Animal Physiology, Third Edition

Animal Physiology, Third Edition PDF

Author: Richard W. Hill and Gordon A. Wyse

Publisher: Sinauer Associates


Publish Date: March 23, 2012

ISBN-10: 0878935592

Pages: 800

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

Thomas Kuhn wrote that a textbook is principally a means of communicating to students the paradigms of their time. We have had three principal goals in preparing the content of this book. One, in accord with Kuhn’s dictum, has been to articulate the central paradigms of contemporary animal physiology. A second content goal has been to provide our readers with a source of both lucid explanations of physiological concepts and accurate information about physiological systems. Our third content goal has been to draw attention to the cutting edges of physiological science, the places where the onward progress of research is challenging old paradigms and potentially creating footholds for new ones.

We have also had goals for presentation. Most visibly, we have combined our words with an ambitious, informative art program. More fundamentally, we have strived to take advantage of all the assets of traditional bookmaking to achieve a book that—through constant integration of the full suite of pedgogically relevant elements— is a first-rate learning tool. Many sorts of professionals have important contributions to make for a book to be excellent. Thus many sorts of professionals have traditionally found personal fulfillment by engaging in the cooperative, synergistic production of books. The authors listed on the cover are just the tip of the iceberg. A book’s art program depends on scientific illustrators. Coordination between the art and the text—a key to the success of any textbook—depends on the editorial expertise of the book’s editor. An attractive science text needs to be designed and physically executed by talented people who combine scientific acumen with artistic sensibility. To the degree that the presentation of the material in this book achieves success, the reason is that it is the creative product of a team of at least a dozen people playing diverse, mutually reinforcing roles. One of our goals has been to take advantage of this time-proven model to provide students with a superior text.

In these pages, we consistently and deliberately address animal physiology as a discipline integrated with other disciplines in biology— especially genetics, molecular biology, evolutionary biology, and ecology. We also consistently emphasize the roles of physiology throughout the life cycle of an animal by discussing physiological development and by examining animal function during such important life-cycle processes as exercise, long-distance migration, seasonal rhythms, and accommodation to severe conditions (we generally omit pathology and parasitism, however). Although we give particular attention to mammals, we make a point of recognizing the other vertebrate groups and at least the arthropods and molluscs among invertebrates. We address all levels of organization that are germane, from the genome to the ecological context.

We want to mention four specific strategies we have adopted to add interest and breadth to the book. First, we start every chapter with a vivid example of the application of the chapter’s material to the lives of animals in their natural habitats. Second, we devote five entire chapters (our “At Work” chapters) to in-depth explorations of how physiologists do their work; in these chapters we break out of the usual textbook mold to discuss exciting topics—such as the diving physiology of marine mammals—with emphasis on experiments, theory maturation, integration of physiological systems, and prospects for future research. Third, we include many photographs and drawings of animals throughout the book to remind readers of the animals we discuss. Fourth, entirely new to this edition, we have started a program of inviting specialists to contribute expert Guest Boxes on emerging topics that expand the book’s subject content.

With our aspirations being as numerous as we have described, we have put a great deal of effort into balancing competing demands for space. The product is a complete physiology textbook that in one volume will meet the requirements of a diversity of one- or two-semester courses in animal function. Our intended audience is sophomores through beginning graduate students. To make the book accessible to as wide an audience as possible, we have included both a glossary of nearly 1200 terms and 11 appendices on important background concepts.

Our approach to the writing has been to work from the original scientific literature and obtain extensive peer review. Another aspect of our approach is that we have opted for the pedagogical consistency of a book written by just three principal authors. Margaret Anderson wrote Chapters 16, 20, and 21, and Gordon Wyse wrote Chapters 12–15, 18, and 19. Richard Hill wrote Chapters 1–11, 17, and 22–30. David S. Garbe, Scott A. Huettel, Matthew S. Kayser, Kenneth J. Lohmann, and Margaret McFall-Ngai wrote Guest Boxes. Matthew S. Kayser and Gordon Fain assisted with topic development in certain parts of the principal text.

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