Animal Evolution and Adaptation
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleNWI-BP004C
Credits (ECTS)6
Category01 (Introduction)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Science; BioWetenschappen;
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
prof. dr. G.J.C. Veenstra
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2020
KW1  (31/08/2020 to 01/11/2020)
Starting block
Course mode
RemarksStudents who want to follow this course as part of a premaster or minor, contact the premaster/minor student advisor
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesNo
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 organ and tissue 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 for 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).

Topics addressed in this course include:
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

Instructional Modes
This course consists of lectures, lab practicals and Q&A sessions.

Presumed foreknowledge
No specific prior knowledge is required.
Test information
The exam will be taken on computer (Cirrus). Exam questions will cover the entire course matter and thus address topics from both lectures and practicals.
The practicals are mandatory. Attendance will be registered.

In the case of not being able to attend one or more practical courses/lab days due to corona measures, the course coordinator will decide if the student is obligated to re-take the missed meeting and how this will take place.
Required materials
"Biology - A global approach" 11th edition, authors: Campbell, Urry, Cain, Wasserman, Minorsky, Reece. Pearson Education Limited 2020, ISBN10 1292341637; ISBN13 9781292341637. If you have the 10th edition, that's not a problem.
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, dissection tools, disposable gloves.

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

Instructional modes
Attendance MandatoryYes

Lab course
Attendance MandatoryYes

Digital Exam
Test weight1
Test typeDigital exam with CIRRUS
OpportunitiesBlock KW1, Block KW2