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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: SCIN401 Course ID: 4288 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

The goal of this course is to introduce students to the biology of the class Mammalia. The course will include a survey of the origins, evolution, diversity, and adaptations of mammals to diverse environments. Topics include taxonomy, reproduction, sensory perception, herbivory, population cycles and behavior. Students will use case studies to apply the concepts of mammalogy to broader problems of species management, biodiversity, and the effects of development and habitat fragmentation on mammals. (Prerequisites: SCIN130 or BIOL134)

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
12/28/20 - 06/04/21 06/07/21 - 08/01/21 Spring 2021 Session D 8 Week session
02/22/21 - 07/30/21 08/02/21 - 09/26/21 Summer 2021 Session I 8 Week session
04/26/21 - 10/01/21 10/04/21 - 11/28/21 Fall 2021 Session B 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to

  • CO-1 Summarize the nature of mammals, including the origin, evolution, zoogeography, and adaptive radiation of mammalian taxa.
  • CO-2 Compare and contrast characteristics of the major families of mammals found in the U.S. and worldwide.
  • CO-3 Describe the key features of mammalian biology, including reproductive biology, lactation, nutrition, energetics, and nutritional physiology.
  • CO-4 Evaluate factors impacting mammalian species and populations.
  • CO-5 Critically examine literature regarding the reproduction, behavior, evolution, and conservation of mammals.
  • CO-6 Analyze mammalian population and life history data.
  • CO-7 Produce real world applications and recommendations for mammalian problems based on scientific principles.


There are eight forum activities in this course, one for each week. The student is responsible for participating in each of the eight forums. Each student will respond to a current topic or situation relevant to mammalogy, answer associated questions as posed by the Professor, offer his/her analysis to the questions posed, and respond substantively to at least two classmate posts. The initial student forum response will contain significant thought and analysis, utilize outside reference sources, and contain at least 300 words. Initial forum responses are completed by Wednesday each week. Responses to classmate posts are significant and substantive by asking probing questions, emphasizing points of agreement, and clearly discussing points of difference (i.e., the posts contain more content than “I agree.”). Classmate response posts are a minimum of 75 words and are completed by Sunday each week.

Case Study Assignments

Case Study Assignments contain scenarios, problems, and calculations covering a variety of issues in mammalogy. They explore, expand, and reinforce course topics and course learning objectives. Answers and calculations should follow the specific directions in each Case Study Assignment. Directions for Case Study Assignments are downloaded from the online class and once completed, submitted as a Word Document in the Assignments area of the online classroom. Evaluation will be based on accuracy of calculations, synthesis of data and concepts, and writing standards.

Final Research Project

The Final Research Project represents the student’s synthesis and research of large scale concepts in Mammalogy applied to a specific topic or situation. Final Research Projects represent the student’s original work and thought with carefully cited research. The student chooses a research project based a list of potential topics and activities. The student also chooses the format for the research project, either a PowerPoint presentation or written research paper. Specific, detailed instructions and the list of potential topics and activities can be found in the online classroom. The project should represent significant effort. Plagiarism is not tolerated and will result in a zero score, at minimum.


Seven quizzes will cover the reading material from the Vaughan et al. Mammalogy textbook. The quiz during week two will cover the reading material from weeks one and two. The remaining quizzes will cover the reading material for that week. The first quiz in week 2 contains 20 multiple choice questions. All other quizzes contain 10 multiple-choice questions. Quizzes are not proctored but should represent the student’s own work. The student will have two hours take each quiz. It is important that the student does not access the quiz until ready to take the quiz. These are timed quizzes can only be accessed once. The student must complete this quiz during its assigned week.

Please see the Student Handbook to reference the University’s grading scale.

NameGrade %
Forums 24.00 %
Lesson 1 Forum 3.00 %
Lesson 2 Forum 3.00 %
Lesson 3 Forum 3.00 %
Lesson 4 Forum 3.00 %
Lesson 5 Forum 3.00 %
Lesson 6 Forum 3.00 %
Lesson 7 Forum 3.00 %
Lesson 8 Forum 3.00 %
Research Project 20.00 %
Research Project Week 7 20.00 %
Case Study Assignments 21.00 %
Case Study Week 1 3.50 %
Case Study Week 2 3.50 %
Case Study Week 3 3.50 %
Case Study Week 5 3.50 %
Case Study Week 6 3.50 %
Case Study Week 7 3.50 %
Quizzes 35.00 %
Week 2 Quiz (Chapters 1-6) 5.00 %
Week 3 Quiz (Chapters 7-10) 5.00 %
Week 4 Quiz (Chapters 11-12) 5.00 %
Week 5 Quiz (Chapters 13-15) 5.00 %
Week 6 Quiz (Chapters 16-19) 5.00 %
Week 7 Quiz (Chapters 20-22) 5.00 %
Week 8 Quiz (Chapters 23-24) 5.00 %

Required Technology

  • See the Technology Requirements section of the undergraduate catalog for the minimum hardware and software requirements.
  • Microsoft Office 365 is available to APUS students for free. To sign up, visit If you have questions about accessing the software, please contact Classroom support at

Web Sites
In addition to the required course texts, the following public domain web sites are useful. Please abide by the university’s academic honesty policy when using Internet sources as well. Note website addresses are subject to change.

Site Name

Website URL/Address

Mammalogy on the Internet

Tree of Life Web Project

Animal Diversity Web

Wilson & Reeder’s Mammal Species of the World

American Society of Mammalogists: Mammalian Species

Mammalian Species pdf Site

National Geographic Mammals

Book Title:Mammalogy, 5th ed. - the VitalSource e-book is provided inside the classroom
Publication Info:VS-Jones&Bartlett
Author:Ryan, James M.
Unit Cost:$103.42
Electronic ISBN:9781284032611
Electronic Unit Cost:$35.00

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.