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Code: 100851 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2500251 Environmental Biology FB 1 2


Ana Morton Juaneda

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
catalan (cat)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:

Other comments on languages

Part of the course is taught in Catalan and part in Spanish.


Fernando Garcia del Pino


It is recommended to review the concepts related to Zoology of the Biology course studied at high school.

To attend the practices of this course, the student must justify having passed the biosafety and security tests that can be found in the Virtual Campus and has to know and accept the Laboratory operating of the Faculty of Biosciences.

Objectives and Contextualisation

Throughout this course, student must acquire the theoretical and practical knowledges to have a vision as complete as possible of Zoological knowledge bases and the diversity of non-arthropod invertebrate animals from anatomical, functional, systematic and phylogenetic perspectives.

Equally, it should allow placing each animal group in an ecological context, in relation to the number of species, habitat and way of life, position within the ecosystems as well as their importance in relation to their interest in applied sciences and of the environment and economics.

The specific training objectives are:

- To introduce the main structuring concepts of the science of Zoology.

- To understand the systematics and phylogenetic relationships between the main groups of animals as a result of evolutionary and adaptive processes.

- To know the main levels of organization and the architectural patterns of non-arthropod invertebrates.

- To transfer knowledge about the morphological characteristics, life cycles, the ecological importance and the interactions with the man of the main groups of non-arthropod invertebrates.


  • Act with ethical responsibility and respect for fundamental rights and duties, diversity and democratic values.
  • Communicate efficiently, orally and in writing.
  • Describe, analyse and interpret the vital adaptations and strategies of the principal groups of living beings.
  • Develop analysis and synthesis skills.
  • Develop strategies of analysis, synthesis and communication in order to teach biology and environmental studies.
  • Identify organisms and recognise the different levels of biological organisation.
  • Recognise and analyse phylogenetic relations.
  • Sample, characterise and manipulate populations and communities.
  • Take account of social, economic and environmental impacts when operating within one's own area of knowledge.
  • Take sex- or gender-based inequalities into consideration when operating within one's own area of knowledge.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Act with ethical responsibility and respect for fundamental rights and duties, diversity and democratic values.
  2. Actuar en l'àmbit de coneixement propi avaluant les desigualtats per raó de sexe/gènere.
  3. Communicate efficiently, orally and in writing.
  4. Develop analysis and synthesis skills.
  5. Identify the large animal groups and their phylogenetic relationships.
  6. Know and interpret the development, growth and biological cycles of the principal animal taxons.
  7. Observe, handle and conserve animal specimens and populations.
  8. Recognise the basic principles of animal biology that must be conveyed in the field of secondary education.
  9. Recognise the molecular, genetic, tissue- and organism-based levels of organisation.
  10. Take account of social, economic and environmental impacts when operating within one's own area of knowledge.



Unit 1. Zoology: concept of animal. Historical development of Zoology. Disciplines.

Unit 2. Animal Diversity. Species concept. Speciation mechanisms. Natural, sexual and group selection. The evolution generating diversity. Zoogeographical regions.

Unit 3. The organization of the animal world. Classification and nomenclature. Concepts and methods for the study of animals. Animal phylogeny.

Unit 4. Animal architecture. Organization levels. Symmetry. Cephalization. Metamería.

Unit 5. Animal reproduction, development and biological cycles.


Unit 6. The origin of Animals. Protists of animal character.

Unit 7. Metazoans. Poriferans. Origin. Cellular organization and morphological types. Ecological importance and applications.

Unit 8. Cnidarians. Body models. The alternation of generations. The function of coral reefs.

Unit 9. Protostomes. Spiralia (Lofotrocozoans). Platizoans. Platyhelminthes. Life cycles. Adaptation to parasitism.

Unit 12. Annelids. Metamerie and hydrostatic skeleton. Diversity and adaptations to the environment.

Unit 13. Ecdisozoans. Nematodes. Function of the pseudocoeloma. Biological importance and adaptations to parasitism.

Unit 14. Deuterostomes. Echinoderms. Pentaradial symmetry. Ambulacral system. Diversity.


Laboratory practices:

Practice 1: Observation of Fresh-Water Microfauna and Protozoans. Observation and recognition of Poriferans and Cnidarians.

Practice 2: Observation and recognition of Platyhelminthes and Nematodes.

Practice 3: Observation and recognition of Molluscs.

Practice 4: Observation and recognition of Annelids and Echinoderms.

Field practice:

Practice 5: Sampling techniques and observation of marine invertebrates.



The methodology used in this course to achieve the learning process is based on student work with available information. The function of the professor is to give the information or indicate where student can get it, helping and supervising the student during the learning process. To achieve this goal, the course is based on the following activities:


In these classes the student acquires the basic scientific-technical knowledge of the course that must be complemented with personal study of the topics explained.


In the seminars, students work in the scientific and technical knowledge exposed in the lectures to complete and deepen their understanding, developing various activities: analysis and discussion of videos on zoological topics, resolution of issues related to the topics discussed, analysis of zoological information, etc.

The aim of the seminars is to promote the capacity for analysis and synthesis, critical reasoning and the capacity to solve problems.


During the practice sessions students work the zoo material in the laboratory (observation of preparations and specimens, study of anatomy and morphology of groups, dissections, identification of specimens, etc.) and in the field (sampling techniques of invertebrate fauna), and they complement it with the study and the questions raised in the practice script.

The objective of the practical laboratory and field classes is completed and reinforced the zoological knowledge acquired in the theoretical classes and seminars. During the practical sessions, students' empirical skills are stimulated and developed, such as the ability to observe, analyse and recognize zoological diversity.


The objective of these sessions is to solve doubts, to review basic concepts not explained in classes and to guide about the sources consulted by the students. The schedule of individualized tutorials is specified with the professor through the virtual campus.


Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Fieldwork 4 0.16 3, 6, 4, 5, 7, 9, 8
Laboratory practical classes 8 0.32 3, 6, 4, 5, 7, 9, 8
Lectures 33 1.32 6, 5, 9, 8
Seminars 7 0.28 3, 6, 4, 5, 9
Type: Supervised      
Tutorships 6 0.24 3, 6, 4, 5, 9, 8
Type: Autonomous      
Problem solving 52 2.08 6, 5, 9
Written Reports, answer to questions 32 1.28 3, 6, 4, 5, 9


There is a continuous evaluation process throughout the course that includes more than three evaluation activities, of different typologies, distributed throughout the course, and none of the activities represents more than 50% of the final grade.

Evaluation of seminars:

Both the short written reports (questions) that should be presented during the seminar days and the evaluative tests (in group and individual) that take place throughout the seminar are evaluated.

In this activity there is no chance for re-assessment.

The grade corresponding to the seminars has a global weight of 25% of the final grade.


Evaluation of the exams:

Partial exams:

In this part, the knowledge acquired by the students during the course is evaluated individually, as well as their capacity for analysis and synthesis, and critical reasoning. The exam has part of test questions and other of conceptual questions, schemes, etc.

There are two partial exams of the course, each with a weight of 30% of the overall mark.

Final exam:

Students who do not pass one of the two partial exams (minimum grade: 5 out of 10) can re-asses the exam failed in the final exam. Likewise, students who wish to improve a grade in one or both of the parts can do the final exam, but they will lose the previous grade.

The corresponding grade for each of the two exams weighs 30% of the final grade. To be able to make the average with the other evaluative activities (seminars and practices) the average mark of the two exams must be equal to or greater than 4.


Evaluation of the practices:

Attendance at lab sessions and field practices is mandatory.

After each laboratory practice the students perform an individualized test that assesses the use and achievement of the specific skills of each practice (10% of the final grade).

In this activity there is no chance for re-assessment.

In addition, a final visu test of a list of invertebrate species that students will have seen in theory classes, seminars or practices and must recognize, will be done (5% of the final grade).

In this activity there is no chance for re-assessment.

The overall evaluation of the practices has a weight of 15% of the final grade.


Final considerations:

The minimum global grade needed to pass the course is 5 out of 10.

To be eligible for the retake process, the student should have been previously evaluated in a set of activities equaling at least two thirds of the final score of the course or module. Thus, the student will be graded as "No Avaluable" if the weighthin of all conducted evaluation activities is less than 67% of the final score.


Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Evaluation of laboratory practices and visu exam 15% 1.5 0.06 3, 6, 4, 5, 7, 9, 8
Partial exam I (final exam I) 30% 1.75 0.07 3, 6, 4, 5, 9
Partial exam II (final exam II) 30% 1.75 0.07 3, 4, 5, 9
individual and group-work evaluations at the seminars. 25% 3 0.12 1, 2, 10, 3, 6, 4, 5, 9, 8


Basic Resources:

  • Integrated Principles of Zoology. Hickman, C.Jr., Keen, S., Larson, A., Eisenhour, D., I'Anson, H., Roberts, L., 2020 (última edición: 18ª edición). McGraw-Hill Education, Washington, EEUU. (http: //www.ingebook.com.are.uab.cat/ib/NPcd/IB_Escritorio_Visualizar?cod_primaria=1000193&libro=4152).
  • Invertebrates. Brusca, R.C., Moore, W., Shuster, S.M., 2016 (última edición: 3ª edición). McGraw-Hill Education, Washington, EEUU.
  • Invertebrats no Artròpodes, volumen 8. Història Natural dels Països Catalans. Altaba, C.R., Alòs, C., Alvà, V., Armengol, J., Baguñà, J., et al., 1991. Editorial Enciclopèdia Catalana. Barcelona.
  • Fauna i flora de la mar Mediterrània. Ballesteros, E., Llobet, T., 2015. Editorial Brau. Barcelona.

Complementary resources:

  • I. Complementary theory Textbooks:

    • Anderson, D.T., 2001. Invertebrate Zoology. Oxford University Press. 2ª edición, (referencia en biblioteca UAB: 592 Inv Reimp. 2010).
    • Barnes, R.S.K., 2009. Zoología de los Invertebrados. Editorial MacGraw-Hill/ Interamericana. 7ª edición (referencia en biblioteca UAB: 592 Bar).
    • Barnes, R.S.K., Calow, P., Olive, P.J.W., 1988. The Invertebrates: a new synthesis. Editorial Blackwell Scientific Publications (referencia en biblioteca UAB: 592 Bar).
    • Meglitsch, P.A., Schram, F.R., 1991. Invertebrate Zoology. Oxford University Press, New York (referencia en biblioteca UAB: 592 Meg).
    • Miller, S.A., Harley, J.H., 2015. Zoology. Editorial MacGraw-Hill. 10ª edición (referencia en biblioteca UAB: 59 Mil).
  •  II. Complementary practices Guides and Textbooks:

    • Bergbauer, M., Humberg, B., 2002. Flora y fauna submarina del mar mediterráneo. Ed. Omega.
    • Grassé, P.P., 1982. Manual de Zoología. I. Invertebrados. Ed. Toray-Masson.
    • Munilla, T., 1992. Prácticas de Zoología General I. Invertebrados no Artrópodos. Ed. Oiokos-Tau.
    • Needham, J.G., Needham, P., Altimira, C., 1978. Guía para el estudio de los seres vivos de las aguas dulces. Ed. Reverte.
    • Ocaña, A., Sánchez, L., 2000. Guía submarina de invertebrados no artrópodos. Ed. Comares.
    • Riedl, R., 2000. Fauna y flora del mar Mediterráneo. Omega, Barcelona.
  • III. Consultation web pages:
  • Animal Diversity Web (University of Michigan): https://animaldiversity.org/
  • Discover Life: https://www.discoverlife.org/
  • International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature: https://www.iczn.org/
  • Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (Madrid): https://www.mncn.csic.es/es
  • Natural History Museum (Londres): http://www.nhm.ac.uk/
  • Shape of Life. The Story of the Animal Kingdom (Sea Studios Foundation): https://www.shapeoflife.org/
  • Tree of Life Web Project: http://tolweb.org/tree/
  • University of California Museum of Paleontology (EEUU): https://ucmp.berkeley.edu/
  • World Register of Marine Species:  http://www.marinespecies.org/
  • World Wildlife Foundation: http://www.wwf.es/


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