Comparative Anatomy

Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
First Semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (48 hours)

The course does not have prerequisites, however, knowledge of cytology and his-tology are indispensable to complete the course successfully.

Final Examination: 

The number of calls for the exam is planned by the Degree Course. The evaluation of learning will be carried out by oral examination. The student will be asked ques-tions to understand not only his level of understanding of the topics of the course, but also his ability to process the knowledge acquired during the course and to make connections with what was studied in the course of Cytology and Histology. To pass the exam, the student must demonstrate knowledge of the main stages of embryonic development, the evolution of vertebrates and of the main anatomical structures. The criteria used for the evaluation are the congruity of answers to the question asked, the terminology used and the ability to link topics together.

Voto Finale

Learning objectives
The course of Comparative Anatomy aims to provide an integrated view of the embryonic development of vertebrates and of the main morphological, structural and evolutionary characteristics. The knowledge that the students will acquire are:
- The main stages of embryonic development of the vertebrate
- Evolutionary history of the main anatomical structures of vertebrates through the description of the main anatomical features of the various vertebrate taxa.
- Common or divergent characteristics of the anatomical structures of dif-ferent vertebrate groups.
The course gives the students the base necessary for understanding the physiolog-ical processes, the developmental biology and evolutionary biology.

Learning outcome
Specifically, at the end of the course, the student will be able to:

- understand the modalities by which the organs and apparatus are formed during embryonic development of vertebrates;
-understand the relationship between morphology of organs and apparatus with the evolutionary process of vertebrates;
-relate the morphology of organs and apparatuses with their respective properties and functions.

During the course, the following topics will be addressed:

-Introductory topics, evolutionary and embryonic development aspects (Evo-Devo)
-Tegument and skin appendages
-The notochord, the cartilaginous skeleton and properties.
-Respiratory system: branch, lung, and homologous evolution. Gaseous exchanges through unvisited organs responsible for breathing.
-Blood, lymph and vessels: hematopoiesis, angiogenesis and vasculogenesis
-Cardiovascular system: evolution of the heart, evolution of the two distinct circuits (pulmonary and systemic).
-Gastrointestinal system and large digestive glands
-Male and female reproductive system.
-Central nervous system: cephalization, development of brain and spinal cord and their functions
-Peripheral nervous system: sensory and motor nerves.
-Autonomic nervous system: control of visceral functions by the two antagonist systems. Organization of ganglia.


The teaching activity includes lectures during which the lecturer will illustrate the topics of the course through the use of presentation projected in the classroom and will stimulate the students to actively participate in the lesson through questions that have the aim of bringing the student to process the information acquired during the course.

The professor is available for meetings with students for in-depth study or clarification of the topics covered, by appointment by phone or via e-mail (