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The University of Southampton

SOES2011 Marine Vertebrates

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Describe the characteristics of chordates and marine vertebrates.
  • Identify the main marine vertebrate taxa.
  • Determine the ecology including migration patterns and behaviour of marine vertebrates.


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.

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.

Practical classes and workshops2
Independent Study102
Total study time150



MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment 50%
Essay 50%


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


There are no additional costs associated with this module.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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