units

ESC2032

Faculty of Science

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Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

LevelUndergraduate
FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton Second semester 2010 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Jeffrey Stilwell

Synopsis

Investigates evolutionary patterns of Gondwana fauna, for 3.8 billion years. Topics: origin of life, metazoan origins in late Precambrian, Cambrian 'explosion' of shelled organisms, rapid evolution and mass extinctions (acritarchs, dinosaurs), biologic effect extraterrestrial impacts, vulcanism, changing climate and geography (impact of developing aridity on biota, 'Snowball Earth' metazoan origins), origin of major animal groups (molluscs, marsupials). Emphasis on strengths/weaknesses of interpretive methods and how complex science can be presented to a wide audience. Optional Field Trip.

Objectives

On completion of this unit students will be able to characterise the comparative anatomy of the major vertebrate groups, use vertebrates as geological time pieces, have an understanding about how the major animal groups evolved, and about how environments have changed through time, about major extinction events, and about diet and habitat preferences of extinct animals.

Assessment

Essay (2000 words)+ Seminar: 30%
Examination (2 hour): 30%
Laboratory work: 40%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Jeffrey Stilwell

Contact hours

Two 1-hour lectures and one 3-hour practical per week

Prerequisites

24 points of level one units

Prohibitions

ESC3232