Ecological and Environmental Physiology of Birds

Paperback | May 1, 2010

byJ. Eduardo P. W. Bicudo, William A. Buttemer, Mark A. Chappell

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Birds have colonized almost every terrestrial habitat on the planet - from the poles to the tropics, and from deserts to high mountain tops. Ecological and Environmental Physiology of Birds focuses on our current understanding of the unique physiological characteristics of birds that are ofparticular interest to ornithologists, but also have a wider biological relevance. An introductory chapter covers the basic avian body plan and their still-enigmatic evolutionary history. The focus then shifts to a consideration of the essential components of that most fundamental of avianattributes: the ability to fly. The emphasis here is on feather evolution and development, flight energetics and aerodynamics, migration, and as a counterpoint, the curious secondary evolution of flightlessness that has occurred in several lineages. This sets the stage for subsequent chapters, whichpresent specific physiological topics within a strongly ecological and environmental framework. These include gas exchange, thermal and osmotic balance, 'classical' life history parameters (male and female reproductive costs, parental care and investment in offspring, and fecundity versus longevitytradeoffs), feeding and digestive physiology, adaptations to challenging environments (high altitude, deserts, marine habitats, cold), and neural specializations (notably those important in foraging, long-distance navigation, and song production). Throughout the book classical studies are integratedwith the latest research findings. Numerous important and intriguing questions await further work, and the book concludes with a discussion of methods (emphasizing cutting-edge technology), approaches, and future research directions.

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Birds have colonized almost every terrestrial habitat on the planet - from the poles to the tropics, and from deserts to high mountain tops. Ecological and Environmental Physiology of Birds focuses on our current understanding of the unique physiological characteristics of birds that are ofparticular interest to ornithologists, but al...

The contributors to this book are a diverse group of professional biologists from across the globe, each with their own particular specialized training and expertise. Each is thoroughly versed in the rigorous, disciplined, and objective methods of science and has used them to build a career, in whole or in part, probing physiological ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:328 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:May 1, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199228450

ISBN - 13:9780199228454

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction - Blueprint of a Bird (Bauplan/Body plan)2. General Physiological Principles3. Physiological Bases of Fecundity/Longevity Tradeoffs4. Adaptations: Obtaining and Processing Food5. Adaptations: Living in Specific Environments6. Adaptations: Neural and Sensory7. Adaptations: Developmental Physiology8. Approaches and Techniques9. Conclusions and Future DirectionsReferencesIndex