Animal Physiology: an environmental perspective

ISBN : 9780199655458

Patrick Butler; Anne Brown; George Stephenson; John Speakman
1032 ページ
219 x 276 mm
  • The only text to take an evolutionary approach to show how physiological systems allow animals to adapt to their changing environments
  • The main narrative focuses on key concepts, and panels expand on particular topics or themes, helping students to grasp difficult concepts in a progressive, layered way
  • An accessible introduction to the physical and chemical properties of the environments in which animals live helps students to avoid a superficial or confused understanding of this often challenging aspect of the subject
  • Carefully chosen examples illustrate how different groups of animals have evolved different solutions to deal with environmental challenges
  • The exploration of real world issues such as climate change and pollution from the point of view of their physiological effects on animals shows how our understanding of such topics can be translated into new approaches to conservation

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 in a time 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 the book 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 the book 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. 
Online resources

For students:
- Original articles: a list of original articles consulted during the writing of each chapter so that you can explore the original research for yourself.
- Additional case studies and experimental approach panels to augment those in the printed book.
- Answers to numerical questions: full solutions to numerical questions so that you can verify your working.


1: The diversity of animals and their interactions with natural environments
2: Energy metabolism - generating energy from food
3: Cells, organisms and interactions with their environment

4: Body fluid regulation: principles and processes
5: Osmotic and ionic regulation in aquatic animals
6: Water balance of land animals
7: Kidneys and excretion

8: Temperature and the principles of heat exchange
9: Temperature regulation in ectotherms
10: Temperature regulation in endotherms

11: The respiratory gases, gas exchange and transport: key characteristics and principles
12: Respiratory systems: an overview
13: Transport in respiratory systems, and acid-base balance
14: Cardiovascular systems: an overview
15: Environmental and behavioural influences on the cardio-respiratory system

16: Neurons, nerves and nervous systems: an overview
17: How animals sense their environments
18: Muscles and animal movement
19: Hormones
20: Reproduction
21: Control of sodium, water, and calcium balance
22: Integration of the respiratory and circulatory systems: rhythm generation and control


Patrick J. Butler is Emeritus Professor of Comparative Physiology in the 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