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Animal Physiology: an environmental perspective

Patrick Butler, Anne Brown, George Stephenson, and John Speakman

25 February 2021

ISBN: 9780199655458

1,104 pages

In Stock

Price: £59.99

More than any other text, takes an evolutionary approach to show how physiological systems allow animals to adapt to their changing environments.



Animal Physiology: an environmental perspective provides a broad review of animal physiology, demonstrating how an understanding of the physiology of animals in their natural habitats helps us to understand how and why animals evolved the way they did, as well as how we can protect them from the extreme effects of changes to their environments.

  • 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
  • Also available as an e-book with functionality, navigation features, and links that offer extra learning support

About the Author(s)

Patrick Butler, School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Anne Brown, School of Biological Sciences, University of Exeter, George Stephenson, School of Life Sciences, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, and John Speakman, Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen

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.

Table of Contents

    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
    21:Control of sodium, water, and calcium balance
    22:Integration of the respiratory and circulatory systems: rhythm generation and control


"For a course more focused on animal physiology, this would certainly work as an appropriate, comprehensive textbook, especially as it includes all of the basics that students would, in theory, know before taking a physiology course, but have surely forgotten ... Overall, the volume is a considerable achievement — and one that I am happy to have, especially in an electronic format." - Theodore Garland Jr., Quarterly Review of Biology

"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

Additional Resources

Digital formats and resources

Animal Physiology: an environmental perspective is supported by online resources and is available for students and institutions to purchase in a variety of formats.

The e-book offers a mobile experience and convenient access along with functionality tools, navigation features and links that offer extra learning support: www.oxfordtextbooks.co.uk/ebooks

The book's online resources include:

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.

For registered adopters of the text:
- Digital image library: Includes electronic files in JPG format of every illustration, photo, graph and table from the text.

Follow the authors on Twitter

John R. Speakman - @johnspeakman4

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