A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The objectives of the course are provided to students with the basic knowledge related to functional biology and physiology of animals in relation to the environment; evolutionary biology; biodiversity, systematics and animal phylogeny.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the student will be able to: provide a general description of animal biodiversity and the main differences with other living organisms; recognize and identify the main animal taxa; carry out an overall comparative analysis of the structure of an animal, distinguishing the main anatomical structures and appropriately describing its morphology and function in relation to the environment. The student will develop cultural skills related to: integrated organism and fundamental aspects of the condition of "animality", complexity and unity of animal life, structural and functional adaptations of animals in relation to the environment. Moreover, it will be able to use specific instrumentation such as the optical transmission microscope and the stereomicroscope.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Frontal lectures will be provided in synchron, following the timetables defined by the CdS. Lectures will be provided by the technological platform Teams, they will be registered and left on Ariel for 6 months. Any variation will be posted on this same Academic web site
Whenever feasible and following the security limitations, practical lectures will be organised in presence in the laboratories of Settore Didattico or field excursions.
Access to the labs will be organised according to turnation. Prractical lectures will be registered and posted on Ariel.
Discussion meeting will be periodically (one/two per month) organized in presence in order to allow a moment of direct discussion with the teacher. This will allow to solve and clarify any unsolved or unclear issue and deepen any requested topic.
Course syllabus
The course will be addressed to different aspects of animal biology, interpreted in an environmental perspective. The program will include the following topics, subdivided in three thematic areas:
- General bases and fundamental principles of animal life: historical aspects, Linnean classification, concepts of species, mechanisms of of speciation; Systematics and evolution: phylogenetic tress, monophyletism, paraphyletisms, polyphyletism; concept of homology and analogy, radiation and convergence,
Architecture of animal body plane: the Bauplan concept, models of simmetry, body cavities; metamerism; solitary and colonial organisms: life styles.
- Functional biology: structural and functional correlations; protection and isolation; support and movement; nutrition; circulation and gas exchanges; homeostasis: excretion, osmoregulation, thermoregulation; neural and endocrine coordination; sensory receptors; symbiosis and parasitism
- Reproductive biology: gamic and agamic reproduction, ermafroditism and gonocorism, life cycles; parthenogenesis; embryonic development; post-embryonic development; larvae and etamorphosis;
- Animal biodiversity: organization, distinctive features and phylogenetic relationships among the main animal groups. Protozoans; poriferans; cnidarians; acelomates: platyhelminthes; nemerteans; pseudocelomates; celomates; protostomes: molluscs; annelids; arthropods;; deuterostomes: echinoderms, chordates; vertebrates. A comprehensive account of the significant diversity of structural and functional aspects of the main phyla discussed in relation to their environment.
- Animal adaptations to the environment: aquatic (marine and freshwater) environment; terrestrial environment, extreme environments
Prerequisites for admission
Basic knowledge of general biology is strongly required, therefore before attending the Zoology exams it is strongly suggested to have finalized the General Biology exam.
Teaching methods
Frontal lectures (PP presentations) supported by audiovisive material. Frontal lectures are complemented by practical labs focused on the observations of the main anatomical-functional features of animal models representatives of the main zoological phyla (dissection, in vivo and histological samples observations)
Teaching Resources
Text books:
Candia MD, De Bernardi F. et al. ZOOLOGIA, Parte Sistematica . Idelson-Gnocchi, 2016
De Bernardi F., Balsamo M., et al. ZOOLOGIA, Parte Generale. Idelson-Gnocchi, 2012

Casiraghi et al. Zoologia. UTET Università, De Agostini, Novara, 2018

All the PP presentations will be available on Ariel platform
Assessment methods and Criteria
Oral exam. This will last about half an hour and will indicatively include 2 main questions: one related to the General Zoology or Environmental adaptations part of the program, the other related to the Sistematics part (presentation of the main features of an animal phylum). Dates of exams will be communicated via Ariel platform.
Evaluation parameters will include the comprehension and ability to appropriately describe the main anatomical, physiological and functional aspects of the different animal phyla, in relation to their environment and evolutionary history; the ability to perform comparative analyses among the different animal phyla; appropriateness in the use of the zoological terminology
BIO/05 - ZOOLOGY - University credits: 9
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 64 hours
Professor: Sugni Michela
Educational website(s)
wednesday 14.30-15.30
Via Celroia 26, Tower A, ground floor