Glimpses of Creatures in Their Physical Worlds offers an eye-opening look into how the characteristics of the physical world drive the designs of animals and plants. These characteristics impose limits but also create remarkable and subtle opportunities for the functional biology of organisms. In particular, Steven Vogel examines the size and scale, and trade-offs among different physical processes. He pays attention to how the forms and activities of animals and plants reflect the materials available to nature, and he explores the unique constraints and possibilities provided by fluid flow, structural design, and environmental forces.
Each chapter of the book investigates a facet of the physical world, including the drag on small projectiles; the importance of diffusion and convection; the size-dependence of acceleration; the storage, conduction, and dissipation of heat; the relationship among pressure, flow, and choice in biological pumps; and how elongate structures tune their relative twistiness and bendiness. Vogel considers design-determining factors all too commonly ignored, and builds a bridge between the world described by physics books and the reality experienced by all creatures. Glimpses of Creatures in Their Physical Worlds contains a wealth of accessible information related to functional biology, and requires little more than a basic background in secondary-school science and mathematics.
Drawing examples from creatures of land, air, and water, the book demonstrates the many uses of biological diversity and how physical forces impact biological organisms.
|Publisher:||Princeton University Press|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Steven Vogel is James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Biology at Duke University. His numerous books include Comparative Biomechanics (Princeton), and Cats' Paws and Catapults (Norton).
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Two Ways to Move Material 1
Chapter Two: The Bioballistics of Small Projectiles 18
Chapter Three: Getting Up to Speed 39
Chapter Four: Moving Heat Around 58
Chapter Five: Maintaining Temperature 80
Chapter Six: Gravity and Life in the Air 95
Chapter Seven: Gravity and Life on the Ground 116
Chapter Eight: Gravity and Life in Water 141
Chapter Nine: Making and Maintaining Liquid Water 164
Chapter Ten: Pumping Fluids through Conduits 184
Chapter Eleven: To Twist or Bend When Stressed 209
Chapter Twelve: Keeping Up Upward and Down Downward 232
List of Symbols 259
References and Index of Citations 263
What People are Saying About This
This charismatic book is a fascinating read and Vogel is exceptionally good at presenting the material so that it is accessible to a general audience. The book presents new conceptions, data, and interpretations, but its most impressive aspect is the wide range of diverse examples collected in one place, displaying a lifetime's worth of accumulated knowledge and wisdom.
Amy S. Johnson, Bowdoin College
"This charismatic book is a fascinating read and Vogel is exceptionally good at presenting the material so that it is accessible to a general audience. The book presents new conceptions, data, and interpretations, but its most impressive aspect is the wide range of diverse examples collected in one place, displaying a lifetime's worth of accumulated knowledge and wisdom."Amy S. Johnson, Bowdoin College
The book draws case studies from an enormous diversity of organisms, and the scholarship is meticulousthe sources used and cited are both appropriate and extensive. They not only contribute to the text itself, but also comprise a bibliography that will be widely consulted by students at many levels and by readers interested in pursuing specific topics in more depth.
Sharon Swartz, Brown University