with each other and their environment ➢ Understand how form and function have evolved as a combination between an organisms anatomy, developmental constraints and the environment
Assessment method
Written exam, 4 hours. No auxiliary material
Høgni Hammershaimb Debes