Animal Biology

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Animal Biology

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Animal Science, Biology, Life Sciences, Zoology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    An introductory survey of the evolution and diversity of animal life. Essential biological principles are illustrated using examples from New Zealand fauna, issues of environmental, social or economic importance, and cutting-edge research developments at the University of Otago.

    Animals live in a hostile world where they must survive in the face of adverse weather and the presence of predators, find resources for body growth and fuel for their activities, and mate and rear their young, passing on genes to future generations. In overcoming the challenges, animals have developed a diversity of body plans, physiological adaptations and life styles. This introductory course surveys the evolution and diversity of animal life. It explores the unifying relationships between form and function among animals from different environments and how animals interact with each other and with their environment. Essential biological principles are illustrated by examples from the New Zealand fauna. Issues of environmental, social or economic importance and cutting-edge research developments at the University of Otago will be discussed. This course is hands-on, with lecture material complemented by practical classes. This paper is a prerequisite for 200 level Zoology papers.

    This paper covers 8 modules:
    -Animal Evolution
    -Animal Physiology
    -Sensory Systems
    -Animal Reproduction
    -Animal Behaviour
    -Animal Interactions

    Learning Outcomes
    -Appreciate and demonstrate the importance of thinking scientifically
    -Understand the diversity of the animal kingdom from evolutionary, functional and interactive perspectives
    -Describe the biological principles addressed in this paper as they relate to these specific perspectives
    -Identify the role of Zoological research in the discipline as it relates to the specific perspectives and biological processes discussed in this paper
    -Appreciate and demonstrate the practical skills required to work effectively and safely in a biological laboratory
    -Analyse issues logically, bearing in mind all viewpoints, and make informed decisions
    -Appreciate the links between disciplines
    -Develop awareness that current knowledge can be limited, uncertain and contested
    -Be aware of the ethical, cultural, social and economic contexts of native animals, introduced animals and harvesting of animals in New Zealand
    -Begin to develop intellectual independence and foster a commitment to lifelong learning
    -Appreciate the need to communicate information and arguments effectively using written and oral skills
    -Understand and demonstrate how to work as part of a team
    -Know how to access information about biological issues
    -Develop confidence and competency in the use of numeracy in everyday situations

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.