National University




BIO416 Vertebrate Zoology

Lead Faculty: Dr. Michael R. Maxwell

Course Description

Study of the life of Vertebrates integrating the anatomy, physiology, ecology, evolution and behavioral adaptations that enable them to survive effectively in their natural environment.

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe distinctive features of vertebrate taxa, including chordate taxa such as tunicates and cephalochordates.
  • Discuss the basic life processes of vertebrates, including movement, body support, homeostasis, circulation, gas exchange, reproduction, development, digestion, excretion, sensory perception, cognition, and the immune system.
  • Describe the evolutionary history of the vertebrates, and the important transitions between major taxa and clades.
  • Interpret the relationship between the form and function of vertebrates, and the selection pressures that have influenced their evolution.
  • Discuss the ecology, behavior, and diversity of vertebrates in relation to their survival and dominance in a variety of habitats in the world.