Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
BMZA 105
Course Title:
Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy and Physiology I
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Presents a comparative approach to structure, function, and evolution of the vertebrate classes. Examines histology and organ systems with emphasis on integumentary, skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems. Includes laboratory dissections of representative vertebrate specimens. Department permission required. Prerequisites: BI 112 or (BI 211 and 212) and (CH 151 or CH 104 or above). Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion, students should be able to:

  • Effectively communicate within a team of zoo professionals regarding the anatomical and physiological conditions of vertebrates being managed.
  • Critically evaluate published research related to histology, integument, skeletal, muscular and nervous systems of vertebrates, in order to inform
    and continuously improve best practices in animal management.
  • Skillfully monitor animal health and well-being using an understanding of their anatomy and physiology.
  • Respond knowledgeably and educate the public when questioned regarding animal anatomy, physiology, and well-being.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Lecture quizzes and exams.
  • Lab practical exams.
  • Homework assignments over each unit of study.
  • Lab attendance and participation

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Issues, & Concepts

  • Introduction to vertebrate evolution & phylogeny
  • Introduction to chemical and cellular levels of anatomy
  • Vertebrate histology
  • Vertebrate embryology
  • Fundamentals of physiology
  • Integumentary system
  • Cranial skeleton
  • Axial Skeleton
  • Appendicular skeleton
  • Muscular system


  • Microscope skills
  • Dissecting skills
  • Visualization skills
  • Descriptive skills
  • Proper usage and pronunciation of terms
  • Study skills