Module title: Life of Mammals

SCQF level: 09:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: ENV09100
Module leader: Paul Ward
School School of Applied Sciences
Subject area group: Animal and Plant Science

There are no pre-requisites for this module to be added

2019/0, Trimester 2, Face-to-Face, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: Face-to-Face
Location of delivery: SIGHTHILL
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Paul Ward
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
LT Methods
This module is delivered as a series of lectures and associated practical sessions that serve to provide a broad but detailed knowledge and understanding of mammalian evolution, physiology and ecology along with some of the skills required in the study of this group. Each lecture addresses a specific taxonomic group and investigates the evolution, ecology, biogeography, anatomy and physiology specific to that group as well as in contrast to a wider, general mammalian pattern as stated in LO's 1,2,3 & 5 above. Specific lectures also cover the methods of studying and working with mammals and include careful consideration of issues of personal Health & Safety (LO 4 above). Practical classes held at Edinburgh Zoo and the Edinburgh Museum are used to reinforce lecture material and address the ways in which scientific information can be widely disseminated to a general public audience (LO 6 above).

Formative Assessment:
The University is currently undertaking work to improve the quality of information provided on methods of assessment and feedback. Please refer to the section on Learning and Teaching Approaches above for further information about this module’s learning, teaching and assessment practices, including formative and summative approaches.

Summative Assessment:
Students also address these topics alongside a critical reflection of the zoo environment (at Edinburgh Zoo) where they are asked to demonstrate their understanding by determining the relevance, accuracy and importance of educational material in this environment and applying their knowledge to modify the structure of this material and the design of the zoo. This comprises a coursework assessment; the other assessment is an examination that addresses a broad range of topics covered in lecture material.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 22
Face To Face Practical classes and workshops 28
Independent Learning Guided independent study 148
Face To Face Centrally Time Tabled Examination 2
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Report 40 6 11 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 1500
Centrally Time Tabled Examination 60 1-5 14/15 HOURS= 2, WORDS= 0
Component 1 subtotal: 40
Component 2 subtotal: 60
Module subtotal: 100

Description of module content:

Definition of a mammal; origins of homeothermy, impact of placentation, advances in sensory acuity. Origins of mammals - reptilian ancestry, changes to skull and jaw, changes to appendicular skeleton, dentition. Early mammals - trituberculates and morganucodontids; the uncertain origins and affinities of monotremes. Metatherians - why they are not anachronisms, the adaptive nature of their reproductive physiology and development; metatherian biogeography. Eutherian evolutionary patterns - Afrotheria, Laurasiatheria, Euarchontoglires. Insectivores - the challenges of small size, thermal energetics. Chiroptera - challenges and mechanics of flight - more thermal energetics; echolocation. Carnivora - carnassial dentition, feliform and caniform families, biogeography and evolution, physiology of hibernation and torpor. Artiodactyla and Perrisodactyls - herbivory as a lifestyle, costs and benefits of ruminant and non-ruminant digestive physiologies, horns and antlers, sexual selection and mating system plasticity. Primates - evolution and diversity, primate societies, color and the independent multiple evolution of trichromatic vision, tool use and cultural Lamarkianism. Human evolution - tempo and mode, origin of bipedalism - hominid or human? Cetaceans - case studies of 4 species concentrating on communication, feeding ecology, life history, reproductive biology, social organisation and behaviour.

Learning Outcomes for module:

LO1: Demonstrate a clear understanding of the definition and taxonomic range of mammals
LO2: Evaluate the impacts of taxon specific physiologies and ecologies on the life styles of mammals
LO3: Interpret the wider implications of size on aspects of physiology and ecology in mammals
LO4: Demonstrate an understanding of the methods involved in the study of mammals and the safety issues associated with them
LO5: Interpret the evolutionary and biogeographic trends in the radiation of mammals

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
Contact your module leader