2021-2022 Catalog 
    Jun 25, 2024  
2021-2022 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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BIOL 115 - Zoology

4 Credit: (3 lecture, 2 lab, 0 clinical) 5 Contact Hours: [Reading Level 3  and Writing Level 3  and Math Level 2 ]

This course introduces students to the diversity of invertebrates and vertebrates in Kingdom Animalia. Animal cell chemistry and structure along with genetics and evolutionary processes will be introduced. Major phyla will be explored with an emphasis on identification and taxonomy. Students will learn about the development, anatomy, and physiology of major phyla through the use of dissection in a laboratory setting. A portion of the class will focus on animals native to Michigan and completion of an invertebrate collection.
OFFERED: even-year spring semesters

Course Goals/ Objectives/ Competencies:
Goal 1:  Explain the basis of animal life at the atomic and molecular levels.


  1. Define atom, element, molecule, and compound.
  2. Describe the structure of an atom using the periodic table of elements.
  3. Distinguish between covalent, hydrogen, and ionic bonds.
  4. Describe the roles of acids, bases, and buffers in the animal body.
  5. Compare the structure and functions of carbohydrate, protein, lipid, and nucleic acid molecules in the animal body.

Goal 2:  Explain the basis of animal life in terms of cellular structure, function, and respiration.


  1. Describe the structural hierarchy of multicellular animals.
  2. Describe the structure and size of eukaryotic cells.
  3. Explain the how the function of a cell membrane is a result of its structure.
  4. Describe methods of transporting material across a cell membrane.
  5. List the function(s) of each of the eukaryotic cell’s organelles.
  6. Explain how the structure of a tissue is responsible for its function.
  7. Identify the organelles within a cell.
  8. Identify the four main animal tissues.
  9. Describe the structure and function of an enzyme.
  10. Explain the role and importance of ATP to animal life.
  11. Describe cellular respiration (aerobic and anaerobic) in animal cells.

Goal 3:  Relate the processes of animal cell division, genetics, and cell development.


  1. Describe a chromosome.
  2. Describe the cell cycle, including all four phases of mitosis.
  3. Contrast the processes of mitosis and meiosis.
  4. Compare the structure and function of DNA and RNA.
  5. Describe the process of copying (replication and transcription) and translating DNA.
  6. Describe typical dominant-recessive inheritance pattern.
  7. Describe alternative inheritance patterns like multiple alleles and codominance.
  8. Compare asexual and sexual reproduction strategies.
  9. Describe the steps of development from embryo to fetus.
  10. Contrast development between primitive and advanced animals.
  11. Identify mitosis and developmental stages.

Goal 4:  Use the theories of evolution and natural selection to explain animal diversity.


  1. Define evolution, natural selection, species, taxonomy, and cladistics.
  2. Describe how the theory of evolution by natural selection was developed.
  3. Explain the process of natural selection.
  4. Cite examples of evidence used by Darwin and other scientists to support the theory of evolution.
  5. Describe mechanisms of genetic change.
  6. Discuss what is necessary for speciation to occur and how quickly this may happen.
  7. Explain how taxonomy relates to zoological classification.
  8. Distinguish animals from other organisms at the Domain and Kingdom taxonomic levels.
  9. Describe common patterns of cell and tissue organization used to distinguish between the oldest animal phyla.

Goal 5:  Relate the structural characteristics of different animal phyla to their classification, habitat, and behavior.

Objectives: For Phyla Porifera, Cnidaria, Platyhelminthes, Nematoda, Mollusca, Annelida, Arthropoda, Echinodermata, Hemichordata, and Chordata…

  1. Describe patterns of organization (symmetry, tissue development and layers, coelom, segmentation, etc).
  2. Describe the external surface, musculature, and skeletal features.
  3. Describe how gases and nutrients are exchanged and circulated.
  4. Identify the reproductive strategies.
  5. Identify major anatomical structures in dissected or preserved specimens.
  6. Relate the previous structural features and strategies (2-4) to the animal’s habitat and behavior.
  7. Discuss any important ecological roles or conservation issues.
  8. Compare and contrast the animal phyla.
  9. Compare and contrast the chordate classes.

Goal 6:  Apply ecological principles to demonstrate an understanding of animal interactions with each other and with the environment.


  1. Describe how the environment affects growth of animal populations.
  2. Describe how the environment influences interactions between animals.
  3. Describe how animals use the resources in their environment (cycles).
  4. Describe how behavior is controlled in animals.
  5. Describe types of animal behavior, using examples from nature.

Goal 7:  Demonstrate proper use of laboratory tools and procedures.


  1. Identify the major parts of a microscope.
  2. Indicate the functions of the major parts of a microscope.
  3. Correctly place and focus a slide on the microscope stage.
  4. Prepare a wet mount.
  5. Calculate total magnification.
  6. Make measurements using the metric system.
  7. Weigh items using the electronic balance.
  8. Measure solutions accurately using a graduated cylinder.
  9. Use dissecting equipment (macro and micro) properly.
  10. Identify organisms using a dichotomous key.
  11. Create cladograms.
  12. Identify common lab equipment (see full-time faculty for list).

Goal 8:  Demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method.


  1. Define hypothesis, theory, law, independent variable, dependent variable, and control.
  2. Describe the steps of the scientific process (method).
  3. List characteristics of good scientific methodology and experimentation.
  4. Identify variables, controls, and constants in a given experiment.
  5. Interpret data presented in different formats (text, table, graph, etc.).
  6. Draw valid conclusions from data.
  7. Write a clear and organized lab report.

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