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Syllabus -Introduction to Biology and Evolution of Organisms - 72126

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Last update 04-11-2015
HU Credits: 2

Degree/Cycle: 1st degree (Bachelor)

Responsible Department: life sciences

Semester: 1st Semester

Teaching Languages: Hebrew

Campus: E. Safra

Course/Module Coordinator: Ariel Chipman

Coordinator Email:

Coordinator Office Hours: By appointment, Berman building, room 208

Teaching Staff:

Course/Module description:
An introductory to the diversity of the animal kingdom and to princiles of organismic biology. The course presents the various taxonomic groups and their characteristics, while using the different groups to demonstrate general principles of organization of the body and its systems.

Course/Module aims:
To give an organismic basis to the study of biology in general. To develop organismic and evolutionary thinking.

Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
- To identify the main animal taxa at the Phylum and Class levels.
- To predict organismic function based on morphology.
- To place various organisms on teh phylogenetic tree of teh animal kingdom.
- To appreciate the importance of understanding the whole organism in all branches of Life Sciences

Attendance requirements(%):

Teaching arrangement and method of instruction: Lectures. Computerized exercises.

Course/Module Content:
1) Biological hierarchies. Different levels of complexity in biology. Taxonomic levels and taxonomical nomenclature. Different definitions of species. Genes are involved at different levels of complexity. Evolution acts through changes in genes at different levels.
2) Changes in species: Speciation. Phylogenetic trees structure and meaning. Basic evolutionary terminology: homology, convergence, parallelism, divergence.
3) An introduction to organismic function and basic needs. What systems does an organism need to survive? Unicellular organisms. Multicellularity. Sponges (Porifera). Sexual vs. asexual reproduction. Is sexual reproduction a good idea?
4) Germ layers. Animals with two germ layers (diploblasts). Cnidaria and Ctenophora. Integument structure and function. Digestive system structure and function.
5) Solitary vs. colonial organisms. Examples from cnidarians. Sessile vs. sedentary vs. motile organisms.
6) Sensory organs and nervous systems. Cephalization. The evolution of bilateral symmetry and of triploblasty. What is a worm? The Cambrian explosion. The diversity of Bilateria.
7) Progressive evolution vs. secondary simplification. The evolution of parasitism. Platyhelminthes.
8) Respiratory systems and circulatory systems. The importance of being the right size. The coelom as a major support system. Annelida and other worms. Segmentation.
9) Mollusca. Larvae vs. direct development. Life history. Internal and external skeletons. Muscles and movement.
10) Ecdysozoa. Arthropoda. The diversity of arthropods. The evolution of segmentation.
11) The move to terrestrial life. Excretory systems. Insecta structure, diversity and evolutionary success.
12) Basic principles of embryonic development. Cleavage patterns. Gastrulation patterns. Deuterostomia major groups and evolution.
13) Body organization in vertebrates. Vertebrate embryology and the transition to the adult body plan. Main body systems in vertebrates.
14) Vertebrate diversity. Vertebrate evolutionary history.

Required Reading:
Invertebrates Moore, J, An Introduction to the invertebrates 2nd edition (2006)
Life (9) Sadava, Hillis, Heller & Berenbaum, Life The Science of Biology 9th edition - International (2009)
Additional reading material (in Hebrew) on the course website

Additional Reading Material:

Course/Module evaluation:
End of year written/oral examination 70 %
Presentation 0 %
Participation in Tutorials 0 %
Project work 0 %
Assignments 30 %
Reports 0 %
Research project 0 %
Quizzes 0 %
Other 0 %

Additional information:
Students needing academic accommodations based on a disability should contact the Center for Diagnosis and Support of Students with Learning Disabilities, or the Office for Students with Disabilities, as early as possible, to discuss and coordinate accommodations, based on relevant documentation.
For further information, please visit the site of the Dean of Students Office.