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Academic & Professional Books  Evolutionary Biology  Evolution

The Evolution of Organ Systems

By: Andreas Schmidt-Rhaesa(Author)
383 pages, 233 illus
The Evolution of Organ Systems
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  • The Evolution of Organ Systems ISBN: 9780198566694 Paperback Aug 2007 Usually dispatched within 5 days
  • The Evolution of Organ Systems ISBN: 9780198566687 Hardback Aug 2007 Usually dispatched within 2-3 weeks
Selected version: £46.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Related titles

About this book

Systematics has developed rapidly during the past two decades. A multitude of new methods and contributions from a diversity of biological fields including molecular genetics and developmental biology have provided a wealth of phylogenetic hypotheses, some confirming traditional views others contradicting them. Despite such inconsistencies, it is now possible to recognize robust regions of a 'tree of life' and also to identify problematic areas which have yet to be resolved. This is the first book to apply the current state of phylogeny to an evolutionary interpretation of animal organ systems and body architecture, providing alternative theories in those cases of continuing controversy.

Organs do not appear suddenly during evolution; instead they are composed of far simpler structures. In some cases it is even possible to trace particular molecules or physiological pathways as far back as pre-animal history. What emerges is a fascinating picture, showing how animals have combined ancestral and new elements in novel ways to form constantly changing responses to environmental requirements.

The Evolution of Organ Systems starts with a general overview of current animal phylogeny, followed by review of general body organization including symmetry, anteroposterior axis, dorsoventral axis, germ layers, segmentation, and skeletons. Subsequent chapters then provide a detailed description of the individual organ systems themselves - integument, musculature, nervous system, sensory organs, body cavities, excretory system, circulatory system, respiratory system, intestinal system, gonads and gametes. Generously illustrated throughout, this accessible text is suitable for both upper level undergraduate and graduate students taking courses in animal evolution, organogenesis, animal anatomy, zoology and systematics. It will also be a valuable reference tool for those professional researchers in these fields requiring an authoritative, balanced and up-to-date overview of the topic.


1. Introduction
2. The Phylogenetic Frame
3. General Body Organization
4. Integument
5. Muscular System
6. Nervous System
7. Sensory Organs
8. Body Cavities
9. Excretory System
10. Ciculatory System
11. Respiratory System
12. Intestinal System
13. Reproductive System
14. Gametes

Final Conclusions

Customer Reviews

By: Andreas Schmidt-Rhaesa(Author)
383 pages, 233 illus
Media reviews

"It succeeds in providinf an integrative view on this important but often neglected aspect of metazoan evolution [...] highly recommend this volume as an introduction to the evolution of animal organ systems."
– Thomas Boehm, The Quarterly Review of Biology

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