Sixty-three Bachelor of Applied Science (Wildlife) students increased their knowledge of Australian fauna including kangaroos, echidnas, gliders and koalas at a School of Agriculture and Food Sciences residential school in late September.

The residential school is an integral component of the course: ANIM2043 – Biology of Australian marsupials and monotremes.

Course coordinator, Associate Professor Stephen Johnston said Australia and New Guinea were home to some of the most bizarre and unusual mammalian fauna on the planet.

“They are in fact, the only countries where you can find all three sub-classes of mammals sharing the same environment – the monotremes (egg-laying mammals), the marsupials and the ‘placental’ mammals,” he said.

During the course, students explore a series of interesting modules that highlight and contrast the unique biology of marsupials and monotremes, and are focusing on Queensland species wherever possible.

The four-day residential school is a course highlight.

“Students worked with real animals, developing their own 3D anatomical computer models of a range of marsupials (including extinct species), learned about kangaroo anatomy, and they participated in a field expedition to Peak Crossing near Ipswich to find koalas,” he said.

“They also visited the Moggill Koala Hospital.”

Associate Professor Johnston said the course had been designed for online delivery and interaction.

From 2016 the Bachelor of Applied Science will be replaced with four new specialised programs: the B Equine Science; B Sustainable Agriculture; B Veterinary Technology; B Wildlife Science. ANIM2043 will be offered in the Bachelor of Wildlife Science for 2016.

To learn more about these programs, check out the prospectus.

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