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This text can be considered an engineering book for biologists, with an emphasis on the practical approach of vertebrate mechanics and functional morphology. Each topic begins with a discussion of the underlying principles, followed immediately by practical experiments and laboratory exercises.
Preface; Introduction; 1. A matter of scale; 2. Elasticity; 3. Measuring the strengths of materials; 4. How things break; 5. Bone as a composite material; 6. Structures and loads; 7. Engineering a skeleton; 8. Friction, lubrication and joints; 9. Muscles: the driving force of skeletons; 10. Terrestrial locomotion; 11. Fluid flow; 12. Flight and flying; 13. Swimming and swimmers; Appendix: chapter notes and responses to questions; References; Index.
' ... this book will be very useful for lecturers and students in zoology, anatomy, physiology, and palaeontology with interest in kinetic activity of vertebrates.' H. Petry, Institut fur Physiologie, Physiologische Chemie und Tierernahrung