ZOOL210 Vertebrates

Credits (ECTS):10

Course responsible:Ronny Steen

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Norsk

Course frequency:Annually

Nominal workload:Structured teaching 70 hours. Self-study 180 hours.

Teaching and exam period:This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel, June block, .

About this course

Norwegian vertebrates where taxonomical orders and families within the classes fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals will be explored. They are presented in taxonomical order at lectures, laboratory exercises, demonstrations and field courses. The course highlights the systematic division of vertebrates, morphology, and life history. The course also provides practical experience in species identification.

Learning outcome

A candidate with completed qualification shall have the following learning outcomes in the course:


The student shall have broad knowledge about Norwegian vertebrates and their environmental requirements.


The student shall be able to explain the connection between morphology and ecology of Norwegian vertebrates (at order and family level). The student shall be able to identify Norwegian vertebrates to species based on appearance, sounds and trace signs, place them taxonomically, have knowledge about their habitat and adaptations to the environment.

General competence:

The course will develop the student's ability to understand that all species (of Norwegian vertebrates) have a place in the ecosystem, which is necessary for sustainable management. Such knowledge is of great importance to anyone who manages or run businesses that affect Norwegian nature. Knowing the ecological characteristics of wildlife is also important in understanding the evolutionary origins of the species in Norwegian livestock farming, fur farming, fish farming and animal husbandry.

  • Teaching consists of lectures, laboratory exercises and field courses. Learning outcomes shall be reached as follows: 1) Training in identifying species through lab exercises, study visits to the Zoological Museum in Oslo and the Drøbak Aquarium, independent study at the study collection at MINA, and through demonstrations and exercises at the field course. 2) The taxonomical location of the species will be presented through lectures, exhibitions of preparations at laboratory exercises, and study visits to the Zoological Museum in Oslo. 3) The ecology of the species and especially their use of habitat will be presented through lectures, demonstrations and practical exercises in the field course. 4) The relationship between morphology and way of living of Norwegian vertebrates will be covered in the lectures. 5) The evolutionary origin and characteristic ecological traits of the species used in Norwegian domestic animal keeping, furbearing animal production, fish rearing, and pet animal keeping will be covered in the lectures.

    The course is based upon modules and digital tools such as teaching videos, interactive videos, and multiple choice tasks. In advance of the laboratory exercises, students will see a video in which the connection between morphology and ecology for Norwegian vertebrates at family level is reviewed. By seeing the review on their own, the time of the exercise could be used to a greater extent for interaction with the teacher (flipped classroom). At the field course, students will work in small groups of 6-8 under the guidance of a teacher. In this group, they collect different types of material, process it, and present the results in plenary.

  • The candidate's learning may be supported through academic supervision during the teacher's office hours. The teacher and assistants are available during the laboratory exercises and the field course.
  • ZOOL100.
  • 3 hours written multiple choice exam. The assignments will test both theoretical curriculum and species knowledge.

    One written exam Grading: Letter grades Permitted aids: A1 No calculator, no other aids
  • The examiner is used to approve exam questions and contributes to setting points for grade thresholds.
  • The laboratory exercises, formative assessments, the visits to museum, bird song listening course (incl. field trip) and the field course.
  • The course is only offered at NMBU and cannot be taken at another teaching institution.
  • Lectures: 22 hours. Laboratory exercises: 14 hours. Visits to museums: 4 hours. Field course: C. 30 hours.
  • Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)