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ZOOL221 Animal Designs for Living

The body plans of, and the relationships among, major animal phyla are examined using local fauna. Up to three field trips generate data that is manipulated and presented in report form.

This paper is essential for students majoring in Zoology, but also of importance to Ecology majors and indeed anyone wanting to understand the diversity of animal life in New Zealand and around the world.

Paper title Animal Designs for Living
Paper code ZOOL221
Subject Zoology
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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BIOL 112 or (HUBS 191 or HUBS 192 with at least a B pass)
Schedule C

Teaching staff

Professor Gerry Closs
Associate Professor Caroline Beck
Dr Ludovic Dutoit
Dr Sheena Townsend

Paper Structure

Instruction is delivered via lectures, labs and field trips. Learning is supported with formative assignments, tutorials and online learning modules. 

Teaching Arrangements

Two lectures, one lab and one tutorial per week. 


Highly Recommended: Hickman et al 2021, Animal Diversity (9th Ed), McGraw Hill

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

By the end of this paper students are expected to be able to:

  • Identify distinctive features of major animal taxa – from single-celled organisms to vertebrates – and apply this knowledge to observations of live and preserved specimens.
  • Describe the taxonomic and hierarchical organization of animals using a rich vocabulary of zoological terms.
  • Compare animal body plan features and modications across taxa that live in diverse environments and relate these features and modications to function.
  • Use structured scientic inquiry to address questions about animal form and function by generating testable hypotheses, making and recording observations, and thinking critically about experimental results.
  • Prepare a formal research report with background information, purpose/hypotheses, methods, results and discussion, using conventions suitable for zoological disciplines.
  • Appropriately use peer-reviewed, published information in written work.

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 09:00-09:50 9-14, 16, 18-22
Wednesday 09:00-09:50 9-14, 16-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Tuesday 12:00-17:50 19
Tuesday 13:00-15:50 9-14, 16, 18, 21
A3 Wednesday 12:00-17:50 19
Wednesday 13:00-15:50 9-14, 16, 18, 21
A5 Thursday 12:00-17:50 19
Thursday 13:00-15:50 9-14, 16, 18, 21


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 16:00-17:50 9-14, 16-22