ASC111 Comparative Animal Anatomy and Physiology (8)


Comparative Animal Anatomy and Physiology is an extension of the study of normal body organs and structures undertaken in ASC171 Animal Anatomy and Physiology. It involves the study of the anatomy and physiology of a wide range of species, with particular focus on equids and wildlife species. An integrated approach is taken to combine microanatomy, gross anatomy and physiology in the teaching of the body systems within an evolutionary context. Central themes focus on homeostasis and the linkages between the environment and anatomical, physiological and behavioural adaptations. Examples from livestock production including horses and wildlife management are used to illustrate and to integrate concepts. For those students enrolled by distance education, this subject includes a 3 day compulsory residential school

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 1
InternalWagga Wagga Campus
Distance*Wagga Wagga Campus
*This subject offering contains a residential school. Please view following information for further details.
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ASC111
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Enrolment restrictions

Restricted to students enrolled in: Bachelor of Equine Science (Core)
Bachelor of Animal Science and Bachelor of Animal Science (Honours) (Elective)
Bachelor of Education (Technology and Applied Studies) (Elective)

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to compare and contrast the normal structure and disposition of major organs and systems of various species including mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians
  • be able to relate the structure and function of these animals to their lifestyles and environments
  • be able to communicate, both orally and in writing, in the specialised language of anatomy and physiology.


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • Dentition and beak structure
  • Endocrine systems, with particular focus on endocrine disorders
  • Nervous system, with emphasis on the special senses, nerve repair and regeneration, coordination (particularly with regards to the horse) and desensitisation of sensors
  • Muscular system including the principles of locomotion on land and through air and water, muscle fibre types, and muscular responses to training (with emphasis on the horse)
  • Skeletal system including the (mis)alignment of bones and the consequences to the athletic horse, conformation of other domesticated species with emphasis on genetic conformational defects, classification of fractures and the fracture healing process
  • Digestive system including that of the monogastric animal and birds, foregut and hindgut fermenters, within an evolutionary context
  • Heart and the cardiovascular system with a focus on comparative anatomy, particularly of the heart, defects and abnormalities and environmental influences such as cardiac toxins on heart function
  • Blood in the context of understanding blood counts and their practical applications, appropriate protocols for taking blood samples from animals, blood group incompatabilities and other factors affecting blood clotting such as venoms and genetic defects
  • Lymphatic system
  • Respiratory system with a focus on comparative anatomy of the lungs and factors affecting respiration, with particular emphasis on the athletic horse
  • Thermoregulation of ectotherms and endotherms
  • Excretory systems including that of mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles

Residential School

This subject contains a compulsory 3 day residential school. To provide a hands on approach to the theory being taught in the subject. This will include  laboratory classes and tutorials.

Specialised Resources

This subject has a 3 day residential school


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.