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Can 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 Details

ISBN: 9780674009851
ISBN-10: 0674009851
Format: Paperback
(227mm x 197mm x 18mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 2-Sep-2002
Country of Publication: United States

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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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