Course Title Chordate
Course Level 200
Credit Unit 2

Overview: This course is all about a group of animals called chordates. You will learn about these animals and the basis for their being called and grouped together as chordates. You will also learn about the invertebrate and vertebrate forms of chordates and the general outline of their classification. By studying chordates, you will be learning about animals around you and those you do see or hear about in distant lands and waters. Indeed, you will be learning about fishes, snakes, crocodiles, lizards (reptiles), frogs, toads (amphibians), doves, pigeons, chickens (birds), goats, sheep, elephants, lions and humans (mammals). In addition, you will learn about their migration from aquatic to terrestrial environments and the adaptations that have accompanied their change of abode. You will have the opportunity to learn about the possible origins of these animals and how they have moved to occupy different ecological niches including their current distribution pattern around the world.


  • Introduction to chordates

  1. General Characteristics of Chordates

  2. Classification of Chordates

  3. Hemichordata

  4. Urochordata

  5. Cephalochordata

  • Vertebrate chordates I 

  1. Vertebrata

  2. Gnathostomata

  3. Amphibia

  4. Reptilia

  5. Aves (I)

  6. Aves (II)

  • Vertebrate chordates II

  1. Mammalian

  2. Eutherians: Proboscidea, Sirenia, Carnivora

  3. Eutherians: Edentata, Artiodactyla, Cetacea

  4. Eutherians: Perissodactyla, Chiroptera, Insectivora

  5. Eutherians: Rodentia, Lagomorpha, Primata

  • Evolution, Adaptive Radiation and Zoogeography

  1. Evolution of Chordates

  2. Adaptive Radiation of Chordates

  3. Zoogeography of the Nearctic and Neotropical Regions

  4. Zoogeography of the Palaearctic and Afrotropical Regions

  5. Zoogeography of the Oriental and Australasian Region