Evolution of Vertebrates

The module will examine the evolution and palaeobiology of vertebrate groups with an emphasis on the evolutionary origins of distinct types of skeletal architecture.

The practicals will involve the examination and comparison of fossil and recent vertebrates and employ cladistic methods to analyse relationships.

By the end of the module you will be able to:

  • Describe, in detail, the evolutionary history and palaeobiology of extant and extinct vertebrate groups
  • Evaluate and assess the data on which current understanding is based
  • Evaluate the techniques used in phylogenetic analysis.


  • Group report
  • Presentation
  • Exam