Learning outcomes of the course unit
The specific goals of the course are:
to impart an understanding of the basic nature of paleontology and of its applicative subject such as paleoecology, evolution, biogeography.
to give a sufficient base to apply paleontology to geology
to provide an understanding of the fossils and of the physical nature of fossil record from its excellent preservation to its deficiencies.
to give enough information for each phylum of marine invertebrate about morphology, biology, classification, stratigraphic distribution and paloecologic significance to appreciate fossils as once living organisms and to understand the levels of invertebrate organization.
Course contents summary
General paleontology (3cfu): Nature and scope of Paleontology. Fossil preservation, taphonomy (biostratinomy, burial and diagenesis), ichnology. Time in paleontology, principle of uniformism. Classification, taxonomy and systematics, rules of zoological nomenclature, species concept (biospecies, morphospecies, cronospecies and phylogenetic species),
Systematic paleontology (3cfu): functional morphology, anatomy, classification, major taxonomic subdivisions, stratigraphy and paleocology of the main phyla of marine invertebrates during Phanerzoic: Porifera, Archaeocyatha, Cnidaria, Arthropoda (with particular care to the classes Trilobita e Crustacea), Mollusca, Brachiopoda, Bryozoa, Echinodermata, Hemichordata (only the class Graptolithina)
for general paleontology:
Raffi S., Serpagli E., 1992. Introduzione alla Paleontologia. UTET Ed., Torino.
Ziegler B.,1983. Introduction to paleobiology: general paleontology. Ellis Horwood limited.
Allasinaz A. ,1999. Invertebrati fossili. UTET Ed., Torino
McKinney F.K., 1991. Exercises in invertebrate paleontology. Blackwell Scientific Publications
Boardman R.S., Cheetham A.H., Rowell, A.J.L.. Fossil Invertebrates, Blackwell Scient. Public., Oxford-London-Edimburg
Clarkson E.N.K. Invertebrate paleontology and evolution. Allen & Unwin