Animal Physiology 1. Respiration and gas exchange
What you'll learn
- understand how life is a thermodynamic phenomenon.
- understand why oxygen is important to the evolution of metabolism.
- understand what metabolism is and how to quantify it.
- understand the difference between respiration and fermentation.
- understand diffusion and Fick's law.
- understand the Fick principle and how it differs from Fick's law.
- understand the derivation of the ventilation / perfusion ratio and how it constrains the performance of gas exchange organs.
- Preparation for this course includes the course work an upper-division biology student can reasonably be expected to have. Thisincludes general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, perhaps some biochemistry and ecology.
This is a course in the physiology of animals, or, to use a common phrase, how animals work. Animals are, in one sense, machines, and the aim of the science of physiology is to understand how these machines function—what drives them, how they operate, the interaction of the various systems they comprise, and the physical and chemical constraints on how they work.
Animals are also organisms, and this course is intended to help you understand how animals work as integrated units, i.e. as organisms. We will be concerned with how organisms’ various components work to keep an animal alive, with how these are coordinated, and how the various types of animals, despite their disparate evolutionary histories, solve common physiological problems, sometimes in remarkably innovative ways. This course is intended for the upper-division biology student. It is also a good course for graduate students and practicing professionals looking for a brush-up course in animal physiology. I presume that you come into this course with the background in chemistry, physics, mathematics and biology that can be reasonably expected of a senior biology student.
The course consists of about five hours of video clips, parceled into six lectures. This is the first module of four similar courses. This module covers respiration. Subsequent modules cover blood and circulation; digestion and metabolism; and heat and water balance. All four comprise one semester of a two-semester course in animal physiology.
Who this course is for:
- This course is intended for upper-division undergraduates in biology, as well as graduate students looking for a brush-up course in animal physiology.
- Life-long learners interested in the nature of adaptation and the biology of animals can also profit from this course.
I am a Professor of Biology at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York.
I am a physiologist by training but with a deep interest in the interface of physiology, ecology, adaptation and evolution. You can read some of my thoughts in two books I have published: The Extended Organism: The Physiology of Animal-Built Structures (2000) and The Tinkerer's Accomplice: How Design Emerges from Life Itself (2007), both published by Harvard University Press. I have completed a third book, Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something Alive and Why Modern Darwinisms Fails to Explain It, which was published in September 2017 by HarperOne. You can find out more about me at my web site (link above).
My current research focuses on the problem of emergent physiology in social insect colonies. specifically the mound building termites of southern Africa.