This module follows on from the introduction of vertebrates in the Level 4 Animal Diversity Form and Function module providing detail on form and function in vertebrates that spend all or part of their life cycle on land. Aspects of vertebrate morphology and physiology will be considered in terms of adaptation and evolutionary contraint. Practicals will provide an introduction to the anatomy of birds and mammals by means of dissection, avian flight (specifically the factors that have lead to differences in wing shape and flight performance), and an exploration of how climate affects population level processes in amphibia. Overall, students will gain an appreciation of the diversity of vertebrate types and an insight into the fundamental importance of metabolic rate in animals.
This is a research-led module that explores the free-living behaviour of a range of marine animals through recent advances in biotelemetry such as satellite tracking and use of miniaturized dive computers and activity sensors attached to animals ranging from fish to air-breathing vertebrates.
This module will examine how physics governs much of what we observe in the way vertebrates are built and how they react according to circumstance. It will become apparent that understanding of physics is key to understanding much of vertebrate biology.