Course Descriptions – Zoology

ZOO 302 – Ichthyology
4 Semester Credit Hours

In terms of age, longevity, species diversity and numbers, fishes comprise the most abundant and diverse Class of Vertebrates to have existed on Planet Earth.  Students will learn fish taxonomy, morphology, identification, physiology, behavior, ecology, etc.  Students will also learn about some aspects of fisheries biology, public aquaria, and field techniques.  Additionally, this course will provide a good background for students interested in careers in wildlife conservation, fish & wildlife and as park rangers.  Offered on an irregular basis.

ZOO 306 – Entomology
4 Semester Credit Hours  

The general nature and structure of insects will be studied. Emphasis will be on habitats, life cycles, sampling techniques, exotic species, and the use of keys to identify insects to family. This is a laboratory and field course; field trips are required. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.  Offered on an irregular basis.

ZOO 308 – Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
4 Semester Credit Hours 

The organs and systems of vertebrate animals are studied comparatively in laboratory and lecture. This is a course examining the evolution of vertebrate form and function using the established discipline of comparative morphology.  Laboratory dissection, comparison of adaptive strategies, and phylogenetic relationships are emphasized.  Three lecture hours and three laboratory hours per week. Cross-listed with BIO 308.  Prerequisite: BIO 123 and 124.  Offered during the Spring of odd-numbered years.

ZOO 311 – Animal Behavior
3 Semester Credit Hours

An in-depth look at the biological and psychological mechanisms that explain why and how animals behave as they do. Course will focus on many important topics in the field of animal behavior, including foraging, predator avoidance/defense, mating, habitat selection, learning, social behavior, cultural transmission, and communication.  Cross-listed with PSY 311. Prerequisites: PSY 101 or BIO 123/124.  Offered during the Fall of even numbered years.

ZOO 312 – Parasitology
4 Semester Credit Hours 

A study of the principles of parasitism and other aspects of parasite biology using human parasites as models. Parasites causing human disease will be studied with emphasis on the occurrence, transmission, reservoirs, and methods of control. Animal parasites, especially those of domestic animals, will also be included when appropriate. Three lecture and three laboratory hours per week. Prerequisites: BIO 113114 and 123/124.  Offered on an irregular basis.

ZOO 314 – Marine Mammals
4 Semester Credit Hours

An overview of the biology of marine mammals with an emphasis on their evolution, anatomy, behavior, ecology, and conservation. Course focuses on the classification, systematics, physiology, and population structure of marine mammals, includes field experience with a trip to the Gulf of Mexico. Please note there is an additional fee for this course. Prerequisites: BIO 113/114 and BIO 123/124. Offered on an irregular basis.

ZOO 315 – Invertebrate Zoology
4 Semester Credit Hours 

This course provides the opportunity for students to learn about and appreciate the animals that make-up about 95 percent of animal species on Earth. Students will further develop their knowledge and understanding of multicellularity, patterns of reproduction, patterns of development, species concepts, trophic levels, community structure. biodiversity, taxonomy, phylogeny, and evolution of invertebrates. Three lecture hours and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIO 113/114 and BIO 123/124; Pre/Corequisite: IDS 324 (previously BIO 304). Offered every Spring.

ZOO 316 – Vertebrate Zoology
4 Semester Credit Hours

This course will provide the opportunity for students to survey the classes and major orders of an extremely “successful” group of animals. We will study the evolutionary history, morphological /physiological /behavioral adaptations, habitats, and conservation of these organisms.  Students will further develop their knowledge and understanding of multicellularity, patterns of reproduction, patterns of development, species concepts, trophic levels, community structure. biodiversity, taxonomy, phylogeny, and evolution of vertebrates.  In addition, students will gain experience using a dichotomous key to identify those species they are most likely to encounter in western Kentucky. Three lecture hours and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIO 113/114 and BIO 123/124; Pre/Corequisite IDS 324 (previously BIO 304). Offered every Fall.

ZOO 390 – Topics in Zoology
1-3 Semester Credit Hours 

An in-depth study of a sub-discipline in zoology.  The instructor and biology faculty will determine the course subject for a given semester.  The schedule of course offerings will list the specific title. Examples of subjects include animal behavior, ornithology, herpetology, mammalogy, etc. Prerequisite: BIO 104 or BIO 105, 106 or BIO 113/114 and BIO 123/124. One to three lecture hours per week.

ZOO 400 – Independent Study
1-3 Semester Credit Hours 

An opportunity for the zoology major to carry out a research project (library, laboratory and/or field) under the supervision of a Biology Program faculty member.  Prerequisite: zoology major and permission of the Program Director and Academic Dean.

ZOO 401 – Directed Student Research
1-3 Semester Credit Hours

An opportunity for the upper-level zoology student to carry out research (library, laboratory, and/or field) under the direction of a biology faculty member. Students must complete a departmental statement of intention before registration. Enrollment in this academic experience can be for more than one semester but must be for differing hours of credit). Prerequisite: Junior or senior status zoology major.

ZOO 402 – Zoological Internship
1-3 Semester Credit Hours        

An opportunity to gain hands-on practical experience. Student accepted in a zoological internship at a zoological outlet (with permission from instructor) will apply theories and skills learned in the classroom to the real-world environment. Prerequisites: BIO 113/114 and BIO 123/124.

ZOO 406 – Evolution
3 Semester Credit Hours 

Evolution provides the opportunity for students to learn about a central unifying theme in biology.  Students will become familiar with mechanisms of micro- and macro-evolutionary change; patterns embedded in the history and diversity of life; consequences of evolution to molecular, developmental, and ecological systems. Cross-listed with BIO 406. Prerequisite: BIO 303.  Offered every Fall.

ZOO 414 – Ecology
4 Semester Credit Hours

This course includes advanced study of:  functions provided by ecosystems of the world, as well as the underlying ecological interactions that result in such functions; the flow of energy through trophic interaction; and the physical template guiding ecological interactions.  The course includes the design and implementation of research projects and fundamental experiences in analysis of data from plant and animal observation and enumeration. Cross-listed with BIO 414. Prerequisites: BIO 113/114 and BIO 123/124; Pre/Corequisite: IDS 324 (previously BIO 304). Offered every Spring.