Viewing Unit History

The information below is relevant from 06/03/2017 to 12/07/2020
Click Here to view current information

ZOOL19002 - Australian Vertebrate Biology

General Information

Unit Synopsis

In this unit, you will trace the evolutionary development of that very diverse group: the chordates; from those early non-vertebrate "fish" to the most modern apes (humans) through both the study of theory and the examination of biological material. Emphasis will be placed on the interrelated aspects of structure and function, but their ecology and diverse behaviours also will be studied, and all in the context of an evolving Earth.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 2
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Prerequisites: ZOOL11005 Foundation Animal Biology OR (BIOL11099 Living Systems AND BIOL11100 Functional Biology)

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School Compulsory Residential School
View Unit Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 1 - 2020

Term 2 - 2021 Profile
Mixed Mode
Term 2 - 2022 Profile
Mixed Mode

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 25%
2. Practical Assessment 25%
3. Examination 50%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

To view Past Exams, please login
Previous Feedback

Term 2 - 2021 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 4.8 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 66.67% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Have Your Say
The residential school was excellent and improved student engagement and learning.
The residential school in this year's offering was updated from 3 days of animal dissections in the lab to an immersive, 3-day field campaign studying Australian vertebrates and vertebrate evolution at the Capricorn Caves with experts from CQUni, the Queensland Museum and the Caves. The recommendation is to keep the residential school as the 3-day field campaign at Capricorn Caves.
Action Taken
Source: Have Your Say
Better response time to email communications
Students will be instructed to include "ZOOL19002" in the subject line of any email so that it can be easily found/filtered and responded to more promptly.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Comprehend the evolution of chordates
  2. Comprehend the basic phylogenetic relationships of the major groups of vertebrates
  3. Comprehend and analyse the adaptive changes that have occurred in aquatic vertebrates
  4. Comprehend and analyse the changes in homologous structures which accompanied the invasion of terrestrial habitats by vertebrates
  5. Recognise, describe, and point out the external and internal features that characterise the major groups of modern day vertebrates
  6. Recognise and describe the basic microscopic anatomy of chordates
  7. Relate and analyse a chordate's structural and functional features in relation to its habitat
  8. Demonstrate the results of additional reading around the subject
  9. Communicate knowledge and findings clearly both orally and in writing.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Practical Assessment
3 - Examination
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Practical Assessment
3 - Examination