The science of animal physiology is a broad branch of biology that deals with functions of living animal organisms and their parts, including physical and chemical processes related to those functions. While some animal physiologists may study certain aspects of animal reproduction, a topic that the field of animal embryology is thoroughly and entirely devoted to, many animal physiologists will be involved with the form and function of all other systems of animals.

A thorough course in animal physiology will involve many of the topics listed here:

  • Animals and Environments
  • Molecules and Cells in Animal Physiology
  • Genomics, Proteomics, and Related Approaches to Physiology
  • Transport of Solutes and Water
  • Nutrition, Feeding, and Digestion
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Aerobic and Anaerobic Forms of Metabolism
  • The Energetics of Aerobic Activity
  • Thermal Relations
  • Food, Energy, and Temperature at Work
  • Neurons
  • Synapses
  • Sensory Processes
  • Nervous System Organization and Biological Clocks
  • Endocrine and Neuroendocrine Physiology
  • Reproduction
  • Animal Navigation
  • The Motor Bases of Animal Behavior
  • Muscle
  • Plasticity in Response to Use and Disuse
  • Introduction to Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide Physiology
  • The Physiology of Breathing
  • Transport of Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide
  • Circulation
  • Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide, and Internal Transport at Work
  • Water and Salt Physiology
  • Kidneys and Excretion
  • Water, Salts, and Excretion at Work


Students should follow the Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition. In addition, there are online tutorials, including one from Bossier Parish Community College. Great books on animal physiology are available at Amazon.com and Google.

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