The Chordates: Anatomical characteristics and phylogenetic position. The Vertebrates: the neural crest cells, the ectodermal placodes and the skeletal tissues. The homeobox genes and their role in the origin and evolution of Vertebrates. Heterochrony and the Garstanag theory on the origin of Vertebrates. The Conodonts. The Agnathans and the skeletal tissues appearance with particular regard to enamel and dentine. The odontode theory. The gnathostomes and the development of jaws by modification of the branchial arches. The gills, the lateral line system and the swimming bladder. The Chondrichtyes, the Placoderms, the Osteichthyes and the Acanthodians. Tetrapod origin. The archi- and metaptherigial fins and the limb origin. The first tetrapods. The Lissamphibia. The Amniotes: common characteristics. Tehe Reptilia: systematics and anatomical features. Birds and their flight adaptations. The Mammalia: main anatomical and physiological characteristics. The integumentary system: embryonic origin and its evolution in the different groups of Vertebrates. The dermal and epidermal derivatives of the integument. The Vertebrae: embrional origin and evolution. The skull and its three parts (splachno-, dermato- and neuro-skull). The circulatory system. The cardiac muscle and its evolution. The aortic arches and their evolution from fishes to tetrapods. The escretory system: phylogenetic and ontogenetic classification. The nephron in the different groups of vertebrates. Osmoregulation in freshwater and marine environments. The embrional origin of the mammalian kidney and its physiological peculiarities including the hormonal regulation of urine production. The reproductive system and its anatomical and functional relationships with the escretory system. Sex determination in Vertebrates. Embryogenesis of the central nervous system. The spinal cord and its evolution in Vertebrates. The autonomous nervous system. The cranial nerves and the occipitalization theory. The brain: differentiation and the areas of corticalization. The cerebellum, the mesencephalic roof and the telencephalon. Origin of the mammalian cerebral cortex.