Symmorphosis by Ewald R. Weibel
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By Ewald R. Weibel


On Form and Function in Shaping Life

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Format: Hardback

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Symmorphosis by Ewald R. Weibel

Book Description

This text addresses a simple question: are animals designed economically? The pronghorn can run at speeds of up to 60 kilometres an hour and can maintain this speed for nearly a full hour. Clearly, the form of this elegant animal is beautifully matched to the function it needs to perform. This is symmorphosis. The theory of symmorphosis predicts that size of the parts in a system must be matched to the overall functional demand. Moreover, it predicts that animals must provide their complex systems with functional capacity that can cope with the highest expected functional demands, possibly including some safety margin to prevent the system from failing when it is overloaded. In this book, the author tests these predictions by working out the quantitative relations between form and function. Physiologists will value this book because Weibel shows them that morphological information can be as quantitative as physiological data. Anatomists will value the book for its demonstration that advance integrative physiology crucially depends on adequate but rigorously quantitative and testable information on structural design. Finally, anyone interested in the origins of the diverse forms of animals will be fascinated by Weibel's demonstrations that show how animals as different as shrews, pronghorns, dogs, goats - even humans - all develop from essentially the same blueprint by variation of design.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674000681
ISBN-10: 0674000684
Format: Hardback
(235mm x 155mm x 20mm)
Pages: 280
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 1-Mar-2000
Country of Publication: United States

Books By Author Ewald R. Weibel

Principles of Animal Design by Ewald R. Weibel Principles of Animal Design, Paperback (February 1998)

The book discusses whether animals are designed according to the same rules that engineers use in building machines.

Pathway for Oxygen by Ewald R. Weibel Pathway for Oxygen, Paperback (July 1984)

It is rare for one book to be both a first-rate classroom text and a major contribution to scholarship. "The Pathway for Oxygen" is such a book, offering a new approach to respiratory physiology and morphology that quantitatively links the two.

» View all books by Ewald R. Weibel


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Author Biography - Ewald R. Weibel

Ewald R. Weibel is Professor of Anatomy, University of Bern, Switzerland.

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Principles of Animal Design by Ewald R. Weibel
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