Animal Physiology

Richard W. Hill, Michigan State University, Gordon A. Wyse, Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Margaret...
Richard W. Hill, Michigan State University, Gordon A. Wyse, Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Margaret Anderson, Emerita, Smith College
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Animal Physiology

Sample Content
table of contents


See our brochure for Animal Physiology, Fourth Edition here [PDF, 3.17 MB].

What's New in This Edition

  • Key updates, expanded discussions, improved organization, and additional pedagogical aids are featured in this new edition, with specific attention paid to the introductory chapter, and the chapters...

See our brochure for Animal Physiology, Fourth Edition here [PDF, 3.17 MB].

What's New in This Edition

  • Key updates, expanded discussions, improved organization, and additional pedagogical aids are featured in this new edition, with specific attention paid to the introductory chapter, and the chapters on physiological development and epigenetics, nutrition and digestion, thermal relations, sensory processes, endocrinology, animal navigation, control of movement, muscle, breathing, and osmoregulation.
  • Greatly enhanced genomics content is incorporated into all relevant chapters.
  • All figures were reviewed for pedagogical effectiveness; more than 100 figures or tables have been revised, and 33 new figures incorporated.
  • All chapters have been updated based on the latest literature and terminology.
  • Embracing opportunities for a “less is more” approach, hundreds of sentences and dozens of paragraphs have been improved for efficiency and effectiveness.
  • References to the scientific literature are in-depth and updated.
  • Online answers for all study questions are provided to instructors.
For specific detail on chapter-by-chapter changes, click on the green Table of Contents button underneath the book cover.

Animal Physiology, Fourth Edition presents all the branches of modern animal physiology with a strong emphasis on integration of physiological knowledge, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Integration extends from genes to organ systems and from one physiological discipline to another. The book takes an entirely fresh approach to each topic. Its full-color illustrations include many novel, visually effective features to help students learn. Each of the 25 main chapters starts with an animal example to engage student interest and demonstrate the value of the material that will be learned. The book includes five additional, briefer “At Work” chapters that apply students’ newfound physiological knowledge to curiosity-provoking and important topics, including diving by marine mammals, the mechanisms of navigation, and muscle plasticity in use and disuse.

The book is committed to a comparative approach throughout. Whereas mammalian physiology is consistently treated in depth, emphasis is also given to the other vertebrate groups, arthropods, and molluscs. Concepts and integrative themes are emphasized while giving students the specifics they need.

The whole animal is the principal focus of this book. The book’s extensive coverage of genomics and cellular–molecular biology is therefore carefully linked to whole-animal biology. With this edition, coverage of physiologically relevant genomics has been greatly expanded. The subject matter of animal physiology is also linked to topics in human affairs, such as athletic training and global warming. Always, the central organizing principle for the array of topics presented is to understand whole animals in the environments where they live.

Complex principles are developed clearly using classroom-tested pedagogy, often with carefully designed conceptual illustrations. Concepts from chemistry, physics, and mathematics are explained so that the book will be accessible to science students at the sophomore or higher level. Pedagogical aids include embedded summaries throughout chapters, study questions (with online answers provided to instructors), partially annotated reference lists, an extensive glossary, ten appendices (covering logarithms, phylogenetically independent contrasts, basic physics terms, etc.), and an upgraded index. Carefully worded balloons are used extensively to guide students through the interpretation of figures. For all three authors, teaching physiology to undergraduate students has been a lifelong priority.

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Richard W. Hill is Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at Michigan State University and a frequent Guest Investigator at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He received his Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Michigan. Apart from Sinauer Associates’ editions of Animal Physiology, Dr. Hill is a coauthor of Principles of Life, 2nd edition (Sinauer, 2014) and has authored two other books on animal physiology (the second with Gordon Wyse), as well as numerous articles for scientific journals, encyclopedias, and edited volumes. Among the awards he has received are the Outstanding Faculty Award (Michigan State University Senior Class Council) and election as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was a U.S. Senior Fulbright Scholar in 2000–2001. His research interests include: temperature regulation and energetics in birds and mammals, especially neonates; and environmental physiology of marine tertiary sulfonium and quaternary ammonium compounds, especially in the contexts of biogeochemistry and animal–algal symbioses.

Gordon A. Wyse is Professor of Biology Emeritus and Lecturer at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan, then did postdoctoral and sabbatical work at Stanford University and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Wyse helped found the graduate program in Neuroscience and Behavior at UMass Amherst. He has served as Associate Dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and on the Editorial Board of Advances in Physiology Education. His research interests include the neural control of feeding behavior and other behavior patterns.

Margaret Anderson is Professor Emerita of Biological Sciences at Smith College. After completing her Ph.D. at Stanford University, she undertook postdoctoral studies at the Universidad Católica de Chile, Harvard University, and the University of Puerto Rico. At Smith, Dr. Anderson served as an Academic Dean, Director of the Program in Neuroscience, and premedical advisor. She is one of six founding members of the Consortium of Medical Schools and Women's Colleges, and she contributes to several efforts that encourage women and minorities in the sciences. Her research interests include the functional properties of excitable cells.

For the Student

Companion Website (

The Animal Physiology Companion Website includes content that expands on the coverage in the textbook as well as study and review resources for students.

  • Chapter Outlines & Summaries provide quick overviews and reviews of each chapter.
  • Box Extensions expand on topics introduced in the textbook and cover important additional conceptual material.
  • Online Quizzes cover key material in each chapter. These can be assigned by the instructor or used as self-quizzes (instructor must register with Sinauer Associates first).
  • Flashcards help students learn and review the many new terms introduced in the textbook.
  • Glossary

For the Instructor (available to qualified adopters)

Instructor's Resource Library

The Animal Physiology, Fourth Edition Instructor’s Resource Library (IRL) contains a wealth of resources for use in lecture development and assessment. Contents include:

  • Presentation Resources
    • Figures & Tables: All of the textbook’s figures (both line art and photographs) are provided as JPEG files at two sizes: high-resolution (excellent for use in PowerPoint) and low-resolution (ideal for web pages and other uses). All the artwork has been reformatted and optimized for exceptional image quality when projected in class.
    • Unlabeled Figures: Unlabeled versions of all figures are provided.
    • PowerPoint Presentations:
      • Figures & Tables: Includes all the figures and tables from the chapter, making it easy to insert any figure into an existing presentation.
      • Layered Art PowerPoints: Selected key figures throughout the textbook are prepared as step-by-step and animated presentations that build the figure one piece at a time.
  • Test Bank
    The Test Bank consists of a broad range of questions covering the key facts and concepts in each chapter. Both multiple-choice and short-answer questions are provided. The Test Bank also includes the Companion Website online quiz questions. All questions are referenced to Bloom’s Taxonomy and to specific textbook sections.
  • Computerized Test Bank
    The entire test bank is provided in the Diploma exam-creation program (software included). Diploma makes it easy to assemble quizzes and exams from any combination of publisher-provided questions and instructor-created questions. In addition, quizzes and exams can be exported to many different course management systems, such as Blackboard, WebCT, and Moodle.
  • Answers to End-of-Chapter Questions
    Answers to all of the end-of-chapter Study Questions are provided as Word documents.


The online quizzes that are part of the Animal Physiology Companion Website include an instructor administration interface that allows the quizzes to be used as assignments. Instructors also have the ability to create their own quizzes and add their own questions. (Adopting instructors must register on the Companion Website in order for their students to be able to access the quizzes.)

If you have adopted this text for course use (within the U.S. or Canada) and are interested in the instructor’s supplements that accompany the text, please contact Outside the U.S. or Canada? Check the orders and returns page for the distributor in your region.

Chapter 16

The authors of Animal Physiology have become aware that, after publication of our book, a paper used as a key reference for Chapter 16 was retracted. The retracted paper was a source of information for the chapter opener on insulin effects in bears. The authors of Animal Physiology have been in contact with the authors of the retracted paper, and we are assured that the information used in our book is dependable. As soon as a new paper—reporting updated evidence on insulin in bears—is published, we will post the new citation here.