Zoology is the scientific study of diversity of animal life, classification, physiology, behavior, and evolution. Unicellular organisms have evolved into complex multicellular forms. Organisms, both unicellular and multicellular, in various complex shapes and sizes are found in almost every habitat and environment. The field of zoology includes many subfields of biology as well as a vast diversity of unicellular and multicellular organisms.
Animals first appeared in the fossil record an estimated 600 million years ago as multicellular protozoa. Over the next 70 million years, they radiated into an incredible number of different invertebrate phyla (which represent the majority of animal groups and species), and in the next 150 million years, vertebrate and invertebrate species began to colonize the land. Though the history of animals is extensive and the fossil record at times is conflicted and vague, understanding the historical connections between animals is important in order to understand modern-day relationships among animals and the adaptations that are characteristic of specific groups.
In this course, you will gain a broad understanding of zoology. The course will begin with an introduction to and definition of zoology, invertebrate phyla, and vertebrate phyla. You will then study the history and evolution of animals.
This course will also cover taxonomy, focusing on classical and modern means of classification and providing a broad survey of animal phyla, including some of their shared features and unique characteristics. It will also introduce you to the comparative anatomy and physiology of animals. Finally, the course will address animal ecology: the interaction of animals with one another and with their environment.
This course will prepare you for further study in any biological field that involves animals, including ecology, wildlife management, evolution, animal physiology, animal behavior, and even human biology
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