Animal Evolution and Adaptation
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleNWI-BP004C
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryPB (Propaedeutic)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Science; BioWetenschappen;
PreviousNext 1
prof. dr. G. Flik
Other course modules lecturer
dr. J.R. Metz
Other course modules lecturer
dr. J.R. Metz
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. J.R. Metz
Other course modules lecturer
dr. J.R. Metz
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2018
KW1  (03/09/2018 to 04/11/2018)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
At the end of this course the student will be able to:
  • describe the distinguishing characteristics of the major animal clades;
  • understand the evolutionary and phylogenetic relationships among and between different animal groups;
  • describe structure - function relationships of the major animal clades at the organ, tissue and cellular level;
  • compare and contrast the adaptations required for living in interaction with a specific environment;
  • develop the ability to perform directed dissections and independent study of animal specimens representative of major phyla or classes.
This course focuses on the evolution and adaptations of animals. The core theme evolution is exemplified by a comparative morphological and anatomical approach. The core theme adaptation is filled in by giving special attention to changes in body plans that evolved during the transitions of life from water to land (and into the air).
Additional comments
The practicals are mandatory. Attendance will be registered.

Evolution and phylogeny
Body plans and embryonic development
Unicellularity versus multicellularity
Radial versus bilateral symmetry
Coelom formation and segmentation
The superphylum Lophotrochozoa
The superphylum Ecdysozoa
Protostomia versus Deuterostomia
Body plans and organ systems in vertebrates
Adaptations of the skin to different environments
Evolution and adaptations of skeleton and muscles
Evolution and adaptations of the digestive system and the urogenital system
Evolution and adaptations of the vascular system and the respiratory system

Test information
The exam is taken on computer (TAO). Exam questions will be based on both the lectures and the practicals (50-50).

Contact information
Contact person of this course is Dr. Juriaan Metz, j.metz@science.ru.nl

Required materials
"Biology -A global approach" 11th edition, authors: Campbell, Urry, Cain, Wasserman, Minorsky, Reece. Pearson Education Limited 2018, ISBN 10: 1-292-17043-3; ISBN 13: 978-1-292-17043-5
Title:Biology -A global approach
Author:Campbell, Urry, Cain, Wasserman, Minorsky, Reece
Publisher:Pearson Education Limited
Course guide
The student must buy the lab manual prior to the start of the course.
White coat
Materials further needed: Lab coat, microscope, drawing materials, laboratory utensils, disposable gloves.

Recommended materials
Henderson's Dictionary of Biology
Title:Henderson's Dictionary of Biology

Instructional modes
Lab course
Attendance MandatoryYes


Test weight1
Test typeDigital exam with TAO
OpportunitiesBlock KW1, Block KW2