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





- "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

Theoretical lectures include the exposition of theoretical contents of the diferent topics of the syllabus. A final period of the lecture is reserved for interaction with students, discussions and revisions.

The practical component includes laboratory and field classes that allow the practical application of the knowledge acquired.

Evaluation method

Evaluation is continuous and assessed by  2 components: 

Theoretial Lectures (50%) - 3 written tests (average minimum grade for tests is 9.5; each test >8)

Practical Labs (50%) - portfolium (60%) by groups of 3-4 studnets +  protefolium presentation (20%) + 3 individuas works (20%) (Average minimum grade for lab assignments is 9.5; each component >8)

Students are required to attend 2/3 of the lab classes otherwise they will not be able to finish the course

Final mark: average of tests (50%) and lab assignments (50%)

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. 


Programs where the course is taught: