First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine
Course unit
AVP9086931, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2019/20

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
AV2378, Degree course structure A.Y. 2017/18, A.Y. 2019/20
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Degree course track Common track
Number of ECTS credits allocated 10.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination COMPARATIVE ANIMAL ANATOMY
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Comparative Biomedicine and Food Science
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction English
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 CRISTINA BALLARIN VET/01

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Basic courses VET/01 Anatomy of Domestic Animals 10.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Practice 4.0 32 68.0 No turn
Lecture 6.0 48 102.0 No turn

Start of activities 02/03/2020
End of activities 12/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2017 course timetable

Examination board
Examination board not defined

Prerequisites: Students are required to possess knowledge of general biology and cell biology.
Target skills and knowledge: The purpose of the course is to give students a useful knowledge of organs and apparatuses of the most common species of wild and laboratory animals. Students will be able to describe and identify, as well as to understand, relationships between organs and the adaptive changes they have undergone during evolution.

On completion of this course, the student shall be able to:
1. Identify significant portions of the major organ systems of most wild and laboratory animals
2. Describe and explain the functional morphology of adult structures in vertebrates using proper terminology.
3. Dissect vertebrates with confidence.
Examination methods: During the course students will be required to set up histology panels and to create a PowerPoint presentation about anatomical topics.
At the end of the course: written test with multiple choices and open-ended questions.
Assessment criteria: The examination will cover both practical and theoretical learning objectives.
Evaluation criteria include the degree of knowledge of acquired information, understanding of the relationship/integration between different body systems, ability to explain the diverse adaptations to the environment, acquisition of the correct anatomical terminology.
Course unit contents: The course will focus on the anatomy of selected organs in representative species among vertebrates.
One part of the course will review the principals of the comparative anatomy and the evolutionary relationships among vertebrates. In the remainder of the course, the structure of organs and their organization will be interpreted in terms of their embryological development, morphological adaptations (in big cats, elephants, giraffes, and cetaceans). The course presents the microscopic and gross anatomy of selected carnivores, herbivores, lagomorphs (rabbit), rodents (rat, mouse), fishes (zebrafish), birds, reptiles, utilizing laboratory applications as a basis for anatomical understanding. Other disciplines such as embryology and histology will also be included when they assist in comprehending anatomical structures.
Lectures and laboratories will be included as part of the course. The laboratory part will require the active participation of students in the dissection and examination of major organ systems and in the observation of histological slides with the light microscope. The laboratory is a required part of the course.

The course lectures cover:
- Development and organization of the animal body plan (4 hrs)
- Muscoloskeletal system of vertebrates and adaptation for terrestrial locomotion, swimming and flight (4 hrs)
- Nervous system and sense organ(4 hrs)
- Integumentary system (4 hrs)
- Digestive system (6 hrs)
- Respiratory system (4 hrs)
- Urinary system (4 hrs)
- Reproductive system (4 hrs)
- Circulatory system (4 hrs)
- Histology and microscopic anatomy of selected organs (6 hrs)
- Organs of the lymphatic system (4 hrs)

The laboratory part of the course includes:
- The dissection of bony and cartilaginous fishes, reptiles (Testudines and Squamata orders), birds (chicken, pigeon) and mammalian cadavers in necropsy room.
- The study of skeleton in the comparative osteology room.
- The study of the organ structure in the microscope room.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course includes 48 hours of lectures, 32 hours of lab sessions and hands-on activities to reinforce anatomical principles discussed in lecture sessions. Practical activities are based on participative interaction, with group discussion and group work. A computer facilitated study using animal anatomy software will help students in identifying relationships and locations of anatomical structures as well as practicing anatomical vocabulary. Seminars by international speakers will help the students to focus on specific subjects.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Optional supplementary readings:

- Gillian m and David R. N. Custance King. Colour Atlas of Vertebrate Anatomy: An Integrated Text and Dissection Guide. Blackwell.

- De Iuliis, G. & Pulera, D. 2011. The Dissection of Vertebrates: A Laboratory Manual, 2nd Edition. Academic Press.

- Saunders. Veterinary Anatomy colouring book. 2e. Elsevier.

- Cozzi B, Huggenberger S, Oelschlager H. 2017. Anatomy of Dolphins. Academic Press.

- Patruno. Lab practical of veterinary histology. Cortina (Padova).

Slides used for lessons are available on Moodle platform (
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Liem, Karel F.; Bemis, William E.; Sillin, William B., Functional anatomy of the vertebratesan evolutionary perspectiveKarel F. Lien ... [et al.]art development by William E. Bemis and William B. Sillin. Fort Worth [etc.]: Harcourt College, --.

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Laboratory
  • Working in group
  • Auto correcting quizzes or tests for periodic feedback or exams
  • Active quizzes for Concept Verification Tests and class discussions
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

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

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