Course code Biol1019

Credit points 4.50

Animal Biology, Ecology and Ethology I

Additional course materialsērsts saturs.pdf

Total Hours in Course120

Number of hours for lectures48

Number of hours for laboratory classes12

Independent study hours60

Date of course confirmation03.12.2014

Responsible UnitPreclinical Institute

Course developers

author Preklīniskais institūts

Gunārs Pētersons

Dr. biol.


Oskars Keišs

Dr. biol.

Replaced course

BiolB003 [GBIOB003] Animal Biology, Ecology and Ethology I

Course abstract

Animal biology, ecology and ethology is an introductory course providing insights in general principles of the basic structure and functions of animal body and basic physiological processes, as well as their evolution. The course also covers taxonomic diversity of the animal kingdom, basic principles of ecology, the role of animals in ecosystem processes and information of the impact of humans on ecosystems (particularly agriculture and animal husbandry)

Learning outcomes and their assessment

• knowledge on structure and physiological processes of animals of different taxonomic groups; on diversity of the kingdom of animals and on the role of animals in ecosystems. 3 tests
• skills to search for information, with an emphasis on scientific articles and skills to analyze the information found. 2 presentations
competence to evaluate the importance of wild animals in the protection of animal and public health and in the protection of environment, to be competent and to be able to find information on the taxonomic status of different animal species.2 presentations, 3 tests

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Classification of organisms. Distinction between plants and animals. The theory of the natural selection. Concept of species in zoology. Mechanisms of movement. Metabolism. Anabolic and catabolic pathways. Anaerobic and aerobic respiration. 3 lectures. 2. Nutrition. Ingestion,digestion,resorbtion. Respiration. Respiratory organs. Osmoregulation. Excretion. Nitrogenous waste products. Thermoregulation.3 lectures. 3. Circulation. Reproduction. Neural and humoral regulation.3 lectures. 4. Zoogeography. Development of postglacial fauna in the territory of Latvia. Test 1 General biology.3 lectures. 5. Protozoans. Sponges (poriferans). Cnidarians. Flatworms. 3 lectures. 6. Nematodes. Annelides. Phylum Arthropoda. Arachnoids, crustaceans, millipedes, centipedes and insects.3 lectures. 7. Molluscs. Echinoderms. Chordates. Cephalochordata and Urochordata. Origin of vertebrates. Cyclostomates. 3 lectures. 8. Cartilagous and bony fish. Origin and characteristics of amphibians. 3 lectures. 9. Amniotes. Reptilians. Birds. Mammals.3 lectures. 10. Latvian fauna of mammals. Bats. History of the domestication. Nature protection International and Latvian legislation.3 lectures. 11. History and methods in ecology. Test 2 Systematic zoology.3 lectures. 12. Evolutionary ecology. Impact of diseases and pathogens on evolution.3 lectures. 13. Relationships between organisms: mutualism, predation, competition.3 lectures. 14. Primary and secondary productivity. Succession and distribution of species.3 lectures. 15. Cycling of P, N, C, pollution, eutrophication, greenhouse effect.3 lectures. 16. Biological diversity and its protection. Climate change. Test 3 Ecology. 3 lectures.

Requirements for awarding credit points

Students have to pass three tests and to present two presentations.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

During the semester students have to prepare a presentation on the self-defined topic, what is agreed by the teacher. The presentations are presented and discussed with group member during practicals.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

The minimum number of points per test is 21, the maximum number of point is 40. The number of points obtained from three tests are used to calculate the grade of the exam in spring session. The evaluation of presentations are “passed” or “unpassed”. The presentations “unpassed” must be improved and presented again during the semester. The students get the evaluation „passed” at the end of semester if all three tests are passed and two presentations are presented..

Compulsory reading

Reece J. B., Urry L.A., Cain M.L., Wasserman S.A., Minorsky P.V. Campbell Biology. 11th edition. Benjamin Cummings. 2016. 1488 p. 2. Dogels V. Bezmugurkaulnieku zooloģija. Rīga: Zvaigzne,1986. 556 lpp. 3. Krebs C. J. Ecology: the experimental analysis of Distribution and abundance. 6th edition. Pearson International edition. San Francisco: Benjamin Cummings. 2009. 656 p. 4. Melecis V. Ekoloģija. Rīga: LU apgāds, 2011. 352 lpp. 5. Naumovs N., Kartašovs N. Mugurkaulnieku zooloģija. Rīga: Zvaigzne, 1990. 528 lpp.

Further reading

1. Claus W., Claus C. Zoologie für Tiermediziner. 1. Auflage. Enke. 2004. 222 S. 2. Storch V., Welsch U., Remane A. Systematische Zoologie. 6. Auflage. Spektrum Akademischer Verlag. 2003. 853 S. 3. Ville C. A., W.F.Walker, R.D.Barnes. General Zoology. 5th ed. Philadelphia: W.B.Saunders Co, 1978. 980 p. 4. Wehner R., Gehring W., Kühn, A. Zoologie. 24. Auflage. Georg Thieme Verlag, 2007. 861 S. 5. Westheide W., Rieger R. M. Spezielle Zoologie 2: Wirbeltiere. 1. Auflage. Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, 2003. 712 S. 6. Westheide W., Rieger R. M. Spezielle Zoologie 1: Einzeller und Wirbellose Tiere. 2. Auflage. Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, 2006. 976 S.


Compulsory course of study programme Veterinary medicine