Vertebrate Paleontology and virtual Paleontology

A.Y. 2020/2021
6
Max ECTS
48
Overall hours
SSD
GEO/01
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The unit aims to introduce to the vertebrate systematics and methods of macroevolutionary analysis by providing examples and case studies, with particular reference to the major evolutionary transitions that have characterized this group. It offers an overview of the history of vertebrate palaeontology and the evolution of digital investigation methodologies, from conventional techniques to the most recent morphological analyses performed by photogrammetry and tomography. It presents methods and objectives of virtual palaeontology and its application in restoration, conservation and more generally in the dissemination of Earth Sciences. It examines paleontological specimens as resources of cultural heritage by illustrating examples of valorisation and management of fossil vertebrates in Italy and abroad.
Expected learning outcomes
The student will be able to understand dynamics and evolutionary mechanisms at the large scale. The student will learn about the major evolutionary transitions that have characterized the history of vertebrates by integrating palaeontological and biological data. The student will learn the main techniques of digital analysis of fossils and their application. The student will be able to evaluate goals and effectiveness of valorization projects with particular reference to vertebrate paleontological heritage.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
Second semester
Teaching methods
The lessons can be followed either in attendance in accordance with the regulations in force on COVID-19, or telematically on the Microsoft Teems or Skype platforms, in synchronous mode during lesson times and asynchronously (recorded lessons).

Programme and reference material
The programme and reference material will not be changed.

Methods of learning verification and evaluation criteria
The final exam consists of an oral test and the presentation/discussion of a case study. There are no mid-term tests. The exam will be held in the presence or through the Microsoft Teams or Skype platforms, depending on the guidelines in force at the time of the session.
The final evaluation will take into account the knowledge of the topics, the language properties and the presentation of the case study.
The final grade will be expressed in thirtieths and will be communicated directly to the student at the end of the exam.
Course syllabus
The topics are as following: Introduction to vertebrate palaeontology; history of vertebrate palaeontology; origin of the first vertebrates; adaptations and diversification in underwater environments; agnates; gnathostomes; bony fishes; tetrapods; adaptations to terrestrial life; amphibians; amniotes; origin of diapsides; lepidosauromorphs; archosauromorphs; testudinate; origin and diversification of dinosaurs; birds; flight adaptations; origin and diversification of mammals; paleobiology of quaternary mammals; introduction to photogrammetry and medical-imaging; history of paleoradiology; digital image acquisition techniques; applications in paleontology; paleoneurology and case studies; paleopathology and case studies; applications in icnology; digital restoration; paleontological reconstructions; applications in scientific dissemination; implications and perspectives of the new digital methods in the study of fossil vertebrates.
Prerequisites for admission
Students should have previously acquired basic knowledge of zoology and paleontology.
Teaching methods
The lectures will be carried out on the Microsoft Teams platform and they will be followed both synchronously and asynchronously, because they will be recorded and left available to the students on the same platform. The criteria to participate to the lectures in attendance, which require a reservation with a dedicated app, will be published in time in the Ariel platform, as well as all teaching materials and allerts of any updates related to the evolution of the regulations imposed by Covid-19.
Teaching Resources
The lecturer will provide all teaching materials in PDF copy.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The final exam consists of an oral test and the presentation/discussion of a case study. There are no mid-term tests. The exam will be held in the presence or through the Microsoft Teams platform, depending on the guidelines in force at the time of the session.
The final evaluation will take into account the knowledge of the topics, the language properties and the presentation of the case study.
The grade will be expressed in thirtieths and will be communicated directly to the student at the end of the exam.
GEO/01 - PALEONTOLOGY AND PALEOECOLOGY - University credits: 6
Lessons: 48 hours
Professor: Iurino Dawid Adam
Professor(s)