Wild animals survive in a variety of complex environments; they are exposed to predictable and unpredictable changes in their particular environment on a daily or seasonal basis. However, we live through times when almost all natural environments are undergoing relatively rapid change, and many of these changes, such as the pollution of air and water, removal of natural food sources, environment fragmentation, and climate change, are the result of human activity. Animal Physiology: An Environmental Perspective shows how an understanding of the physiology of animals in their natural habitats helps us to understand not only how and why animals evolved the way they did, but how we can act to protect at least some of them from the extreme effects of the changes affecting their environments.
Part One sets the foundation for the topics covered in the remainder of Animal Physiology by introducing a range of fundamental processes that are essential to life. It considers the diversity of habitats on Earth in which animals live, and examines animal groups and their evolutionary relationships. It then explores the different feeding strategies used by animals to obtain the energy they require to carry out all the essential functions of life, and how animals convert the chemical energy in food molecules into the energy they need to power all body functions. Finally, it explores the general properties of animal cells, and how animals maintain a suitable internal environment in which their cells are protected from external influences. We then examine those fundamental principles governing the main exchanges between the cells within animals, and between an animal and its environment.
Parts two to four of Animal Physiology explore how different organ systems – respiratory and circulatory systems, excretory organs and endocrine systems – enable animals to interact with their environment, and how environmental temperature profoundly affects the physiology of animals.
Part five considers how the sensory and nervous systems provide animals with information on their internal as well as their external environment, and how they, together with the endocrine system, are involved in the control and co-ordination of muscles, reproduction, salt and water balance, and the cardio-respiratory systems.
PART ONE - THE DIVERSITY OF ANIMALS AND THE PHYSIOLOGICAL BASES OF THEIR INTERACTIONS WITH THE ENVIRONMENT
1: Animal diversity and interactions with natural environments
2: Energy metabolism - generating energy from food
3: Cells, organisms and interactions with their environment
PART TWO - WATER AND SALTS
4: Body fluid regulation: principles and processes
5: Osmotic and ionic regulation in an aquatic environment
6: Water balance of land animals
7: Kidneys and excretion
PART THREE - TEMPERATURE
8: Effects of temperature on chemical and biological processes and the principles of heat exchange
9: Temperature and ectotherms
10: Temperature and endotherms
PART FOUR - OXYGEN
11: The respiratory gases, gas exchange and transport: general characteristics and principles
12: Respiratory systems
13: Transport of respiratory gases and metabolic substrates, acid-base balance
14: Cardiovascular systems
15: Environmental and behavioural influences on the cardio-respiratory system
PART FIVE - COORDINATION AND INTEGRATION
16: Neurons, nerves and nervous systems
17: How animals are made aware of their environment
18: Muscles and animal movement
21: Control of calcium, sodium and water balance
22: Rhythm generation, control and integration of the respiratory and circulatory systems
Patrick J. Butler is Professor of Comparative Physiology, School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham. J. Anne Brown is Emeritus Professor in the School of Biological Sciences, University of Exeter. D. George Stephenson is Emeritus Professor in the School of Life Sciences, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. John R. Speakman is Professor of Zoology in the Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Aberdeen.
"Very clearly explained. Easy and enjoyable to read."
– Dr Sheena Cotter, University of Lincoln
"The descriptions and explanations are excellent [...] the best I have read in a long time."
– Professor William Velhagen, New York University
"The emphasis on the environmental factors influencing physiological processes and the link from this to adaption to change is particularly helpful."
– Dr Debbie Bartlett, University of Greenwich