The Extended Organism
The Physiology of Animal-built Structures
By (author) J. Scott Turner
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Extended Organism by J. Scott Turner
Book DescriptionCan the structures that animals build - from the humble burrows of earthworms to towering termite mounds to the Great Barrier Reef - be said to live? However counterintuitive the idea might first seem, physiological ecologist Scott Turner demonstrates in this book that many animals construct and use structures to harness and control the flow of energy from their environment to their own advantage. Building on Richard Dawkins's classic, "The Extended Phenotype", Turner shows why drawing the boundary of an organism's physiology at the skin of the animal is arbitrary. Since the structures animals build undoubtedly do physiological work, capturing and channelling chemical and physical energy, Turner argues that such structures are more properly regarded not as frozen behaviours but as external organs of physiology and even extensions of the animal's phenotype. By challenging dearly held assumptions, a fascinating new view of the living world is opened to us, with implications for our understanding of physiology, the environment, and the remarkable structures animals build.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674009851
(227mm x 197mm x 18mm)
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 2-Sep-2002
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author J. Scott Turner
Tinkerer's Accomplice, Paperback (August 2010)» View all books by J. Scott Turner
Is our perception of design simply a mental figment or is there something deeper at work? This book argues that the apparent design we see in the living world only makes sense when we add to Darwin's achievement the dimension that much modern molecular biology has left: the dynamic interaction between living organisms and their environment.
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Author Biography - J. Scott Turner
J. Scott Turner is Associate Professor at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse.
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