Bones: The Unity of Form and Function

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9780025836754: Bones: The Unity of Form and Function

A celebration and exploration of the form and function of bones, blending science and art with a clear and fascinating text and beautiful photographs, shows the incredible complexity of the skeleton and demonstrates how adaptations have occurred.

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About the Author:

R. McNeil Alexander is Deputy Head of the Department of Pure and Applied Biology at the University of Leeds, England. Considered the world's foremost authority on animal mechanics, he has received several prestigious awards, including the Scientific Medal from the Zoological Society of London.

From Library Journal:

The configuration of bones and skeletons offers compelling examples of engineering principles and design. Evolution has produced countless variations of features and functions based on the same basic parts of the skeleton, and so bats suspend their wings on long fingers while monkeys use their fingers for grasping, and horses run on one enlarged toe with nothing but remnant slivers of bone to show that their ancestors ever had more. This volume's 140 elegant photos illustrate some of these amazing adaptations (no diagrams of muscles or living animals intrude on the macabre purity of the bones themselves). The discussion focuses on engineering aspects such as the trade-off between strength and lightness, how joints are constructed, how bones adapt as an animal grows, and the uses for different shapes of teeth. It's an eye-opening and visually beautiful synthesis of ideas about ecology, evolution, and engineering.?Amy Brunvand, Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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