Animal physiology is, 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 the second in a series of courses that, together, would be the equivalent of a one-semester course in animal physiology. I strongly recommend that you take the first course in the series, Animal Physiology 1. Respiration and gas exchange, before you take this course. Subsequent courses in the series are Animal Physiology 3. Digestion and metabolism and Animal Physiology 4. Temperature, water and metabolic rate.
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
The course consists of about five hours of video clips, parceled into seven lectures.