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Vertebrate Biology II

Code: MA123     Acronym: BV_II

Classification Keyword
OFICIAL General and Aquatic Biology

Instance: 2018/2019 - 4T (of 23-04-2019 to 14-06-2019)

Active? Yes
Responsible unit: Aquatic Production
Course/CS Responsible: First Cycle Degree (BSc) in Aquatic Sciences

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
LCMA 32 Oficial Plan 2018 1 - 5 49 135

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
António Manuel dos Santos Afonso

Teaching - Hours

Theoretical classes: 3,00
Laboratory Practice: 4,00
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Theoretical classes Totals 1 3,00
Augusto Manuel Rodrigues Faustino 0,14
António Manuel dos Santos Afonso 2,43
Benjamin Costas Refojos 0,43
Laboratory Practice Totals 2 8,00
Benjamin Costas Refojos 0,57
António Manuel dos Santos Afonso 6,85
Augusto Manuel Rodrigues Faustino 0,57

Teaching language



The students of the Course of the Aquatic Sciences, had a previous discipline Biology of Vertebrates I, where aspects related with evolution of the life in the hearth and the aspects on morphology are discussed, including: Systematic, embryology, skeletal, muscular, digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems. In Comparative Anatomy, an initial overview is given about the historical facts, which mark its importance to the biological Sciences. Following on, studies the structure, morphology, functional interpretation, origin and evolution of the organs and/or systems: Excretory system and osmoregulation; reproductive system and urogenital ducts; nervous system; sensory organs, endocrine glands and immunologic system. Finally it is made the integration of the different systems and organs, including those that had been studied in the Biology of Vertebrates I, giving a functional vision of organism of the vertebrates, debating the characteristics of its structural elements, its participation in the movement and of its relation with the environment and of the importance of this relation for its survival.

Learning outcomes and competences

Students who attended this course, stayed with skills in areas such as biological, developmental biology, morphology and physiology of vertebrates, in particular with respect to cutaneous systems, excretory, reproductive, nervous, and endocrine organs.

Working method



The History of Comparative Anatomy (Plato and Aristotle contributions; William Harvey, Malpighi; Linnaeus and the binomial system of classification; the European school and the “scala naturae”; Darwing, the evolutionism and fixism; concepts of homology and analogy). Excretory and water balance system (ontogeny; holonephros, mesonephros and metanephros; urinary ducts, urinary bladder; water balance). Reproductive system (ovary, testis, reproductive ducts in males and females; fertilization; parental cares; sexual cycles and endocrine regulation). Nervous system (neuron morphology and physiology; myelin, synapse; structure and development; cranial and spinal nerves; Autonomic nervous system). Sense organs (fundamental characteristics; different kind of receptors; olfactory organs, eyes, statoacoustic system, lateral line system, the inner ear; ophidian tip organ). Endocrine glands (hormones and hormonal regulation; hypophysis, thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas, adrenal glands, gastrointestinal hormones, pineal, thymus, urophysis). Immunologic system: Organs, cells and humoral factors involved in mechanisms against infection. Integration (integration mechanisms of nervous and endocrine systems in the regulation of life and in the relationship with environment).

Mandatory literature

Hildebrand Milton; Analysis of vertebrate structure. ISBN: 0-471-29505-1
Webster Douglas; Comparative vertebrate morphology. ISBN: 0-12-740850-9
Kent George C.; Comparative anatomy of the vertebrates. ISBN: 0-8016-6237-0

Complementary Bibliography

Almaça Carlos; Evolutionism
Hecht Max K. ed.; Evolutionary biology. ISBN: 0-306-35409-8

Teaching methods and learning activities

The classic methods are applied in this discipline, including: tutorials with audio-visual support, followed by practical lectures in laboratory, using macro and microscopic techniques.

Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation with final exam

Assessment Components

Designation Weight (%)
Exame 50,00
Participação presencial 10,00
Trabalho escrito 40,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

Designation Time (hours)
Apresentação/discussão de um trabalho científico 1,00
Estudo autónomo 50,00
Frequência das aulas 49,00
Trabalho de campo 10,00
Trabalho de investigação 9,00
Trabalho laboratorial 16,00
Total: 135,00

Eligibility for exams

Students should have at least the frequency of 3/4 of the classes taught.

Calculation formula of final grade

The evaluation is done on a continuous basis through seminars (10% of grade) and supplemented by written and oral presentation of group work (40% of grade) and a final exam, with theoretical and practical part (50% of note).

Examinations or Special Assignments

Group work performed by 2-3 students with version written and oral presentation.


Special assessment (TE, DA, ...)

Continuous assessment is made by the presence and activity and by seminar presentation (10% of the total grade). Final evaluation also includes presentation of group work (40% of the total grade) and one written final exam (50% of total score), with both theoretical and practical.


Classification improvement

Improving classification is according to the general rules of UP.

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