PART ONE - ANIMALS AND THEIR ENVIRONMENT
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
PART TWO - WATER AND SALTS
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
PART THREE - TEMPERATURE
8: Temperature and the principles of heat exchange
9: Temperature regulation in ectotherms
10: Temperature regulation in endotherms
PART FOUR- OXYGEN
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
PART FIVE - COORDINATION AND INTEGRATION
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
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.