The Herpetology course has been designed as an introductory course for those wanting to learn more about Reptiles and Amphibians.
Learn about Reptile and Amphibian origins, classification, anatomy and physiology. It also includes endangered species and threats to their survival.
The course modules explore the diet & nutritional requirements, reproduction and general behaviour of frogs, toads, newts, salamanders, snakes, geckos, turtles, lizards, iguanas, tortoises, terrapins & crocodilia.
The course also explores the evidence of evolutionary development from the time when all life lived in the seas, to when animals moved onto the land.
Reptiles have been a part of animal life for hundreds of millions of years. Fossil remains suggest that reptiles were more diverse in the distant past but today, just four Orders of reptile remain. Certain modern reptiles such as the Crocodilia, can be traced to ancient forms whilst one Order, the Rhynchocephalia (Tuatara), is considered to resemble the earliest reptiles. Although animal life is found on every continent, the reptilia are found on six of the seven continents.
Module 1 of the Herpetology course explores the classification of reptiles in the animal kingdom. It includes a general introduction to the body systems of the reptile and specific aspects of their physiology. Reptile biogeography is also a topic of this module.
The amphibia represent the oldest land-living vertebrates. Module 2 covers their classification and an introduction to their anatomy and physiology. Although they can live on the land, their reliance on water for reproduction is discussed in this module.
The Chelonia are reptiles with a protective shell that live in the water and on the land. This module covers their diet and nutritional requirements, reproduction and general behaviour. Endangered species of the Chelonia are a topic in this module.
Module 4 looks at the amphibia in more detail with specific topics that include their combination of two respiratory systems, their reproductive behaviour and diet. The amphibian ability to enter ‘stasis’ is discussed plus, threats to their survival.
The crocodilia include alligators, crocodiles and the gharial. The Squamata discussed in module 5 include the lizards, iguanas, geckos and snakes. Topics include differences in anatomy between the crocodila and squamata, reproductive behaviour and diet and endangerment.
Module 6 is all about unusual examples of animals in the reptile and amphibian classes. The examples demonstrate evidence of evolutionary development from the time when all life lived in the seas, to when animals moved onto the land.
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