Books  Zoology  Ornithology  Biology, Ecology & Behaviour 

Ecological and Environmental Physiology of Birds

  • Focuses on the comparative physiology of birds with a particular emphasis on energy metabolism
  • Includes information on anatomy, ecology, phylogeny, and development
  • Describes the unique physiological implications of the evolution of flight and migration
  • Incorporates the latest experimental techniques with an emphasis on molecular methods and advanced technology
  • Provides a synthesis of current research and suggests a future research agenda

Series: Ecological and Environmental Physiology Series Volume: 2

By: J Eduardo PW Bicudo(Author), William A Buttemer(Author), Mark A Chappell(Author), James T Pearson(Author), Claus Bech(Author)

317 pages, 60 b/w photos and b/w illustrations

Oxford University Press

Paperback | Apr 2010 | #181265 | ISBN-13: 9780199228454
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £45.99 $64/€52 approx
Hardback | Apr 2010 | #156237 | ISBN-13: 9780199228447
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £97.99 $136/€111 approx

About this book

Birds have colonized almost every terrestrial habitat on the planet – from the poles to the tropics, and from deserts to high mountain tops. Ecological and Environmental Physiology of Birds focuses on our current understanding of the unique physiological characteristics of birds that are of particular interest to ornithologists, but also have a wider biological relevance.

An introductory chapter covers the basic avian body plan and their still-enigmatic evolutionary history. The focus then shifts to a consideration of the essential components of that most fundamental of avian attributes: the ability to fly. The emphasis here is on feather evolution and development, flight energetics and aerodynamics, migration, and as a counterpoint, the curious secondary evolution of flightlessness that has occurred in several lineages. This sets the stage for subsequent chapters, which present specific physiological topics within a strongly ecological and environmental framework. These include gas exchange, thermal and osmotic balance, 'classical' life history parameters (male and female reproductive costs, parental care and investment in offspring, and fecundity versus longevity tradeoffs), feeding and digestive physiology, adaptations to challenging environments (high altitude, deserts, marine habitats, cold), and neural specializations (notably those important in foraging, long-distance navigation, and song production).

Throughout Ecological and Environmental Physiology of Birds classical studies are integrated with the latest research findings. Numerous important and intriguing questions await further work, and the book concludes with a discussion of methods (emphasizing cutting-edge technology), approaches, and future research directions.

"This book is a comprehensive monograph on all the aspects of the molecular reaction dynamics and is useful for all the specialists in physico-chemical and chemical fields."
– Corina Cernatescu, IASI Polytechnic Magazine


1: Introduction - Blueprint of a Bird (Bauplan/Body plan)
2: General Physiological Principles
3: Physiological Bases of Fecundity/Longevity Tradeoffs
4: Adaptations: Obtaining and Processing Food
5: Adaptations: Living in Specific Environments
6: Adaptations: Neural and Sensory
7: Adaptations: Developmental Physiology
8: Approaches and Techniques
9: Conclusions and Future Directions


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