Animal Structure and Function

Subject 654-217 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Lectures and laboratory based practical work.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Two 1-hour lectures per week; one 3-hour practical class per week. Total 57 hours.
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours total time commitment.

Biology of Cells and Organisms and Genetics and the Evolution of Life, or equivalent.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: Students who have received credit for either 654-201 or 654-202 (prior to 2009) are excluded from taking this subject for credit.
Core Participation Requirements:

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the University’s programs. This subject requires all students to actively and safely participate in laboratory activities. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their participation are encouraged to discuss this with the subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.

This subject involves the dissection of dead animals in practicals. Students' participation in practical activities is required.


Assoc Prof Robert William Day
Subject Overview:

This subject provides an introduction to the functional organisation of animals: what animals do and how they do it. Structural, physiological, behavioural and evolutionary aspects are covered but the emphasis is on feeding and locomotion. The practical component will cover the structural diversity of animals and their evolutionary relationships and develop skills relevant to the study of animals in taxonomy, microscopy and anatomy.


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; 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.


Assessment of laboratory and/or excursion work during semester (20%); assessment of essay work and progress tests during the semester (15%); a 2-hour written examination during the examination period (30%); a 2-hour practical examination during the examination period (35%).

Prescribed Texts:

J A Pechenik, Biology of the Invertebrates, McGraw Hill

Liem et al, Functional Anatomy of the Vertebrates, Thompson, Brooks, Cole

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

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 dissection and critical preservation of animals; and to use the results of observation to pose and answer theoretical questions and to solve practical problems. Students should master the terminology of the field and gain experience in using that mastery to access an established body of scientific literature and material. Thus they should develop the ability to critically evaluate questions and issues in a scientific field.

Notes: Students enrolled in the BSc (both pre-2008 and new degrees), BASc or a combined BSc course will receive science credit for the completion of this subject.

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