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Code: 40919
ECTS: 6.0
Lecturers in charge: prof. dr. sc. Marko Miliša
prof. dr. sc. Maria Špoljar
Lecturers: dr. sc. Dora Hlebec - Practicum
dr. sc. Fran Rebrina - Practicum
Take exam: Studomat
English level:


The lecturer is not able to offer courses in English at this time.

1. komponenta

Lecture typeTotal
Lectures 30
Practicum 45
* Load is given in academic hour (1 academic hour = 45 minutes)
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

1. Assess the importance, value, and diversity of invertebrates.
2. Explain basic concepts in animal taxonomy.
3. Recognize and identify the major groups of invertebrates using practical skills.
4. Analyse basic morphological, anatomical, physiological and ethological adaptations of invertebrates to the relevant environmental conditions, and interpret the adaptations and justify the conclusions by evidence obtained through dissection, observation and annotation.
5. Distinguish different reproductive strategies of invertebrates.
6. Recognize and classify invertebrates from marine, freshwater and terrestrial habitats of Croatia.
7. Compare invertebrate biodiversity between different ecosystems.
8. Define ecological role and status of the major invertebrate groups.
9. Analyse the food web roles of individual invertebrates, based on the knowledge of the invertebrate structure and function.
10. Discuss invertebrate roles in: causing/transmitting diseases, food and medicine production, energy and natural/industrial resources production, nature protection; recognize the invertebrate species from the human environment used for food and healing, or treated as threats and pests.


1. Abundance, distribution, diversity and ecological role/status of invertebrates in the biosphere. Origins of Metazoa and key events in their evolution.
2. Anatomical and functional organisation of invertebrates, their overall body plan and life histories: symmetry, body size, reproduction and embryonic development, body cavities.
3. Principles of animal classification.

4.-15. Structural and functional characteristics, and diversity of the individual invertebrate groups (phyla). Phylogenetic position and relationships. Distribution and ethology of invertebrates, and their adaptations to environmental conditions. Invertebrate representatives within the Croatian fauna. Ecological importance of invertebrates and their significance for humans:
4. Porifera, Mesozoa
5. Cnidaria, Ctenophora
6. Platyhlminthes
7. Nemertea, Rotifera, Nematoda
8. Mollusca
9. Mollusca
10. Annelida, Echiura, Sipuncula
11. Arthropoda (Trilobitomorpha and Cheliceriformes)
12. Arthropoda (Crustacea)
13. Arthropoda (Hexapoda)
14. Arthropoda (Hexapoda and Myriapoda)
15. Lophophorata, Echinodermata and Hemichordata.

Practicum lessons are based on temporary and/or permanent preparation of invertebrates (living or fixed/stained) for microscopic and/or macroscopic observation of their external features and internal structures. Some laboratories involve dissection of selected invertebrates. Students practice independent observation and reasoning on the functional organization of the representative taxa.

1. Porifera
2. Cnidaria (Anthozoa and Scyphozoa)
3. Cnidaria (Hydrozoa) and Platyhelminthes (Turbellaria)
4. Platyhelminthes (Trematoda and Cestoda)
5. Nematoda and Rotifera
6. Mollusca (Gastropoda)
7. Mollusca (Bivalvia and Cephalopoda)
8. Mollusca diversity
9. Annelida (Polychaeta and Oligochaeta)
10. Arthropoda (Chelicerata and Crustacea)
11. Arthropoda (Crustacea)
12. Arthropoda (Hexapoda)
13. Arthropoda (Hexapoda)
14. Bryozoa and Echinodermata
15. Overview of preserved material, presentation and use of determination literature
  1. Habdija, I., Primc Habdija, B., Radanović, I., Špoljar, M., Matoničkin Kepčija, R., Vujčić Karlo, S., Miliša, M. Ostojić, A., Sertić Perić, M. (2011): Protista-Protozoa i Metazoa-Invertebrata. Strukture i funkcije.- Alfa d.d., Zagreb, 584 str., ISBN 978-953-297-306-8.
  2. Habdija, I., Primc Habdija, B., Radanović, I., Vidaković, J., Kučinić, M., Špoljar, M., Matoničkin, R., Miliša, M. (2004): Protista-Protozoa i Metazoa-Invertebrata. Funkcionalna građa i praktikum.- Meridijani, Samobor.
Prerequisit for:
Enrollment :
Passed : Fundamentals of Biology
Attended : Protists

Examination :
Passed : Protists
3. semester
Mandatory course - Regular study - Environmental Sciences
Consultations schedule:
  • prof. dr. sc. Maria Špoljar:

    During working time and by e-mail.