Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course is open to students of 2nd and 3rd years which previously passed the exam of Zoology. The aims of the course are two: the morpho-functional approach aims to understand the evolution of each organism, and the phylogentic approach aims to investigate the evolutionary relationships among species or groups. The key of the course is the Neo-Darwinian Gradualism that points out the meaning of natural selection and the mechanisms of species origins such as micro-evolutionary processes, adaptation and habitat specialization. The last part of the course is dedicated to the divergent evolution: the macroevolution that originated the whole of animal phyla.
Exam of Zoology
Course contents summary
Evolutionism. Pre-Darwin theories: Lamarckism. Darwin’s Theory. Neo-Darwinism and the current situation of the evolutionary problem. Causes and analysis of intra-specific variability. The genetic equilibrium (The rule of Hardy-Weinberg). Panmixia. The main evolutionary forces: mutations, genetic drift, natural selection. Sequential evolution and micro-evolution. The species: allopatric and sympatric speciation. The mechanisms of reproductive isolation. The adaptation. Divergent evolution and macroevolution.
BALLETTO E., 1995 – Zoologia Evolutiva. Zanichelli Editore, Bologna.