Anatomy and Physiology of Animals
Ruth Lawson, Otago Polytechnic
Pub Date: 2015
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As a textbook titled Anatomy and Physiology of Animals, this book scores very low in its comprehensiveness, since it presents information only on read more
As a textbook titled Anatomy and Physiology of Animals, this book scores very low in its comprehensiveness, since it presents information only on domesticated mammals. Even as a textbook on Anatomy and Physiology of domesticated mammals, the comprehensiveness is still fairly low: most topics are covered very superficially, and some systems are missing altogether.
The book has multiple factual mistakes and inaccuracies. Some of the examples include: • Fig. 8 and p. 17 (Ch. 1) – technically, there are 7 classes of vertebrates • Fig. 8 – inaccurate visual representation of vertebrate animal distribution: the segments of 4% and 8% are larger than 5% and 12%, respectively! • Fig. 9 – most sources reference 3-5% as the relative abundance of vertebrate species within all animals. It’s not clear how the author arrived at 9%. • P. 17 – 90% of all invertebrates are insects - that's false • Organelles don’t have “jobs” (p.31); nucleus doesn’t control the activity of the cell (p. 34). There is more than one mitochondrion in cells. The nucleus is not listed as one of the main organelles, but is mentioned as such in the summary. • Mitochondria do NOT make (p.31) or produce (p. 40) energy! That’s a serious mistake. It’s very misleading to call mitochondria “power stations”. • The gut doesn’t break down food (p. 146); enzymes do. • Taste buds are NOT taste receptors (p. 208) • Humans distinguish at least 5, not 4, tastes (p. 209) • Triiodothyronine, not thyroxine (p. 225), is the principal hormone that regulates growth in mammals. • Thyroxine does NOT consist of 60% iodine (p. 225). Its structure is C15H11I4NO4.
Some of the content is already outdated (p. 209 – the number of tastes that humans sense). Much (but far from all) of the anatomy and physiology of animals knowledge is established. The outdated presentation of that knowledge in this textbook makes it of low relevance and longevity. Much more effective, royalty-free images are available to help students learn how animals are structured and how they function.
There is a pedagogically significant difference between using prose that’s accessible vs. simplistic and inaccurate. This book relies a lot on the latter to the detriment of students learning real biology (“rod cells are long and fat” p. 210 - is just one of the multiple examples). • Fig. 8 designates “primitive vertebrates” as a classification group. It’s not clear what “primitive” means here. Which acceptable taxonomy framework uses that term? No animals are listed as examples for that group in the text. • What does it mean that parathyroid hormone “regulates the amount of calcium in the blood”? Is the hormone secreted to decrease or to increase calcium levels?
There are some issues with internal consistency: • The references to chapters and sections are used interchangeably. • The books starts out with consecutively numbered figures and text references to figures. This approached is switched in Ch. 3 to figures that continue to be numbered consecutively, but now are labeled also as “diagrams” with a different numbering system: ex. Figure 15 Diagram 3.5, with the text now referring to diagrams. • Inconsistent use of classification terminology: Fig. 8 purportedly demonstrates percentage-based distribution of animal classes within the phylum of vertebrates. It shows 6 “different kinds of vertebrate” [sic], but the textbook discusses 5 “groups or classes” (p. 17). • Inconsistent spacing for punctuation throughout the book • Sloppy use and application of terminology
In some way, the book is too modular: the interchange of biological principles between systems is virtually non-existent.
The logical flow to the presentation of systems is not apparent: why does the chapter on (skeletal) muscles precede the chapter on the nervous system, or why is the reproductive system discussed prior to the endocrine system? • Figs. 8 and 9 are reversed in the logical flow of chapter 1. • Taxonomic hierarchy is summarized at the end of the chapter, rather than being introduced at the beginning to set up the framework for the material.
There is a significant degree of distortion (excessive pixilation) in many non-photographic figures.
There are a few instances of editing oversights: extra spaces, failure to separate words and odd punctuation. These do not significantly detract from readability, but does show lack of polish for the final product.
The term “primitive” as applied to a group of animals is scientifically incorrect, and culturally outdated.
I am very disappointed in this book. As a professor of animal physiology, I seek a textbook that will allow me to balance between polished presentation (and a very high cost) from edu market publishers and open textbooks with less sophisticated layouts and graphics, but a much lower cost. However, the latter should still be factually sophisticated, useful teaching tools, rather than a collection of links to Wikipedia. Apart from the fact that this book is limited to anatomical and physiological features of a small number of domesticated animals, even discussion of those systems is presented at a very elementary level; many explanations are at the primary school level. There isn’t a sufficient, college-level depth in any particular aspect of the book (ex: inhalation/inspiration is presented in one short paragraph); for that, the readers are referred to Wikipedia at the end of every chapter. Each chapter starts with a list of learning objectives (LOs), which are poorly formulated. What does “completing” a chapter mean, if completion is not one of the LOs? What does it mean that a student should “know” X after completing a chapter? Should they be able to recognize X, re-create X, list X, or apply X? We expect accuracy and appropriate use of terminology in professional communications and in students’ answers; we must provide a specific, directional clarity for them to acquire useful knowledge. More significantly, studying the information in the chapters would not help students to achieve many of the LOs. Many questions in the “Test Yourself” section at the end of chapters do not address the LOs, but rather test the minutiae information from the chapter. University-level students will not acquire essential, comprehensive knowledge about any aspect of animal biology in this book.
This book is more of a domestic animal anatomy book, although references to certain domestic animals having specific characteristics is sometimes read more
This book is more of a domestic animal anatomy book, although references to certain domestic animals having specific characteristics is sometimes lacking. Much of the first chapter is unnecessary, and the latter half would be well placed as a subheading under digestion. The classification of animals would be a good first chapter, although the duck billed platypus and spine anteater should be placed under protheria. The placement of exocrine vs. endocrine glands would be better placed under discussion of epithelia derivatives, rather than skin glands. The cardiovascular section was missing. Not all the cranial nerves are listed. There are multiple generalities made that are not true with all species, even domestic species.
There are many overstated generalities, inaccuracies and incomplete descriptions of function through the text. Many errors, incompleteness in cell structure, organelle functions. Illustrations of poor quality with some errors in labeling. Misuse of terminology. Misclassification of humans as herbivores.
This book is in need of an update. Use of human anatomical terminology should be avoided where appropriate.
The text is written simply and is easy to read.
Somewhat consistent, although one section (Cardiovascular) is missing.
Modularity is good.
Should start with Classification. After Cells, the Body Organization should follow the tissues, including epithelia, connective tissue (both of which are described in this section), muscle, bone and nervous tissue, and possibly even blood. Then overall body organization, followed by the organ systems.
The images were very simplistic and not high quality. Just as photos were used at the chapter headings, photos and color images would be helpful.
Some errors present.
The author(s) should focus on who this text is intended for - pre-vet, animal science, zoology. I would err towards completeness, even if not all in emphasized in the course. This is a needed resource, so a rewrite with investment in accuracy, organization, completeness and higher quality images would be worthwhile
This is a very well-organized textbook focused mostly on anatomy of veterinary-relevant species and geared towards veterinary nurses or technicians. read more
This is a very well-organized textbook focused mostly on anatomy of veterinary-relevant species and geared towards veterinary nurses or technicians. For that purpose the book contains nearly all relevant subjects each with appropriate organization within the index. A few areas for improvement are noted including the fact that the cardiovascular system topic is completely missing from the table of contents and book! This may have been a printing error, but should be addressed to improve the impact of the book. Also, some aspects of hormone regulation are missing from the gastrointestinal system discussion (e.g. gastrointestinal hormones) and a discussion of feedback loops that govern endocrine function. Other than that, I find this book to be appropriate in other areas.
The content is accurate, but the cardiovascular system was missing from the entire text.
This textbook is up-to-date, is relevant, and because of the subject, it will be long-lived as long as it is appropriately updated. Based on its organization, I would anticipate that this text will be relatively easy to update.
The text is easy to understand and provides definitions and explanations that will help students get acquainted with new terminology and concepts.
The format and style of the book is consistent throughout.
The text is organized into modules which are subdivided well according to the material. It should be straightforward to assign readings from this text for specific needs or subunits of a course.
This text is well-organized and logically presented from basic building blocks to more complex systems. The organizational sequence of each chapter flowing from learning objectives to material to review questions and additional resources is very good and should help instructors as they teach this subject.
The text was easy to navigate but a couple of things could be improved. Anatomy and Physiology students do better with good images that keep them interested and are clear. Perhaps, color or computer generated images could be included to help with this. Also, in some cases, images were referred to in the text or labeled in between paragraphs but were not available in the text at all.
This textbook is a great idea and is worth investing time into improving it. It is appropriate for the audience intended, although there is always room to make more physiology connections with the anatomy already presented. It is very important that the cardiovascular section be added to make it whole. Also, perhaps a title revision to more visibly show that it is intended for veterinary nurses and technicians and thus, focuses more on veterinary species.
This textbook is really more geared to tetrapods/mammals than animals. There is essentially no fish anatomy/physiology described in this text and read more
This textbook is really more geared to tetrapods/mammals than animals. There is essentially no fish anatomy/physiology described in this text and many of the other systems focus on mammals. Further, major portions of the circulatory system under the cardiovascular system are completely missing. Moreover, this text is physiology light. I had expected to see more based on the title.
I found not errors in content. Some of the figures might be confusing, however.
The text is up to date and relevant.
US students might find the British spellings confusing, but that ought not be too much of a concern. The text will often refer to figures that are not there or hard to find.
The terms used are consistent.
The book is appropriately and clearly divided into sections of anatomy. Physiology is not necessarily all that clear.
The information is mostly presented in a clear and logical fashion. Some of the earlier chapters may not be all the necessary for the scope of the book and could be removed and more physiology and all animal anatomy be inserted.
The features are fine and would be improved by hyperlinks.
There are some glaring typos throughout the book.
Not sure this is relevant.
This text should be titled something differently, or should be far more inclusive. It would have limited use for a comparative anatomy course and essentially no use for a comparative physiology course. Might be a good reference for a lower level vertebrate course, and only then for certain tetrapod vertebrates.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1 Chemicals
- Chapter 2 Classification
- Chapter 3 The Cell
- Chapter 4 Body Organisation
- Chapter 5 The Skin
- Chapter 6 The Skeleton
- Chapter 7 Muscles
- Chapter 8 Cardiovascular System
- Chapter 9 Respiratory System
- Chapter 10 Lymphatic System
- Chapter 11 The Gut and Digestion
- Chapter 12 Urinary system
- Chapter 13 Reproductive System
- Chapter 14 Nervous System
- Chapter 15 The Senses
- Chapter 16 Endocrine System
About the Book
Veterinary nurses need to have a firm grasp of the normal structure of an animal’s body and how it functions before they can understand the effect diseases and injuries have and the best ways to treat them.
This book describes the structure of the animal body and the way in which it works. Animals encountered in normal veterinary practice are used as examples where possible.
About the Contributors
Ruth Lawson is a zoologist who gained her first degree at Imperial College, London University and her D.Phil from York University, UK. After post graduate research on the tropical parasitic worm that causes schistosomiasis, she emigrated to New Zealand where she spent 10 years studying how hydatid disease spreads and can be controlled. With the birth of her daughter, Kate, she started to teach at the Otago Polytechnic, in Dunedin. Although human and animal anatomy and physiology has been her main teaching focus, she retains a strong interest and teaches courses in parasitology, public health, animal nutrition and pig husbandry. Ruth lives on the Otago Peninsula overlooking the beautiful Otago Harbour where she races her Topper sailing dinghy. She also enjoys tramping, skiing and gardening and has meditated for many years.