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Unit of study_

ANAT2009: Comparative Primate Anatomy

This unit of student covers the musculo-skeletal anatomy of the human body with particular emphasis on human evolution and comparisons with apes and fossil hominids. The topics covered include the versatility of the human hand, in manipulation and locomotion, bipedalism, climbing and brachiation in apes, and the change in pelvic anatomy associated with bipedalism and obstetric consequences.


Academic unit Department of Medical Sciences
Unit code ANAT2009
Unit name Comparative Primate Anatomy
Session, year
Semester 2, 2021
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Remote
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

6 credit points from BIOL1XXX OR MEDS1X01 OR PSYC1XXX OR ARCA1XXX
Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Denise Donlon,
Lecturer(s) Denise Donlon ,
Paul Austin,
Richard Ward,
Tutor(s) Sarah Croker ,
Jennifer Menzies,
Callan Birkmann-Little,
Joshua Holley,
Administrative staff .
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Open book) Type C final exam Practical exam
Spot test - drop down answers
40% Formal exam period 1 hour
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO5 LO4 LO3
Final exam (Open book) Type C final exam Theory exam
Multiple choice and extended answers
30% Formal exam period 1 hour
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO11 LO10 LO9 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Tutorial quiz Quiz 1
Multiple choice
10% Week 04 20 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO11 LO10 LO9 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Tutorial quiz Quiz 2
Multiple choice
10% Week 07 20 mins
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10 LO11
Tutorial quiz Quiz 3
multiple choice
10% Week 10 20 mins
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10 LO11
Type C final exam = Type C final exam ?
Type C final exam = Type C final exam ?

2 final exams and 3 online semester quizzes

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

Quizzes - 5% per day late

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 1. Introduction to anatomy; 2. Introduction to primates: apes Lecture (2 hr)  
Week 02 1. Human evolution 1: Australopithecines; 2. Human evolution 2: homo Lecture (2 hr)  
Week 03 1. Pectoral girdle and shoulder in humans and apes; 2. Evolution of hominid pectoral girdle and shoulder Lecture (2 hr)  
Week 04 1. Elbow and forearm in humans and apes; 2. Evolution of the elbow and forearm Lecture (2 hr)  
Week 05 1. Wrist and hand in humans and apes; 2. Evolution of the wrist and hand Lecture (2 hr)  
Week 06 1. Neuroanatomy; 2. Comparative neuroanatomy and brain evolution Lecture (2 hr)  
Week 07 1. The skull; 2. Evolution of the hominoid structures Lecture (2 hr)  
Week 08 1. Vertebral column and back muscles; 2. Evolution of the hominoid vertebral column Lecture (2 hr)  

Attendance and class requirements


Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Kapit, W. and Elson, L.M. 2013 The anatomy coloring book. 4th edition. Harper and Collins, New York.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. To display your ability to think critically.
  • LO2. To identify human, ape and fossil bones, teeth and joints To identify detailed features on all bones covered.
  • LO3. To identify and classify the muscles covered (according to function) moving joints
  • LO4. To identify major structures of the brain
  • LO5. To use anatomical terminology to describe wet and dry specimens
  • LO6. To show an understanding of the theories of human evolution.
  • LO7. To consider the similarities and differences between the human and ape bones and joints and relate these to differences in forms of locomotion and in manipulation.
  • LO8. To list the major evolutionary changes in the upper limb, lower limb, vertebral column, skull and pelvis during hominin evolution
  • LO9. o discuss how the functions of bones and joints in fossil hominins might be interpreted from their structure
  • LO10. To use the above knowledge obtained to understand the unique physical adaptations of modern humans.
  • LO11. To encourage critical thinking - especially with regard to human origins

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

Work, health and safety



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