• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject Biological Anthropology
  • Areas of interest Anthropology

This is both a practically oriented course designed to equip biological anthropology and archaeology students, in a laboratory setting, with the fundamental skills involved in identifying faunal remains, especially those of mammals, in terms of body part and taxonomy; and at the same time it is a fairly detailed introduction to comparative mammalian biology. Building on BIAN6517 (Human Skeletal Analysis), the practical part of the course focuses on the bones and teeth of the native and introduced mammals of Australia and an in-depth treatment of the non-human primates. The part of the course dealing with mammalian biology and general puts Australian mammals and nonhuman primates into a general mammalian context, surveying the Mammalia and the full range of variation to be found within the class, and its meaning in the context of the skeletal remains which were the subject of the practical part of the course.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1. Remembering: students will be expected to recognise and identify (giving reasons) the bones and teeth of the mammals treated in the course, down at least to generic level. 

2. Understanding: students will compare the remains of the different taxa of mammals, interpret them, and explain why they differ. 

3. Applying: students will demonstrate their ability to transfer their skills to a practical context. 

4. Analysing: students will be able to analyse mammalian remains both to differentiate the taxa concerned, and to place them in an overall biological context. 

5. Evaluating: Students will assess the differences between different mammalian taxa, argue functional and phylogenetic considerations, and justify their conclusions. 

6. Creating: students will develop an understanding of the mammals in general, and be able to generate phylogenetic arguments.

Indicative Assessment

One short presentation (10%, 15-20 mins; Learning Outcomes 2,4,5), one short essay or report (10%, 450-500 words; Learning Outcomes 4,5,6), one 2-hour practical examination (80%; Learning Outcomes 1,3).

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Normally offered every year
One two-hour lecture, one two-hour guided and supervised practical, and at least four hours of unsupervised practical per week for 12 weeks. Two hours of private study per week is expected.

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously comple BIAN 3016

Prescribed Texts

None prescribed, but several books cover parts of the course, and all will be recommended to the class on the Wattle site.



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3480
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $4638
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9473 23 Jul 2018 30 Jul 2018 31 Aug 2018 26 Oct 2018 In Person N/A

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