Learning outcomes of the course unit
The student must demostrate to have learned study methods for the following areas: basic taxonomy, invertebrate/vertebrate zoology of those species of veterinary importance, basic cell function and mechanism, organization, expression and trasmission of genetic information, basic molecular biology, basic principals of animal behaviour.
Knowledge provided for the entrance examination Recovery of educational debt
Course contents summary
The origin and evolution of life on earth. Cell strucrure and function. DNA structure and replication. Genetic engineering. Mendelian genetics.The hisory and development of evolutionary theory. Genetic, ecological and ethological aspects of the speciation process. Taxonomy, form and function of invertebrate and vertebrate animals of primary veterinary medical interest. Vertetebrate evolution and adaptation of fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Circulatory, digestive, urinary, muscular, skeletal and nervous systems are explored from an evolutionary point of view. Growth models and carrying capacity. Basic concept of animal behavior. History of animal behavior studies. Applied ethology to asses the animal welfare.
The origin of life on Earth.
The life: biological principles and science of zoology. The evolution of the cell. From molecules to the first cell.
The cell and continuity an of animal life.
From molecules to the first cell. From Procaryotes to Eucaryotes. From single cell to multicellular organism.
The evolution of life on Earth.
The history and development of evolutionary theory. The origin of species. The patterns of inheritance.
Diversity of animal life.
Architectural pattern of an animal. Classification and phylogeny of animals.
Co-evolution host-parasites. Adaptations to parasite life.
Molluscs. Arthropodes. Chordates: Fishes. Birds. Mammals.
Basic taxonomy. Invertebrate/Vertebrate structure and function of those species of primary veterinary medical interest.
Some principles of homeostasis. Internal fluids and respiration. Circulation. Excretion and thermoregulation.
Functional organization of animals.
Protection. Support and movement.
Overview of form an function of systems.
Digestive system. Nervous system. Reproductive system. Sensory system. (These topics are explored from an evolutionary point of view).
Animals and their environments.
Animal distribution and growth. Dynamics of ecosystems. Population ecology. Conservation biology.
Basic element of animal behaviour.
The study of animal behaviour and its applications in veterinary medicine.
Learning and instinct.
Reflexes. Modal action patterns. Associative learning. Classical conditioning. Instrumental conditioning.
Behavioural genetics, evolution and domestication.
Evolution of behaviour. The function of behaviour. Behavioural effects of domestication.
Social and reproductive behaviour.
Communication. Living in groups. Sexual interaction. Play Human and animal interactions.
Behavioural disturbances, stress and welfare.
Normal and abnormal behaviour. Stereotypies. Abnormal aggression. Stress. Assessing welfare. Behavioural indicators of welfare.
The history of animal behaviour studies.
The schools of the 20th century. Modern approaches to ethology. Applied ethology. Species-specific behaviour of some important domestic animals. (Images gallery. Video interview. Seminars. Population genetics test).
Cleveland P., Hickman JR. et al. Diversità animale. McGraw-Hill, 2008, Web site.
Cleveland P., Hickman JR. et al. Fondamenti di zoologia. McGraw-Hill, 2009, Web site.
Mainardi D. L'Etologia caso per caso. Airplane, 2002.
K. Lorenz - Scienziato e guru della natura - LE SCIENZE, 1999.
P. Jensen - ETOLOGIA DEGLI ANIMALI DOMESTICI - Ed. italiana a cura di P.G. Bracchi, F. Grasselli e G. Zannetti - McGraw-Hill Ed., 2010.
Theoretical training: lectures
Practical training: seminars, temate videos and population genetics test
Assessment methods and criteria
Oral exam with a randomly choose of the questions and images.
At the end of the course, the student must be able to use acquired knowledge and show clear understanding of the following:
- the mechanisms involved in the evolution of life on Earth;
- genetic principles responsible for the variety of animal life;
- taxonomic basis for the classification of animal species;
- basic elements of animal behaviour and ecology, aimed at allowing the student to critically evaluate animal welfare and well-being.