Evolution through natural selection has resulted in a wide ranging diversity of life with organisms adapted to live in all environments found on Earth. In this course we will look at the fascinating ways in which animals have adapted to live in extreme environments ranging from the dry and hot deserts and the harsh and cold arctic to the perpetual darkness in the deep sea and in caves.
However, we will also look at how life has adapted to human activities and discuss how life might have evolved on other planets. We will look at adaptations in morphology, physiology and behaviour in a range of organisms from plants in deserts via spiders in caves to extremophile bacteria thriving in high salinities, temperatures and even radiation. We will also look at examples of adaptations in a range of organism during a visit to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.
This course is for everybody interested in how evolution has shaped the fascinating variety of life in unexpected corners on this planet of ours (and potentially beyond).