INTRODUCTION TO HERPETOLOGY

INTRODUCTION TO HERPETOLOGY

_
iten
Code
34041
ACADEMIC YEAR
2019/2020
CREDITS
2 credits during the 2nd year of 10589 CONSERVAZIONE E GESTIONE DELLA NATURA (LM-60) GENOVA

2 credits during the 2nd year of 9916 ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAL SCIENCES (L-32) GENOVA

SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR
BIO/05
LANGUAGE
Italian
TEACHING LOCATION
GENOVA (CONSERVAZIONE E GESTIONE DELLA NATURA)
semester
2° Semester
Teaching materials

OVERVIEW

INTRODUCTION TO HERPETOLOGY is a zoological course of 2 ECTS. The course treats the main characteristics of amphibians and reptiles and develops in depth the reproductive strategies of these zoological groups.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Active participation to proposed training activities (lectures, technical visits and laboratory activities) together with the individual study will allow the student to

- understand the main biological characteristics of amphibians and reptiles (ecology, distribution)

- understand the evolutionary relationships of these animals

- apply the knowledge to the identification of amphibians and reptiles of Liguria

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

Active participation to proposed training activities (lectures, technical visits and laboratory activities) together with the individual study will allow the student to

- understand the main biological characteristics of amphibians and reptiles (ecology, distribution)

- understand the evolutionary relationships of these animals

- apply the knowledge to the identification of amphibians and reptiles of Liguria

PREREQUISITES

The following basic knowledge is necessary to effectively address the teaching content:

  • nomenclature and zoological systematics
  • anatomy of amphbians and reptiles
  • evolution of amphbians and reptiles

Teaching methods

The teaching consists of lectures, for a total of about 12 hours, practical lab activity for 4/5 hours, technical field visit to the Natural History Museum for a total of 18/20 hours. Attendance at lessons and practical activities is not mandatory. The laboratory is held by the official  teacher. In the practical laboratory activities, students in pairs have at their disposal a binocular stereoscope and personal copies of the dichotomous recognition keys (the latter supplied by the teacher). Students must identify preserved specimens of amphbians and reptiles of Liguria. Each identification is immediately confirmed by the teacher. The organization and dates of laboratory activities are communicated directly through Aul@web. Technical visits and field activities are always conducted by the teacher in charge.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

 

General introduction (structure and contents of the course; Aul@ web and resources, importance of the technical visits and laboratories, methods of examination)

Characteristics of amphibians and reptiles

Egg structure

Fecundation

Parental cares: definition

Active and passive nest defense

Egg and larvae transport

Juvenile feeding

Egg brooding

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

All presentations shown in class are available to students on Aul@web, as well as other educational material not covered by copyright. The volumes recommended for further information are available at the Science School library. During the laboratories and field activities guides and handbooks are provided to the students by the teacher.

Recommended books

Zoologia dei Vertebrati. Pough, Janis e Heiser (2001). CEA Casa Editrice Ambrosiana

Biology of amphibians. Diuellman, Trueb, (1994). McGraw Hill Publishing.

Herpetology: An Introductory Biology of Amphibians and Reptiles. Vitt, Caldwell (2013). Academic Press.

The Ecology and Behavior of Amphibians. Wells (2007). University of Chicago, Press.

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Ricevimento: Teacher available on request.

Exam Board

SEBASTIANO SALVIDIO (President)

GIORGIO BAVESTRELLO

LESSONS

Teaching methods

The teaching consists of lectures, for a total of about 12 hours, practical lab activity for 4/5 hours, technical field visit to the Natural History Museum for a total of 18/20 hours. Attendance at lessons and practical activities is not mandatory. The laboratory is held by the official  teacher. In the practical laboratory activities, students in pairs have at their disposal a binocular stereoscope and personal copies of the dichotomous recognition keys (the latter supplied by the teacher). Students must identify preserved specimens of amphbians and reptiles of Liguria. Each identification is immediately confirmed by the teacher. The organization and dates of laboratory activities are communicated directly through Aul@web. Technical visits and field activities are always conducted by the teacher in charge.

LESSONS START

lessons are programmed durig the second semester, from February to June 2020

EXAMS

Exam description

Methods of examination are available on Aul@web in the course presentation slides.
The exam is unique but consists of an oral (discussion of the topics of the program) and a written test (three open questions).
There will be 2 appeals for the winter session (mid-January-February) and 5 appeals for the summer session (June, July and September). No extraordinary appeals will be granted outside the periods indicated, with the exception of out-of-course students.

Assessment methods

The exam preparation methods are explained in the first introductory class, which is available like all the other presentations on Aul@web. In addition, in the classroom at the end of the main topics, students' level of understanding is verified through the use of online questionnaires made through the Kahoot platform. Because students participate anonymously, it is actually a self-assessment; the teacher is however able to detect general trends and clarify any problems arising in the class. The oral exam will focus on the topics covered during the lectures and will have the purpose to evaluate not only if the student has reached an adequate level of knowledge, but also if he has acquired the ability to link the different topics together providing a unified interpretation of the topic discussed. 

Exam schedule

Date Time Location Type Notes
16/09/2020 09:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale

FURTHER INFORMATION

Participating to laboratory activities is strongly recommended