The University of Southampton
Courses

SOES2011 Marine Vertebrates

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

1. To introduce you to the main vertebrates found in the sea. 2. To understand the faunal characteristics of chordates and vertebrates. 3. To understand the taxonomy of fish, reptiles, birds and mammals. 4. To examine the ecology of marine vertebrates with particular reference to feeding, reproduction, behaviour and migrations.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Describe the characteristics of chordates and vertebrates.
  • Identify the main marine vertebrate taxa.
  • Determine the ecology including migration patterns and behaviour of marine vertebrates.
  • Knowledge of origin of chordates
  • Knowledge of main vertebrate groups
  • Essay and web skills

Syllabus

Topics will include: • Introduction and the characteristics and faunal affinities of marine vertebrates • Fish: taxonomy, ecology, reproduction and behaviour of agnathans, elasmobranchs and teleosts • Reptiles: taxonomy and characteristics, ecology reproduction of turtles, crocodiles and aligators, iguanas and sea snakes • Birds: origin and structure, ecological adaptations of wading, oceanic and flightless birds. • Mammals: characteristics and ecology including behaviour of carnivores including pinnipeds, mustelids and polar bear, dolphins and whales and sirenians.

Special Features

Restricted to Marine Biology students.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Formal lectures: will provide an introduction to the theory underlying the characteristics and faunal affinities of marine vertebrates. Topics covered will include fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Visit: A visit to the Natural History Museum to see representatives of the different types of vertebrates in both whole and skeletonized form. A wide range of support is available for those students who have further or specific learning and teaching needs.

TypeHours
Independent Study102
Practical classes and workshops2
Lecture46
Total study time150

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay 35%
Essay proposal 10%
Examination  (2 hours) 45%
PowerPoint project 10%
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