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BZ3725 - Herpetology

[Offered in even-numbered years]

Credit points: 3
Year: 2012
Student Contribution Band: Band 4
Administered by: School of Marine & Tropical Biology

Australia has one of the richest faunas of frogs and reptiles found on any continent. The Australian herpetofauna is taxonomically and functionally diverse, with a wide variety of ecological types, habitat requirements and life histories. Reptiles and amphibians are poorly studied in comparison with the other terrestrial vertebrates and are generally less vagile and more habitat-specific than birds or mammals. They can thus serve as valuable indicators of the status of habitats and should be included in habitat evaluations. Members of both taxa exhibit a very wide range of reproductive and behavioural adaptations that enable them to survive in Australias harsh environments. Examination of the diversity of form and function of Australian amphibians and reptiles, emphasising the tropical fauna using techniques needed to survey them and study their biology.

Learning Outcomes

  • to learn and apply the basic techniques needed to survey and study the biology of amphibians and reptiles;
  • to learn to identify representatives of major taxa;
  • to understand the taxonomic and functional diversity of Australian amphibians and reptiles, particularly the tropical fauna.

Graduate Qualities

  • The ability to deploy critically evaluated information to practical ends.
Students enrolling in this subject should have a good understanding of basic zoology (ZL1001 or BZ1004 or equivalent) and ecology.
Prerequisites: (ZL1001 OR BZ1004 OR AG1004) AND BZ2440
ZL3211 ZL5211 BZ5725


Townsville, Study Period 10, Block
Census Date 13-Dec-2012
Face to face teaching 19-Nov-2012 to 30-Nov-2012
Coordinator: Empro Ross Alford
Lecturers: Professor Lin Schwarzkopf, Empro Ross Alford.
Workload expectations:
  • 28 hours lectures
  • 3 hours tutorials
  • 14 hours practicals
  • 7 hours fieldwork
Assessment: end of semester exam (50%); other exams (15%); assignments (25%); field report; (10%).

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.