Environmental Physiology of Animals

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9780632035175: Environmental Physiology of Animals

This new text provides a fresh approach to the subject of animal physiology, truly integrating comparative and environmental aspects for the first time. The book is divided into three sections: the first covers the basic principles of adaptation and problems of size and scale; the second tackles the key mechanisms in comparative physiology; and the third considers in detail how organisms (both vertebrate and invertebrate) cope with particular environments. Throughout this final section, relevant comparative aspects are given prominence in boxes so that interesting topics can be explored in greater depth.

Several textbooks deal with the physiological functioning and comparative adaptations of animals, but this one is different:


  • Includes both comparative systems physiology (basic principles and mechanisms of excretion, thermal biology, respiration, etc) and environmental physiology (problems of life in different habitats), with easy cross-reference between the two.

  • Analyses and integrates problems and adaptations for each kind of environment: marine, seashore and estuary, freshwater, terrestrial and parasitic. For example, it explains how seashore animals survive both tidal submersion in cold salt water and exposure to warm dry air, cope with wide variations in salinity and temperature and achieve both aerial and underwater breathing.

  • Examines mechanisms and responses beyond physiology. It analyses the costs of different types of locomotion, together with the mechanical challenges and varying sensory needs imposed by different environments. Behavioural responses to environmental challenges are considered, including the evolution of mating systems and life-history strategies, as well as responses to stresses imposed by humans. The book therefore integrates the biochemical, physiological, behavioral and ecological adaptations that allow animals to survive in particular environments.

  • Applies an evolutionary perspective to the analysis of environmental adaptation. It introduces modern, phylogeny-based comparative methods that have become standard techniques in the analysis of evolutionary patterns.

  • Provides modern molecular biological insights into the mechanistic basis of adaptation, and takes the level of analysis beyond the cell to the membrane, enzyme and gene.

  • Incorporates more varied material from a wide range of animal types, with less of a focus purely on terrestrial reptiles, birds and mammals and more on the spectacularly successful strategies of invertebrates.

This is a core text for modern undergraduate courses in animal physiology, comparative physiology, environmental physiology and physiological ecology. It is also suitable for the physiological components of any animal biology course, and a key resource for degree courses in environmental biology.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Book Description:

This new and updated edition, with two entirely new chapters, provides a comprehensive coverage of the comparative physiology of animals, in a strongly environmental context.It provides full analysis of the basic principles of physiological adaptations, in both vertebrates and invertebrates. It now also includes new chapters on the control systems (nervous and sensory systems, muscles, and hormones) and how they allow integration with the environment, suitable for introductory courses on excitable tissuesBut it is unique in also providing detailed and integrated reviews of how animals sense, react to and cope with particular environments - the marine and freshwater worlds, the particularly challenging seashore and estuarine zones, the different kinds of terrestrial habitat, and the parasitic environment. In this way, physiology is for the first time properly integrated with ecological principles and with behavioural responses used by animals in coping with environmental challenges.The book provides a stand-alone core text for undergraduate courses in comparative physiology, animal physiology, or environmental physiology, but also provides key material for integrating across modules in any environmental biology degree..

From the Back Cover:

This new text provides a fresh approach to the subject of physiology, integrating comparative and environmental aspects to produce what should be a very welcome break from the traditional textbooks. The first part of the book will consider the basic aspects of comparative physiology - the concepts and mechanisms that all students will have to understand before studying the environmental physiology. The major part of the book will consider how organisms, both vertebrate and invertebrate, cope with various environments - marine, freshwater, desert, high altitude and so on. Throughout this section relevant comparative aspects will be given prominence in boxes - e.g. vision underwater, so that various interesting topics can be explored in greater depth.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Pat Willmer, Graham Stone
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