LSC-20071 - Animal Adaptations
Coordinator: Victoria Harris Tel: +44 1782 7 33056
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 734414

Programme/Approved Electives for 2020/21


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2020/21

This module is a study of structural and functional adaptations seen in a range of vertebrate and invertebrate animals, to a range of challenges. From water conservation in marine and desert reptiles to respiration of tropical fishes in oxygen-poor waters. From adaptation of muscle anatomy and physiology for peak power in the jumping muscle of the frog to peak speed in rattlesnake shaker muscle. A comparative approach is used to examine immune responses of mammals, birds, primitive vertebrates such as the lamprey, and invertebrates. The module also examines the coordination of responses to an animal¿s internal and external environment by nerves and hormones, focusing on the stress response and reproduction. A series of tutorials and investigations are undertaken to support theory from the lectures.

To introduce students to selected aspects of the structural and functional features shown by a range of animals to enable adaptation to various environmental challenges.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

define the osmotic problem faced by a range of animals and explain the structural and physiological mechanisms they employ to adapt: 1,2
compare and contrast how innate and acquired mechanisms of the immune system are expressed in a range of animal taxa: 1,2,3
review the major endocrine glands and the function of their hormonal products especially in regulation of the stress response and reproduction across a range of animal taxa: 1,2
describe the structure and function of neurones and muscle cells and explain how they are adapted for extraordinary function: 1,2,3
describe the anatomy and physiology of gas exchange and transport mechanisms used by a range of animal taxa to adapt to their respiratory medium:

Study hours

17 hours lectures
18 hours practicals/tutorials
5 hours summative tests
5 hour long online formative tests
105 hours private study

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Online Tasks weighted 20%
Online Class Tests - 5 summative tests worth 4% each
MCQ tests based on knowledge gained through reading the material in the text book that has been assigned for each of the topics in the lecture course. The questions will be released as a timed tests in Blackboard. Students will find a link to each test on the KLE on the day of the assessment. Once started, students will be given 2 hrs to complete each test. This is 1 hour more than we expect most students will actually need. International students will be asked to notify the School if they need an extension due to different time zones.

2: Open Book Examination weighted 70%
Online open book exam
The paper will be released on KLE as a Word document at 9am on the morning of the exam. Students will choose two essays from four titles provided (covering selected aspects of the course). The essays will each be worth 35% of the module mark. Students should answer each question using Word, clearly labelling each question as they provide their answers. Work will be submitted to Turnitin no later than 5pm on the day of release. International students will be asked to notify the School if they need an extension due to different time zones. Although students have been given significant time to complete this exam script, we expect most students to spend no more than 2hrs. Answers should be as accurate and concise as possible. Typical answers would be in the range of 500-750 words per question. We recommend that students do not exceed 750 words per essay-based question as we will be assessing the quality of your answer, not the quantity.

3: Workbook weighted 10%
Online Tutorial Workbooks
Students will submit 3 online tutorial workbooks throughout the module. There will be short answer questions assessing the students knowledge and understanding of online investigations and will include interpretation of given data and discussion of the results.