Title: Evolution & Principles of Systematics

Course code: (ZOL 604)

Credit hours 4 (3+1)

Course Pre-requisite

FSc Pre-medical/ BSc Pre-medical


The course aims to

  • Provide in-depth knowledge of the origin of life.

  • Develop concepts about forces responsible for evolutionary changes.

  • Study the importance and history of systematics with basic rules and regulations about the identification and naming of organisms

 Learning Outcomes

The students will be able to understand the basic concepts of mechanism/ causes of Evolution and Principles of Systematics. 


Recommended books


  1. Strickberger’s Evolution  Hall, B.K.  and  Hallgrímsson, B. 2013. Jones & Barrett Publishers.

  2. Kenneth V. Kardong 2007. An Introduction to Biological Evolution. McGraw-Hill. 

  3. Ridley, M. 2004. Evolution. Blackwell Scientific Publications.

  4. Freeman, S. and Herron, J. C. 2014. Evolutionary analysis, 5th ed. Pearson Prentice Hall.

  5. Moody, P.A. 1989. Introduction to Evolution, Harper and Row Publishers, New York.

  6. Dobzhansky, T., Ayala, F.J., Stebbins, G.L., Valentine, J.W. 1973. Evolution. W.H. Freeman and Company.

  7. Mayr, E. 1965.Populations, Species and Evolution, Harvard University Press.

  8. Dobzhansky, T. 1951. Genetics and the origin of species. Columbia University Press, New York.

Systematic Zoology 

  1. Wiley, E. O. and Lieberman, B. S. 2011. Phylogenetics: Theory and practice of phylogenetic systematics. 2nd Ed. Wiley-Blackwell.

  2. Mayer, E. Principles of Systematic Zoology. 1994. McGraw Hill, New York.

  3. Mayer, E. and Ashlock, P.D. Principles of Systematic Zoology. 1991. McGraw Hill, New York

  4. Kapoor, V.C. 2001. Principles and practices of animal Taxonomy. Science Publishers, 2nd Ed.

  5. Mayr, E. Animal Species and Evolution, 1985.Harvard University Press.

  6. Heywood, V.H. Taxonomy and Ecology. 1975. Academic Press, London.

  7. Whili, M.J.D. Modes of Speciation, 1978. W.H. Freeman and Co., San Francisco.




1. The nature and origin of life: Evidence of evolution (molecular, embryological & paleontological).

2. Theories of Evolution: Theories to explain the diversity of life - Modern synthetic theory, factors initiating elementary evolutionary changes (micro-evolution) by changing gene frequencies, mutation pressure, selection pressure, immigration and crossbreeding, genetic drift.

3. Role of isolation in evolution: Factors of large evolutionary changes (macro/mega evolution) - allometry, orthogenesis, adaptive radiation. Modern concept of Natural Selection: Levels of selection, selection patterns, laboratory, and field example regarding the action of Natural Selection. The action of Natural Selection leading to convergence, radiation, regression and extinction, Batesian mimicry, Mullerian mimicry, Sexual selection: Darwin’s concept, Fisher’s view, Zahavi’s handicap theory, Recapitulation theory, Trend and rates in evolution.

Systematic Zoology

  1. Importance and applications of systematics: Taxonomy in Animal science, systematics as a profession and its future perspectives.

  2. History of taxonomy: systematics, basic terminology of systematics, theories of biological classifications.

  3. Taxonomic characters: Kinds and weightage, microtaxonomy, taxonomic categories: specific category, infraspecific category, higher categories; Species concept.

  4. Typological species concept: Nominalistic species concept, biological species concept, Evolutionary species concept. Kinds of different species, Speciation,Taxonomic procedures, taxonomic collection; their preservation and duration, Taxonomic keys, different kinds of keys and their merits and demerits.

  5. Systematics publications: International code of zoological nomenclature; its objective, principles, interpretation, application of important rules, with reference to: Zoological nomenclature, law of priority and validity of names.


  1. Study of preserved invertebrate species and their classification up to class level.
  2. Collection, preservation, and identification of common species with the help of keys.
  3. Preparation of keys for the identification of specimens.
  4. Methods of statistical analysis of samples from populations T-test, Analysis of variance etc.

Evaluation system & Assessment criteria:

Students will be asked to take various assignments, presentations about the latest advancement/research, and important concepts of the subject.

Sessional marks: 10 comprising of:

Attendance, Assignments, Presentation, Participation, etc

Midterm Paper: 25

Final term Paper: 45

Practical Exam: 15


The students are directed to be regular in class as 80% attendance is mandatory. Students must abide by all University/semester rules and regulations.

Time Table:

Moday: 11:00am-12:00pm

Tuesday:  12:00pm-01:00pm,   01:00pm-03:00pm (Lab)

Thursday: 02:00-03:00pm


Course Material