• Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Biology
  • Areas of interest Evolution and Ecology, Biology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof John Keogh
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2019
    See Future Offerings

Australia is famous the world over for its unique and biodiverse vertebrate animals. You can only see a wild weedy sea dragon, turtle frog, sand goanna, emu or platypus in Australia. This course will provide an introduction to global vertebrate diversity, put Australian vertebrates in an evolutionary context, and consider recent research advances in Australian vertebrate biology through interactive lectures, lab practicals and workshops. Groups covered will include fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Lab practicals will focus on biodiversity through hands-on learning about key features of structure and function. Workshops will focus on topical research questions on the ecology, evolution and conservation of vertebrate animals. The course is designed to complement the other whole-organism third year courses in evolution and ecology.

Learning Outcomes

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

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Critically examine the origin and diversification history of vertebrate animals, with a particular focus on Australian vertebrates, through lectures and practicals; 
  2. Critically examine and describe the major patterns of biodiversity of vertebrate animals, with a particular focus on Australian vertebrates, through lectures and practicals;
  3. Demonstrate an advanced understanding and appreciation of how detailed natural history knowledge facilitates research through lectures and apply and demonstrate this knowledge in workshops;
  4. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the diversity of ANU's research on Australian vertebrate animals through lectures and workshops and apply this knowledge through a group presentation.

Indicative Assessment

Exam 1 on lecture & practical component of course (35%: LO 1-2)
Exam 2 on lecture & discussion component of course (35%: LO 3-4)
Group presentation (30%: LO 4)

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2 Lectures and up to three hours of practical or workshop each week.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enroll in the course you must have successfully completed BIOL1009 Diversity of Life and BIOL2114 Evolution, or have permission of the convener. This course is incompatible with BIOL2111 Australian Vertebrates or BIOL6111.



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
2019 $3840
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $5460
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

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
8882 22 Jul 2019 29 Jul 2019 31 Aug 2019 25 Oct 2019 In Person View

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