Invertebrates Paleontology


Promote specialized skills in Invertebrate Paleontology, including morphology, classification, evolution and phylogeny, biostratigraphy and palaeoecology of taxonomic groups of the fossil record;
Develop knowledge on Portuguese Paleontology, considering the fossil sites and stratigraphic intervals;
Reveal the scientific, didactic and historical importance of fossil invertebrates.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Ligia Nunes de Sousa Pereira de Castro, Paulo Alexandre Rodrigues Roque Legoinha


Weekly - 3

Total - 51

Teaching language



Available soon


Boardman, R.S.; Cheetham, A.H. Albert & Rowell, J. (1987) - Fossil invertebrates. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Palo Alto, 713 p.

Briggs, E.G. & Crowther, P.R. eds. (1990) – “Palaeobiology. A synthesis”. Blackwell Sc. Publ., Oxford, 583 p.

Carvalho, I.S. (2001) – “Paleontologia”. Editora Interciência, Rio de Janeiro, 629 p.

Clarkson, E.N.K. (1998) – “Invertebrate Palaeontology and Evolution”. 4th. Edition. Blackwell Sci., Cambridge, 452 p.

Ziegler, B. (1983) – “Introduction to Palaeobiology. General Palaeontology”. Ellis Horwood Eds. Ser. Geol., Chichester, 225 p.

Teaching method

Theoretical classes with multimedia support. Practical classes with observation and description of fossils from the DCT Paleontology collection. Field trip, visiting fossiliferous successions and preparing a report.

Evaluation method

Assessment based on:
- reports on fossil groups covered in theoretical classes (60%)
- field output report (poster/pdf) (30%)
- oral presentation on geology and palaeontology observed during field trips (10%)

Subject matter

1.General concepts
Invertebrates and metazoans
Importance on modern biosphere and during the Phanerozoic
Biostratigraphic relevance

2.Biodiversity and Fossil Record
Diversity of modern invertebrates
Skeletal synthesis, fossilization and preservation
Implications of fossil record bias

3.Origin and early diversification
First Metazoans
The Upper Proterozoic marine faunas
Origin and evolution of main Phyla
The meaning of Cambrian radiation
Mass extinctions

4.Main phyla (morphology, classification, evolution and phylogeny, biostratigraphic, palaeoecologic and biogeographic importance)
Phylum: Porifera/Cnidaria/Briozoa/Brachipoda/Mollusca/Echinodermata/Annelida/Arthropoda/Hemichordata

5.The Invertebrates on the Portuguese Palaeontology
Historical synthesis
Main stratigraphic intervals with fossil record
Mains fossil sites
Museological collections
Scientific importance and heritage

6.Exceptional sites (lagerstätten)



Programs where the course is taught: