The program “Virtual Zoology”, which has been started in summer 2015 at the Dept. of Ecology and Evolution, is designed to develop a novel teaching and training tool, based on a complete library of virtual key species of the chordate and non-chordate phylum.
The interactive 3D-environment will provide a number of controllable physiological functions, including the motility of muscles and skeletal structures, the uptake and transport of nutrients, pulmonary or gill breathing and vascular circulation. In addition, virtual dissections and real-time comparison of anatomical structures will be enabled. However, it should be emphasized that Virtual Zoology is not supposed to replace classical practical courses, but is designed to be utilised alongside and will drastically reduce the number of animals needed for undergraduate teaching. Thus, real dissections can be spared for higher degree courses.