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Second cycle
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School of Science
Course unit
SC04100241, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2018/19

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
SC1165, Degree course structure A.Y. 2008/09, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 9.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination COMPARATIVE ANATOMY
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Biology
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge MARIA BERICA RASOTTO BIO/06

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Basic courses BIO/06 Comparative Anatomy and Citology 9.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Laboratory 2.0 32 18.0 No turn
Lecture 7.0 56 119.0 No turn

Start of activities 02/03/2020
End of activities 12/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2008 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
9 ANATOMIA COMPARATA 2019-2020 01/10/2019 27/11/2020 RASOTTO MARIA BERICA (Presidente)
MAZZOLDI CARLOTTA (Membro Effettivo)
8 anatomia comparata 2018-2019 01/10/2018 30/11/2019 RASOTTO MARIA BERICA (Presidente)
MAZZOLDI CARLOTTA (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: General background in Cell Biology, Genetics, and Zoology
Target skills and knowledge: The course is designed to provide students with a thorough grounding in all the major aspects of vertebrate biology, anatomy and evolution. In particular it is aimed at providing knowledge concerning:
1) the comparative method bases;
2) the functional morphology bases;
3) the organization and the diversity of the vertebrates apparatuses;
4) the use of appropriate terminology

Through laboratory activities and teamwork, the student will be able to:
1) recognize and appropriately describe the various vertebrate apparatuses and organs;
2) recognize and appropriately describe the stages of embryonic development and organogenesis of vertebrates with mesolecitic (frog) and telolecitic eggs (zebrafish and chick);
3) use morphology as a tool for understanding environmental adaptation and structure-function relationships;
4) work in group;
5) develop a capacity for synthesis and autonomy of judgment ;
6) develop communication skills
Examination methods: The acquired knowledge will be verified through:
1) a written test of recognition and description of 7 macroscopic and microscopic preparations concerning embryology and the various vertebrate apparatuses. This test is based on the material studied and discussed in laboratory activities (2 CFU)
2) a written exam with 3 open questions, aimed at highlighting the knowledge, the scientific terminology, the synthesis ability and the critical discussion of problems acquired during the course. This test is based on the topics dealt with in the lectures and in group work (7 CFU).

The final grade is expressed as a weighted average between the two tests.
Assessment criteria: The criteria used to verify the acquired knowledges and skills are:
1) the understanding of the topics covered;
2) the critical ability to connect the acquired knowledge;
3) the completeness of the acquired knowledge;
4) the synthesis capacity
5) the scientific lexical properties
Course unit contents: The topics of the program can be, shortly, divided into 4 major parts:

1) Basic concepts and principles of Comparative Anatomy (1 CFU). Definition of the methods and objects of study. Patterning of vertebrate body plan, axes and germ lines. Adaptation. Convergence. Analogy. Homology. Principles of structure and function relationships at the interspecific and intraspecific levels. Elements of systematic and phylogeny.

2) The chordates (0,5 CFU)
Phylum characteristics and their expression in Tunicates, Cephalochordates, and Vertebrates. Origin and phylogeny of the phylum. The Vertebrates - Classification and general characteristics of Agnathans, Gnatostomes,Tetrapods, and Amniotes. The Vertebrate classes, their phylogenetic relationships and the main stages of their evolution.

3) Embryonic development of Vertebrates (1 CFU lectures, 0,5 CFU laboratory experiences)
Fertilization dynamics and types of eggs. Mechanisms of cleavage, gastrulation, neurulation. The germ layers. Extraembryonic membranes.

4) Functional Morphology of Vertebrates (4,5 CFU lectures; 1,5 CFU laboratory experiences)
Comparative analysis of structure-function relationships of: integument, nervous system and sense organs, skeletal system, muscular system (related to locomotion), circulatory, respiratory and urogenital systems.
The comparative analysis of the different adaptations is also used as a tool for the conservation/sustainable management of the species, highlighting the elements of strength or vulnerability with respect to environmental changes.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course consists of lectures (1), laboratory activities (2) and teamwork (3).

1. The program contents is presented in lectures suported by ppt containing pictures, diagrams and videos. The teaching is interactive, with questions and study cases, to promote discussion and critical judgement in the classroom.
Periodic self-assessment tests are made available to students on the e-learning page ( of the course.

2. Laboratory activities, for a total of 32 hours, are devoted to the systematic of chordates, the embryology of chordates, the anatomy of vertebrates with particular reference to integument, skeletal, circulatory, nervous and urogenital systems.
At the end of each lab activity, students are given a short feedback test using the teaching page activated in the online resource,

3. The teamwork consists in the deepening, with a multidisciplinary approach (behavior, ecology, genetics, biochemistry, etc.), of topics related to the evolution of vertebrates. Each theme is developed by groups of 4-5 students and the contents presented to the class and discussed collegially.
The starting material for these studies is provided by the teacher who sets and follows the development of the work through:
a) the illustration of the bibliographic research bases, in particular of the resources available at Padova University;
b) fortnightly meetings for discussion.
Additional notes about suggested reading: All course resources presented in lectures and laboratories work (ppt, case stud articles, reviews) are available to students in the course page of the e-learning platform:
On the same platform the material used (articles and reviews) and the products (pdf file of the oral presentations) by student teams is available to the class.
Additional information about the laboratory microscopic and macroscopic samples are available to site:
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Stingo V et al., Anatomia comparata. Milano: Edi-Ermes, 2016. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Pough FH, Janis CM, Heiser JB,, Zoologia dei vertebrati. Torino: Pearson, 2014. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Laboratory
  • Case study
  • Working in group
  • Peer feedback

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
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