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Unit (2019)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2019 academic year.

Foundations of Vertebrate Form and Function (BMS107)

Organisational Unit College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education
Credit Points 3
Availability MURDOCH: S2-internal
Teaching Timetables Murdoch S2
Description This unit addresses the mechanisms by which vertebrates carry out essential life processes: how they maintain homeostasis (e.g. thermal, ionic and water), are metabolically active (use oxygen and nutrients, produce carbon dioxide and wastes, and synthesise complex molecules), and respond to stimuli (nervous system, sense organs and mechanisms of locomotion). The accompanying practical sessions examine the structure and function of the vertebrate body at three levels of organisation: an introduction to histology, organs and organ systems, and overarching physiological processes.
Unit Learning Outcomes This unit addresses how vertebrates carry out seven life processes:
1. Sensitivity
2. Growth
3. Respiration
4. Nutrition
5. Excretion
6. Movement
7. Reproduction

In the unit, we discuss how vertebrates maintain homeostasis, respond to stimuli and are metabolically active (use oxygen and nutrients, produce carbon dioxide and wastes, and synthesise complex molecules).
The broad aims of the unit are to:
1. Define a vertebrate, and discuss the major features of the vertebrates;
2. Provide an overview of the major functions and structural physiology of vertebrates;
3. Investigate, in some depth, the interrelationships between body systems and their functions, with a biophysical emphasis;
4. Instil principles of vertebrate physiology that will act as a cornerstone for future courses in your degree;
5. Develop a number of Murdoch University Graduate Attributes.
Timetabled Learning Activities Lectures: 3 hours per week; laboratories: 4 and 2 hour lab sessions alternating every second week; optional Peer Assisted Study Session (PASS): 1 hour per week.
Unit Learning Experiences The approach to learning in this unit involves structured timetabled learning in lectures and laboratories/tutorials to provide students with hands on experience. Other learning activities include recorded lectures, online prac quizzes, and online self-tests.
Assessment Assessment is based on two theory examinations, three quizzes, and a practical/laboratory test. Sample examination papers and answers are provided to guide preparation for the exams. Online self-tests allow students to test their comprehension of material covered.
Prerequisites Nil. Highly recommended: BMS101 Introduction to the Human Body or ANS102 Introduction to the Animal Body.
Exclusions Students who have successfully completed BMS107 Principles of Vertebrate Physiology may not enrol in this unit for credit.
Previously 2013: 'Principles of Vertebrate Physiology'
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Animal Health (BSc) [New in 2015]
Animal Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Biomedical Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Chiropractic Science + Clinical Chiropractic (BSc)+(BClinChiro) [New in 2015]
Clinical Laboratory Science (BSc) [New in 2015]
Crop and Pasture Science (BSc) [New in 2016]
Laboratory Medicine (BSc/BLabMed) [New in 2016]
Veterinary Science (BSc)+(DVM) [New in 2014]
Appears in these Minors Biomedical Science
Equine Science
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.


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