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MARI302 Biology and Behaviour of Marine Vertebrates

Semester One
Lectures: Tuesday and Wednesday 9am
Lab: Wednesday or Thursday 2-6 pm
Prerequisites: ZOOL 221

Course Coordinator: Prof. Steve Dawson - steve.dawson@otago.ac.nz

Marine vertebrates are some of the most fascinating and sophisticated animals on the planet. In this course we consider the vertebrates that have made their living in the sea; starting with fish, marine reptiles, seabirds, and ending with marine mammals. For each group we focus first on biodiversity, explore the physiological, ecological and behavioural solutions they have evolved, and discuss the conservation issues they face in the modern world. We will take time to explore the oddities; for example fish that use electrical pulses to navigate, or have parasitic males whose only function is to fertilise females, seasnakes whose venom is as deadly as that of all but the most dangerous land snakes, seabirds that fly underwater, and whales which make the loudest, and most complicated acoustic signals in the animal kingdom.

Download course outline here