Comparative anatomy

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
BIO/06 BIO/16
Learning objectives
The course is intended to offer the theoretical background to study Vertebrate Anatomy at multiple levels, from cells to organs and systems.
Expected learning outcomes
Theoretical and practical lessons are expected to supply the capacity for performing microscopic and macroscopic analyses of Vertebrate organs and comparing the anatomical structures in an evolutionary context.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Teaching methods
The lessons would take place remotely in both synchronous (Microsoft Teams) and asynchronous (audio lessons in ppt). Lesson recordings will be available on the Ariel website of the course. The synchronous lessons will allow students to maintain a direct contact with the teacher and give the opportunity to have clarifications on the topics covered. Zoom meetings will be fixed to answer student questions. Lab classes will be given partly in asynchronous modality and partly in classroom. All the information regarding the organization of the course, the synchronous and asynchronous lessons, the hours dedicated to question time, as well as any other updates are provided on the Ariel website of the course.

Program and reference materials
The program and the reference material will not change.

Exam and evaluation criteria
Oral examination includes discussion on the topics and analysis of a histological section. For students that regularly attend the lessons a written exam on the topics of the first part of the course will be scheduled in November/December using the platform Exam Moodle. Oral exams will be carried out online via Teams or Zoom. The evaluation criteria will not change and are those reported in the syllabus.
Course syllabus
The Comparative Anatomy course provides the analysis of the structural evolution of selected organ systems in representative Vertebrates. The structures are interpreted in terms of their embryological development, anatomical organization and phylogeny. Major topics:
- Comparative embryology: Vertebrate egg, early stages of the development, derivatives of the germ layers, fetal membranes and placentation.
- Integument: development and general structure of skin. Integument of Fishes and Tetrapods. Skin derivatives.
- Teeth: structure, development and evolution.
- Head skeleton: chondrocranium, dermatocranium and visceral skeleton. Cranial kinesis.
- Body skeleton: structure and development of vertebrae, ribs and trunk skeleton. Girdles. The appendicular skeleton of Fishes and Tetrapods.
- Respiratory system: gills, lungs, swim bladder and accessory respiratory organs.
- Digestive system: the structure and adaptations of the digestive tract. Liver and pancreas.
- Circulatory system: evolution of heart, arterial and venous systems. Lymphatic system.
- Excretory and reproductive systems: structure and evolution of kidney and ureter. Gonads, urogenital ducts and accessory organs.
- Nervous system: components and organization of the central nervous system and autonomic nervous system. Development, structure and evolution of brain, spinal cord, cranial and spinal nerves.
This course includes the laboratory of macroscopic and microscopic Anatomy of Vertebrates focused on the observation of skeleton models (skull, vertebrae and limbs) and histological sections of integument, respiratory, digestive, excretory and reproductive systems.
Prerequisites for admission
Good knowledge of General Biology and Zoology (systematic of Vertebrates)
Teaching methods
Lectures with the support of slides include interactive discussions to stimulate the active participation of the student. Practical lessons of microscopic anatomy. Regular attendance is strongly suggested.
Teaching Resources
V. Stingo "Anatomia comparata"Edi-Ermes.
T. Zavanella "Manuale di Anatomia dei vertebrati" Antonio Delfino Editore.
Liem et al. "Anatomia comparata dei vertebrati" EdiSES.
R. Maci, G. Cappelletti, C.Vismara "Atlante di anatomia microscopica dei Verteertebrati". Unicopli
Website Ariel:
Assessment methods and Criteria
Oral examination includes discussion on the topics and analysis of an histological section. For studens that regularly attend the lessons a written exam on the topics of the first part of the course will be scheduled in November/December.
BIO/16 - HUMAN ANATOMY - University credits: 0
Practicals with elements of theory: 12 hours
Lessons: 48 hours