GEO4212 – Paleozoology, Systematics and Evolution

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course shall give the student an introduction to paleobiology, systematics and morphology of fossil taxa as tools for classification and biostratigraphy. Furthermore, this course gives detailed knowledge of evolutionary theory and theories of extinction, macroevolution, advanced paleoecology and biogeography.

Learning outcome

After taken this course you will know:

  • What identifies and differentiates the main invertebrate and vertebrate groups in the fossil record.
  • Key principles for studying fossil organisms.
  • How taphonomy affects fossilization in different groups.
  • Evolution of selected groups in the fossil record.
  • How to use invertebrates/vertebrates in biostratigraphy.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

The course includes a compulsory field course and excursions. A health and safety course for safety in the field must be passed before you can go on these.

Recommended previous knowledge

GEL2120 – Sedimentology, paleontology and stratigraphy (discontinued) / GEO2160 – Paleontology and Paleoecology (from spring 2020)

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with GEO4730 – Palaeozoology I (continued)


Lectures and practicals 2 + 2 hours per week. Practicals and studies of fossiles vil be carried out in Natural History Museum's collections at Tøyen/Økern. The practicals/studies of fossiles are compulsory to attend to. There are two compulsory home assignments which shall be presented oral in the class during the course. Participation in studies of fossils and presentations of home assignments must be approved before the final exam.

One compulsory 1-day excursion in the Oslo-field. A field report must be written from the excursion, handed in and must be approved.

Attendance at the first lecture is compulsory. Students who fail to meet, are considered to have withdrawn from the course unless they have previously given notice to the Student administration (

We reserve the right to change the teaching form and examination of the course in semesters where 5 or fewer students have been admitted.

General information about excursions at the Dept. of Geosciences.

As the teaching involves laboratory and/or field work, you should consider taking out a separate travel and personal risk insurance. Read about your insurance cover as a student.


  • Participation in compulsory studies of fossils, excursion, presentation of the two compulsory home assignments in the class, as well as the field report must have been approved before the final examination.
  • Final oral examination counts for 100%.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed examination at the beginning of the next semester.

Re-scheduled examinations are not offered to students who withdraw during, or did not pass the original examination.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

It will also be counted as one of the three attempts to sit the exam for this course,  if you sit the exam for one of the following courses: GEO4730 – Palaeozoology I (continued).

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)