Animal Biology


The main objective of this discipline is the knowledge of evolution and animal diversity. In what concerns biodiversity, special attention is given to aspects such as anatomy, physiology and organism-environment relationships.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Marta Susana Silvestre Gouveia Martins


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



There are no requirements


- "Life. The Science of Biology”. Sadava, Heller, Orians,Purves e Hillis. 9th Edition 2011. Sinauer Associates Inc. USA

- " Five Kingdoms". Lynn Margulis e Karlene V. Schwartz.  3rd Edition 2001. Freeman and Company Eds.

- "Evolution". Monroe Strickberger.  3rd Edition 2000. Jones & Bartlett Publishers International, U. K.

Teaching method

The lectures deal with the essential and most important of two major modules of the program. The theoretical program and, in particular, the knowledge of Animal  Biodiversity is structured in close complementarity with the practical program in which the student has the possibility to watch videos, slide sets, organisms from a   reference collection and the possibility of observing the organisms in their habitat. This latter aspect is particularly relevant in this classe. The incentive for participation and involvement in the debate are  privileged aspects in  these classes.

Evaluation method

The assessment consists of four tests throughout the semester about theoretical program  and six mini-tests in practical classes.

Theoretical and practical will have an identical weight, 50% in the final assessment.

Final rating: 0.50 (T) + 0.50 (P)

The frequency is given by the presence of the student in at least two thirds of the number of practical classes.

Subject matter

I. EVOLUTIONARY PROCESSES. 1. 1 The History of life on earth. Macroevolution and microevolution. Rates and patterns of evolutionary change. 1.2 The mechanisms of evolution. Genetic variation within populations. The Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium. Microevolution agents. 1.3 Species and their formation. Species concepts. Reproductive isolating mechanisms. The significance of speciation. 1.4 Reconstructing and using phylogenies. Traits used in reconstructing phylogenetic trees. Biological classification and evolutionary relationships. II. II THE EVOLUTION OF BIODIVERSITY. 2. 1 Protists and the Dawn of the Eukarya. 2.2 The Animal kingdom. Structural and functional aspects. 2.3 Animal origins and Lophotrochozoans. Clues to evolutionary relationships among animals. Sponges, Cnidarians and Ctenophores. Protostomes and deuterostomes. Simple Lophotrochozoans - Flatworms and Rotifers. Lophophorates. Spiralians - Annelids and Mollusks. 2.4 Ecdysozoans. The Arthropods and their relatives. Echinoderms. Chordates. Practical classes - morphological and functional aspects of the main animal groups. Development of an animal diversity portfolio.


Programs where the course is taught: